Saturday, January 12, 2013

Damn Dogs Wrap-Up

As previously reported, our ignorant mutts beloved pets tangled with a skunk the other night, with predictable results. Let me set the stage. You may want to grab the beverage of your choice, because this is a somewhat long story.

The past couple of weeks have been unseasonably cold and drizzly down here. So my wife and I were thrilled when Thursday dawned sunny and warm (high near 70). We were especially excited because we had a once in a lifetime opportunity that day to play golf on an über-exclusive private course.

I'm not much of a golfer. My idea of a good time on the golf course is to cruise around in one of those little carts and have beer delivered to me by a cutie driving the beverage cart. But a friend of my wife is a very good golfer. In fact, she won a local tournament a few months ago, and one of the prizes was a free round of golf at Boot Ranch. She invited us to join her and her husband. After coordinating everyone's schedule, Thursday was the day that worked best. So off we went.

FYI - Boot Ranch was designed to be "a golf destination appealing primarily to a high-income mix of retired businessmen and corporate leaders yearning for an exclusive getaway." Membership initiation fees started somewhere around $200K, with monthly dues pegged at $1000. It's way out of our league, which is why we were so eager for the experience. And boy howdy, we weren't disappointed.

The clubhouse cost $30 million to build.. Opulent, luxurious, sumptuous ... pick an adjective. We were given guest lockers near one belonging to George H. W. Bush. The staff was gracious and welcoming, making us feel like we belonged instead of the poor country mice we are. One of the best things about the place is that the membership is capped, so that there were very few other players on the course. In fact, we saw only one other foursome all day - and one of the people in it was Ed "Too Tall" Jones.

The course is just outside the small Central Texas town of Fredericksburg, about an hour's drive from our place. As you might expect from the name, it was originally settled by Germans, so many of the eateries feature sausage and beer. After a thoroughly enjoyable round of golf we headed to the Fredericksburg Brewing Company for dinner. I loaded up on Knackwurst,Bratwurst and Pepperwurst, washed down with plenty of Hauptstrasse Helles, a delicious Munich lager style brew (my wife was the designated driver - poor gal).

What with the leisurely round of golf and the even more leisurely dinner, it was about 8:30 in the evening when we finally returned home. To say our two dogs were excited to see us would be an understatement. Of course, they're excited by just about anything. We let them in the house and they're so excited they dash madly around, wagging their tails so hard that lamps and people's knees are in danger. Thirty seconds later, if we open the door and say "Out" they charge madly outside and sniff every tree and bush within reach. They have way too much enthusiasm, and not nearly enough common sense.

Which brings us to the skunk.

After we got home Thursday evening and reunited with the mutts, we cleaned up and got ready for bed. The usual routine is that we let them out sometime in the middle of the news so that they can take care of any unfinished outdoor business. We let them back in when the news is over. Then we head for bed. So during the weather I opened the door and they barreled outside. Fifteen minutes later I opened the door and they barreled back in.

Only something was wrong - very, very wrong.

The smell hit me as soon as they dashed past me and started doing their usual laps around the place. By the time I collected my wits and realized what had happened, they had managed to visit every room downstairs. I hustled them back out while my wife stared at me in horror. The odor was overwhelming.

Leaving them outside wasn't really an option, since at least one skunk was still lurking in the area. So we changed into old, disposable clothes, grabbed the bottle of skunk shampoo we keep handy (remember what I said about their lack of common sense - they've been skunked before, but haven't learned anything from the experience), and went outside.

Ever try to bathe two hyper dogs in the dark with really, really cold water (we get our water from a well) while they just reek of skunk? I don't recommend it.

We finally got them somewhat tolerable, put them in the garage (no way they were getting back in the house) and went back inside. The skunk odor was pretty strong, but at that point we were too tired and pissed to care. The dogs never made it to our bedroom so we closed the door and went to sleep. The kids were on their own.

The next morning I used up two bottle of Febreze, sprinkled baking soda all over the carpets, and made a WalMart run to pick up half a dozen air fresheners. Fortunately the weather was still nice so I opened up all the windows and turned on all the ceiling fans. Then I gave the mutts another bath (two, actually, one with skunk shampoo followed by one with oatmeal shampoo), and finished it off by dousing them with a skunk odor neutralizer.

That was Friday. As I type this it is Saturday night, and things are almost back to normal. I'll fry some bacon, onions, and garlic to go with the pasta tonight. That should eliminate any lingering odor.

Well, that and a couple of bottles of wine.

Like I said, the dummies just don't learn. But we do. The first time this happened we doused them in tomato juice. That worked okay, but not great. The next time we used a combination of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dishwashing soap. That worked well, but the problem is keeping the ingredients on hand, and then mixing them when needed.

This time we used a shampoo recommended by our vet that is specially designed for skunk spray. It's called Skunk-Off, and it works quite well. I followed that up with an application of Thiotrol, which also did a good job.

Now if we could just figure out a way to keep them from getting sprayed in the first place...


Bag Blog said...

Skunk-Off, I'll keep that in mind. I just posted about our Great Dane puppy rolling in horse manure. I can well imagine you and the wife trying to wash your dogs, since we had a similar experience.

CenTexTim said...

Read your post. Hilarious. But there was no way ours were getting anywhere near our bathroom. They might not be happy about the cold water outside, but it won't hurt them.

Give Skunk-Off a try. We're pleased with it.