Monday, August 20, 2012
Last night, for the first time in weeks, it was cool enough that we didn't need to have the air conditioner on.
We slept with the windows open and a small electric fan. At about 1:00 am, I woke up to an overpowering smell.
Now, we knew what had been digging up our front lawn for the past week. Ew!
While I tried to go back to sleep, I remembered another close encounter of the stinky kind that happened more than ten years ago.
My husband had just started a new job and he was on a business trip (for some reason, I think he was in Dallas, but it doesn't really affect my story). I got up early, fed our miniature dachshund and let him out. A few moments later, I heard him shriek in terror.
With my heart in my throat, I ran to the back door and opened it. The tiny dog raced past me and I immediately knew what must have happened.
He'd been skunked!
His eyes were swollen nearly shut and he reeked. I mean, he REEKED. Before I could stop him, he had run into our TV room and rubbed his fur all along the carpet, the base of our couch, then up and onto all the throw pillows.
I finally corralled him and got him back into the kitchen, which I gated. Too late though. Our TV room was drenched in eau de skunk. By now, it was time to wake up my daughter and get her ready for preschool.
Positioning the whole thing as a game ("Let's eat breakfast in bed, sweetie!"), I brought fruit and a bagel up with me. We got ready without going down into the back of the house or anywhere near the kitchen. We left through the front door. After depositing her at preschool, I headed home to try to deal with the mess. First, I opened all the windows and stripped everything out of the TV room, propping up pillows out on the patio in the hopes that they might air out. Next, I ran across to our neighborhood's gourmet grocery and bought 6 large bottles of tomato juice. I had heard somewhere (actually, I think I once saw it on The Partridge Family) that bathing in said beverage would get rid of the smell. I filled the kitchen sink and plopped our poor pooch in the stuff.
Trust me, you have never seen a canine so miserable in your life. The whole scene looked like something out of a horror movie. Weiner Dog Bloodbath from Beyond.
And once my beloved little dog was rinsed and dried, he still smelled like skunk. Now though, he smelled like skunk cocktail. It may have worked for Keith and Laurie, Danny, Shirley, Tracy and Chris, but not so much for us. Thanks, anyway.
The dog wasn't the only one who smelled ... er ... less than fresh. When our babysitter went to pick up my daughter mid-afternoon, she noticed a rather ripe odor. "It smells like skunk," she told the preschool teacher. "Shhh ..." came the response, and the woman mouthed and pointed to my girl, "It's her." So much for getting out of the house unscathed.
Eventually, some significant time and money later, we were able to eradicate the skunky smell. The process involved, steam-cleaning, dry-cleaning, and some additional (tomato juice-free) baths for the dog. But, the memory, if not the scent, remains.
Some memories are sweet. Some are sad. Some simply stink.