close encounters of the skunk kind

Ginger wanted to go out, so I let her out and went back into the living room to watch tv with Mom and Dad. Maybe four minutes after I let her out, I smelled that rotten garlicky smell—it came in waves. The wave got to Stanley first so by the time I was getting up to run to the door, he was already there trying to cope with a frantic red 85-pound bundle of smell.

The key was to keep her from running into the living room and ruining the rug and the loveseat, so initially we got her into the downstairs bathroom. I was hoping she’d rub on the rugs in there since I want to get new ones (never, ever get fluffy white rugs for a heavy-use bathroom—what was I thinking?) but alas, she did not. So we hustled her upstairs to the bathroom with the tub. Stanley grabbed the skunk off and we worked on neutralizing the worst of it—the critter got Ginger in her mouth and mostly on the left side of her head, including inside her ear—but there was oily nastiness all over her head. Poor thing.

Stanley went downstairs to get the white vinegar and her bath towels, and we proceeded to soak her and then scrub her down with shampoo and this herbal dog soap that smells wonderful.

Meanwhile, Mom and Dad went to bed. I am so, so happy they closed their bedroom door earlier in the day because I just know Ginger would’ve ended up in the middle of the bed because that’s the place she goes whenever she’s distressed about anything.

What an embarrassing thing to have happen. Stanley and I worked for days and days trying to get the house in as good shape as possible—Stanley painted as much of the bedroom as he could and he repaired the ceiling so it would look as nice as possible in there for Mom and Dad. And though the front room still has lots of boxes in there, we reduced the number to about one-third of what was there. We vacuumed and cleaned and washed all the quilts and dusted and dusted and dusted. There’s still a lot of work we’re doing on the house, but at least it is clean and it did smell good. Pleasant, even, I think.

And we were having a nice, relaxing evening, picked up some Chinese from Little Kitchen in Westport (oh, excuse me, I think it’s Asian Fusion or something like that now—but whatever, the food is great), watching funny Brit sitcoms on PBS, playing with the cats and sneaking pieces of chicken to Ginger. I didn’t even get to say goodnight to my parents—they fled to the bedroom as soon as we got Ginger into the tub (truth be told, they were getting ready to go to bed, anyway—but smelly chaos is not exactly sleep-inducing.) So the evening ended in stench. Our nice, clean house is now our nice, clean, stink-o-rama house.

Stanley looked up skunk stench remedies, and one guy said they use Febreze. So, since despite the skunk off stuff, the vinegar, and the shampoo, we can still smell it on her right ear, we used a bit of Febreze. I’m sure we’ll have to giver her another bath tomorrow evening. I guess that means we’re going up to Boston on Sunday—we have to finish shopping (not much—but enough) and deal with the dog. Unless my sister really wants or needs us up there Saturday evening for some reason. Mom and Dad are taking their own car up there anyway since they want to leave from Boston on Wednesday to go down to Florida.

Guess I’ll go find Slink and play with him for a bit before I wash the dishes (which I can’t do until the towels are done washing).

It’s been a wild couple of weeks—and this is only stuff I’ve been dealing with. Stanley has his own set of maddening events. But today, until the Skunk v Dog main event, was a lot of fun. I thought so, anyway.

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