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Prairie Ramblings Episode
Thu December 20, 2012
Clearing the Air
In China that was the year of the horse or sheep or some such beast. Around my country home, it was the fall of the skunk.
Driving up our 1/8 mile long entry road the other night, I counted four black and white creatures in my headlights. Since those were visible, who knows how many stinky little pests ran around outside my vision.
By four a.m. the next morning, I knew one was even closer to the house. All four of us woke up gagging and choking from acrid fumes released within feet or maybe inches of our bedrooms. I thought for sure one of the dogs had received a direct hit, a too frequent occurrence.
After discovering our eldest daughter choking her way upstairs, hoping to find fresher air in her sister’s bedroom, I braved opening the door to see which dog had been assaulted. Imagine my surprise when both pooches registered a clean air report.
Who knows what triggered that attack. As smelly as it was, maybe two skunks ran into each other and decided to let loose. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any more sleep that morning.
Afterwards, I smelled that acrid scent everywhere I went. At first I thought it was in my head. Then I got to the school parking lot only to realize I was, indeed, smelling skunk.
One had apparently fired near my car, and now I was bringing that scent into town. The bad news was I had parked my car in the garage.
That night, my husband had his own incident. The garage skunk. We decided to keep the dogs in and away from skunks that night. Sometime during the early morning hours, they barked and growled threateningly at the living room wall shared by the garage. My husband investigated and discovered something rattling around the garage.
After flipping on the garage light, he was face to face with our prowler--yes, a skunk. Choosing the wise path, he backed out of the garage and raced outside to open the door so the inquisitive beast could depart scentlessly. That night ended without crisis. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the next.
Our new pup has had several run-ins with skunks while running around the property. With so many striped beasts around, it was inevitable she would get sprayed again. Yes, the very next night found us making up a concoction of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish detergent to de-scent our pet.
Our big yellow dog had his own run-in with old Pepe Le Pew--only he didn’t want anything to do with our skunk removal solution. Left to his own devices, he rolled in creek mud until he looked like a swamp creature. While he smelled better because of his odor reduction treatment, no one, to his surprise, wanted him in the house.
Right now, I am waiting eagerly for cold weather. I know when it comes, skunks begin their winter sleep. I know they don’t really hibernate, but a long dormancy period will certainly clear the air around this house.