Wednesday, July 27, 2011

his best behavior.....

my oldest daughter is spending 2 months in south america - why?  well, she is adventuresome and loves culture.  but she is/was actually doing a documentary covering cupa american soccer and is noting the cultural differences between fans in south america v. say, fans in the states.  if you have facebook you can see some of the reporting on her site brooke binkowski.
anyway, so what does this all have to do with a dog in a party hat wearing a dress carrying a purse?  well nothing directly.  indirectly, however, is another story.  it's there to remind certain members of the family, namely, grandchild to behave.   
my daughter's cement-brick of a pitbull named gracie (who is a boy) and is not too graceful (hence the name) came to stay with us for the remainder of the time brooke is away.  i have him now because before, well, before let's just say it takes a village.  he was looked after by his uncle and other grandma and he tired them out.  so here he is.
i love gracie.  i load him with heaps and heaps of affection because he is my only grandchild.  my own dog, dempsey, watches us from half closed eyes and turns his head away.  disgusted.  he doesn't think much of the rest of the family, i'm afraid.  the rest of the family meaning anyone after my husband.  who feeds him.  (i think that dempsey is kinda stuck-up).
anyway, gracie came to live with us....  within 30 minutes he smelled and terrorized a skunk who apparently lived under our house.  there was a lot of barking going on under there.  we use gas for our washer/dryer/stove, etc. a year ago gracie did something similar while we were away in italy and my daughter watched him at our house along with our pets.  somehow gracie caused a leak in our gas line.   it got repaired, but how scary is that?
so again today he was making similar wrecking ball/steam shovel/demolition sounds under there ignoring my pleading cries to come and to please stop.  it didn't sound good.  it meant trouble.  and it was.  i was wringing my hands with worry.
finally he strolled out wagging his tail and grinning as only pitbulls can do.  an odor was starting to arise.  i ignored it at first thinking it was merely the scared skunk's perfume.  it got more and more retched smelling until i nearly passed out.   i was answering emails when the smell overtook me and forced me  to call san diego gas and electric to report a possible leak.  
within 30 minutes sdg&e shows up.   from the road sdg&e man told me he smelled it.  omygod (hands still wringing) in this hot weather i was sure the house was going to blow.  the man got out his device that detects gas leaks.  within minutes he confirmed what he suspected - under our house was a skunk.   not a gas leak.   tell me something i don't know.  apparently they smell sortof similar.

the smell was traveling through our vents and cracks into our house structure.  and it lingers for frickin' ever.  not what i wanted to hear.
i consulted dr/vet/midwife/mr/soothsayer google.  i got a remedy for the house smell: 
this is what you do:
clear out skunk first
1.  identify where the skunk smell was most intense.  sdg&e man told me that at "ground zero" a point closest to where the skunk actually sprayed, you can't smell it.  so it's hard to find the epicenter so to speak.
2.  coax the skunk out from under your house........with what? cookies? and warm milk?
turns out there is a method - powder the entrance/exit with flour  
3. wait for dusk/darkness
4.  throw a smell bomb or two of  ammonia soaked paper towels into said epicenter (they don't like that smell)
5. later come out with a flash light and see if the skunk left tracks in the flour trap.  if so, close off any entrances/ holes/ open vents so that the skunk can't come back in.  ok this doesn't get rid of the odor, just the unwanted guest.
sounded painless enough. right?
so i did all this but saw no tracks.  hmmm.  i closed off the underhouse anyway.  afterall i didn't want more skunks finding their way to the apparent paradise under our house.  now i am worried we will smell skunk and dead animal soon.  eww.
finally i realized the smell was coming from the dog,  specifically near his mouth.   i can be a slow wit. the remedy for this is not tomato juice.  it's mixing  portions of hydrogen peroxide/baking soda / dish washing detergent/water.  lather up the dog and let it soak on him for 5 to 10 minutes.   wash his face (not eyes), also wash out his mouth.  ugh.
this worked.
meanwhile the house smells.  remedy: use "oust" spray (i didn't have any) or white vinegar and dish detergent to wipe everything down.  you need to rid the house of the smell oil - that's why grease cutting dish liquid is necessary.  wash all clothes that were worn at the height of the odor using the disinfectant selection on your machine.
i also powdered the carpet with a dusting pet smell eliminator. 
but the war was not over.  the smell was still clinging to everything - drapes, carpet, walls, furniture,  sofa cushions.  ugh ugh ugh.  
there was one last thing to do.... leave.   surrender and leave the house, go out to eat.  we just couldn't eat in that skunk house smell.  not without hurling.   we went to lido's our favorite family pizza joint for a bite and a respite and hoped the oust spray/ carpet powder/ wall washing/vacuuming/clothes washing would take effect.  fingers crossed.  maybe we won't hate the  smell so much after dinner.  
it was better but not perfect. 

did you know that city animal control is not in the business of picking up alive untame animals - like wild animals, well,  like skunk?  humphf.

i hope my own skunk trap works next time.  i also hope we don't smell dead animal carcass plus skunk fumes in the near future.  barfbarfbarf.

so, i have this painting of a matronly looking pitbull  in a party hat.  that's for him, that's for gracie to remind him to behave properly.  (i know its confusing to have gracie in a dress - i have been confused about him since met him 5 years ago).
good dogs don't go under people's houses and sniff around for trouble.  good dogs don't bark and corner  frightened animals found under the house.   good dogs don't tromp the smell all over the house either.  good dogs behave nicely.

just thinkin' before i go to sleep...... did you know that italy has skunks too?  how did they get over there?  did they just spontaneously appear in different continents?  

ugh.  i think i will drink that tomato juice myself.  i bet i will feel better.  maybe with a tad of vodka. a celery stick.......

1 comment:

Joy Logan said...

Ewwwwww that must be the worst smell. I've only smelled one from a car window,driving thru the country.

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