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Shelby Got Skunked
Why can’t dogs and skunks be friends?
Trouble in black and white.

Last night, after a long work day, my husband and I finally sat down to dinner at 9 p.m. Just as we eagerly lifted a forkful of food to our mouths, Brian wrinkled his nose and said, "Do you smell skunk?" And then in unison, our eyes wide, "WHERE'S SHELBY!?!"

Ah yes, it’s that time of year again when our Pit-Bull mix, Shelby, goes skunk hunting. We live on a fenced half acre, but that doesn’t deter skunks from sneaking onto our property and burrowing under the old chicken coop. Shelby is an amazingly persistent hunter; no matter how much she is sprayed, she goes for the kill.

As soon as I opened the back door, whew! There was no mistaking the skunk bomb in our yard. Shelby darted past us into the house, frothing at the mouth and desperate to find a rug or comforter to wipe her snout and take away the sting. Brian immediately grabbed her and lead her to the bathtub. I searched for a bottle of Nature’s Miracle skunk remover but couldn’t find it. We must’ve used it up last year. So I settled for the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide recipe on the Internet. No matter what solution we use, we have yet to find something that completely removes the odor.

Over the years, when I share my Shelby skunk stories, people tell me theirs, too. My absolute favorite is compliments of my friends, Dave and Rosie. Their property backs up to a wetland area, so they use an invisible fence to contain their American Eskimo Dog, Shadowfax. One evening, around dusk, Rosie glanced out the window just to check on Shadowfax and was shocked to see her running up and down the property line with her new friend, a skunk! I sure wish Shelby would make friends like that - clearly, it's not in her nature.

Has your dog ever had a run-in with a skunk? If so, have you discovered the best solution to get rid of that smell?



Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

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Submitted by Eric Goebelbecker | July 16 2009 |

Our Pit Mix Sally (RIP) was skunked in our yard. It was awful - she must have had her mouth open, so she was sick and she stank to high heaven.

Sally had bad luck with critters. She was skunked very badly that time, not quite so badly another, and was bit by a hedgehog on her toe. I finally had to fortify the bottom of our fence, as there seemed to a "Pushover Dog This Way" sign outside it.

We used the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide recipe, but it didn't really completely remove the smell. We also gave her tomato juice to drink, which seemed to settle her stomach. (Notice how this stuff always seems to happen late at night on weekends?)

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