It was a peaceful evening at the StinkyHouse. Ilana and I had bedded down for the night, surrounded by our usual 8 or so loyal companions (Myra, Nutok, Storm, Bruno, Stubby, Pumpkin, Chevy, Maude – with Danbo on periodic patrol, and Lasher keeping an eye on the entry way). At around 4am, we both woke up due to an incredibly strong smell. If you’ve never been woken up by a strong smell before, it’s quite an experience.
Bruno was rubbing his head on the carpet next to the bed, and Daniel was running around excited. It only took a few moments to come to the conclusion that they had had a skunk encounter.
The smell of skunk was quite different than I’ve typically encountered. Usually it’s a waft of stench when driving on a roadway, often due to a skunk discharging in the woods, or perhaps being run over by a car.
This smell was not a waft, it was more like being hit in the back of the head by a canoe paddle. It was very, very strong, musty, smoky and powerful. It only smelled like a typical skunk smell from a distance. Closer – much closer – it was qualitatively different.
We hauled out of bed and assessed the situation. There was a little blood and a few scratches on Maude, Bruno and Daniel. The dead skunk (not the one in the photo – that is for illustrative purposes only) was in the back yard. He or she had wandered in, perhaps in search of dog food or other crumbs, and was attacked and killed. Sometime during the event, the skunk had presumably discharged his stinky glands. During upcoming days, we noticed there were a few other stinky patches in the grass, probably from discharges during the hunt.
I bagged and boxed the skunk for later disposal. After some searching in our dog care books and online, we tried a liquid rinse solution consisting of 1 qt. of hydrogen peroxide (yes, of course we had a quart on hand!), 1/4 cup of baking soda, and some Dawn brand liquid detergent. Amazingly, this took the stink right off of the dogs. Some blotting and scrubbing, and a rinse five minutes later, and we everyone’s snout was soon feeling less aggrieved.
We still have a few areas with slight skunk smell in the house and outside, but it is fading and should be gone within a few days.
In L’Amable, we miss the frequent moose sightings we had back in Alaska. L’Amable definitely beats Fairbanks, though, for diversity in wildlife.