Doggone, that mutt smells foul ...
I have one other memory of being skunked. It was summer camp, circa 1968. Some of the counselors must have been to college, because they managed to de-scent this cute little guy they'd caged, and all I remember was a pile of rank towels and an intense, sharp smell that I could still conjure years later.
Kind of like the smell of our house right now.
Harley is a bouvier des Flandres, an eight-year-old, 100-pound rescue knucklehead who performs for food. He also spooks at the sight of a packed bag. Our son was preparing for a trip, then he and his mom went outside with flashlights, looking for his glasses, which he seemed to have remembered setting atop the car before he shot baskets. The dog pushed through the front door to join the search party.
They didn't find the glasses. Harley found something in the bushes.
It was near midnight - a time known around our household as pants o'clock - and no one really was thinking about the dog. Until he started making a strange sound and he tried to bury himself in the mulch and leaves.
Before anyone really thought too deeply, the dog roared back into the house, where he tried to bury himself in the dining room rug.
That's when we got our first proper whiff. It wasn't just skunk, it was this intense, industrial stank - super skunk. Harley had taken the business end of the skunk full-blast in his muzzle.
Thank God for the Internet. Found my way to gamebirdhunts.com and its recipe for getting skunk stank off a giant wet-mop of a dog. My wife made a paste of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dishwashing soap. I stood out in the rain in my underpants, dress shoes, and rubber gloves - hey, it was late and I was getting ready for bed - and worked the white goo into the places that smelled worst. After waiting 30 minutes per instructions, as my wife and son threw the dining-room rug into the bushes, we wrestled the dog upstairs and into the tub, where he enjoyed his first vinegar bath.
So we're down one rug and some sleep. The dog seems none the worse, though he smells like a funky salad. And I have a new smell to last for another 45 years of memory.
To quote Bob Ford, who offered Facebook sympathy:
Columnist Daniel Rubin writes each weekday at "The Talk," a news-of-the-moment page.