Monday, 22 March 2010


rain, snow, sleet, temps 2

Well, it finally happened. Trudy got skunked. Which pretty much means Michael, I and our home got skunked. And the car.


The day was actually going very well. Long day writing, but it went well. Was on a roll - did almost 3,000 words then stopped about 2:30 - tired. The plan then was to take Trudy out, walk around the pond, get the mail, do the blog, answer some emails, do some chores then have a long, hot bath.


We got around the pond, got the mail and Trudy and I were heading for home when she suddenly too off for the side of the house. Yelped. Then came running back, shaking her head and foaming at the mouth.

I was extremely worried - didn't think it was a skunk but thought she might have gotten something that perhaps poisoned her. Didn't know know what - but she was very upset and, as I say, foaming.

Then I smelled it.


It actually didn't smell like skunk. it smelled very pungent, very musky. But not the classic skunk. So at first I thought it was something else. I was wrong. And - I made a few stupid mistakes! Like taking her into the house and washing her mouth out with the kitchen. Not carrying that the water was going all over the kitchen area rug.

Now I care.

then I took her into the mud room and started washing her. - Trudy of course kept skaking - spraying skunk water all over. Including me. We finally - and way belatedly - called Pat and Tony who gave us the magic anti-skunk formula:

1 pint peroxide
1 tablespoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of dishwasher liquid

The problem was we only had the soap. So we put trudy in the pen out back and I jumped into the car and headed into town. About halfway there I started smelling skunk in the car. The new car. The new Mercedes. Which Michael loves more than life.


At the pharmacy a whole lot of people wanted to help me find my stuff...and leave.

Then off to the post office - and again, express service. Hmmm. I plan to speak to Lise about developing a skunk spray designed for impatient people. It's gonna be big, I tell ya. Huge.

Driving home I decided I needed to open the front windows, then the back. Desperate to get rid of the smell before Michael got into the car tomorrow morning. I was about 5 kilometers from home, all the windows wide open.

then the rain started. And the sleet.

when I got home it was upstairs into the shower, with Trudy...and me. Both getting hosed down. And you know what??! The magic formula worked.

Of course, now the rest of the house stinks. Trudy's the sweetest smelling thing in it.

Such is life in the country.

Off to breakfast tomorrow with Joan to celebrate her birthday. Then Lise is coming over for a meeting, here at World Headquarters. Then writing tomorrow afternoon.

God, even sitting here in the TV room blogging I can smell skunk.



Suzy said...

Dear Louise,
Laughing out loud at the skunk antics. Tomato juice also works well on a dog .... just to be clear...outside, rub in well, than bathe the critter. (I was picturing tomato juice sprayed all over your mud room by a shaking dog..) As for the lingering smell...Fabrize fabric spray. If you use it on leather upholstery, spray lightly on a cloth so it doesn't spot. It might take two applications. Good Luck!

hilary said...

Thanks to you, Louise, for being so supportive. Three years ago I wrote you in the growing pains of my first mystery. Today, I have an offer from a publisher, and feel unburdened from the queries, synopses, bios, blurbs, the 250 or 500 or 1000 words. Now, it's just all about the book. And encouragement for others: the response took 14 months. Those months disappeared today.


Reen said...

BioWorld Odor Neutralizer (BON) neutralizes the skunk odor. I discovered this on a trip to a hog farm in Iowa- worst smell in the world. The farmers spray it everywhere, and it works- not just a cover up. You can order it online. Thank God for giving us dogs who make our life interesting. Kendall says woof.

lil Gluckstern said...

I've heard about the tomato juice, but your formula can be applied to floors, and other good things. Febreze really works for odors. Your life is mostly lovely, and certainly never boring...

Anonymous said...

Sparky and Gracie have been sprayed too many times! The peroxide formula is the only one that works, and it works best if you use it immediately. Now I buy the peroxide in bulk at my local Sam's Club.

Our worst experience with skunk spray happened the first time Sparky got sprayed - I let him out early in the morning, then quickly called him in when I started smelling THAT smell. He ran upstairs and back under our bed - his favorite sleeping spot. Thirty minutes later the smell had not abated and I carefully opened the back door - just a crack - to see if the creature had camped out on the deck. The air was clean and fresh - nothing like the horrid stink inside the house. Yup - he took a direct hit between the eyes and was under my bed totally stinking up the house. We had to get all the carpets and upholstery cleaned, wash all the bedding, wash all our clothes, and leave the windows open for a few days. It was awful.

Thanks for making me laugh about that experience, and good luck with Trudy - and the car.

Susan Fish said...

1. Call it fodder and use it in the new book.
2. You didn't have baking soda?
3. Deep, deep sympathy. Gack indeed.

Dana said...

Always have peroxide and baking soda around, but for some mysterious reason can run out of dish soap (and toilet paper) without any warning.
Thanks for sharing Trudy's adventure, and please let us know how the Mercedes makes out.


Darlene said...

Sorry to be repetitive, but having had a 95-lb. Siberian Husky who was skunked between the eyes, and a Brittany who suffered the same fate, I keep all the necessary ingredients, peroxide, baking soda and dish soap, on hand all the time. That deskunking solution is unquestionably the very best!

Congratulations, Hilary!

Diane said...

Funny story about the skunk incident - from a reader's perspective of course. Thanks for sharing the cure, have put it in my favourites hoping never to have to use it.

Congrats Hilary, gives hope for all those 'nays' I've been getting from my queries. I agree, Louise's support of new writers is wonderful, helps to carry one over rejection hill.


Jeff B. (Cleveland) said...

My own dog got hit twice, both while I was visiting my parents (about 20 miles from my home), which meant I had to drive home in my car with the dog. The first time, I used the old 'tomato juice' cure (which didn't work - the new version you used works MUCH better), but my white bathroom looked like a scene from a horror movie whan my long-haired dog began to shake the tomato juice over the white tub walls. I also discovered that, just when you think the stink is out of your house, the weather will turn rainy and ALL the smells are born again. Only time will help.

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

Oh, it is a riot to read all your experiences - and know I'm not alone! I knew we weren't the first people ever to have a dog skunked but I had suspected I was firly unique in letting the dog into the house! Honestly, I might as well have put a leash around the skunk and adopted it.

Place less smelly. I think. Deanna, who came in and gave the place a good cleaning thinks I might have snorted so much skunk I can no longer tell. I knew something was up when i walked into a room she as in, sniffed and said, oh, smells good. She looked at me like I was nuts.

Thanks for the Febreeze suggestion...and the BioWorld.

But mostly thanks for telling me about all your stinky dogs.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dearest Hilary,

Oh, I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I am for you! you are the perfect example of someone who worked hard, wrote a wonderful book...and then didn't give up! That last part is so crucial. And often the differnce between a published and unpublished writer.

I'm SO happy for you. And I remember that great relief too - not having to send out effin query letters again.

Oh, Hilary - well done. And thank you for thinking to write and tell me. Congratulations.