I was in that sleep state where your brain is processing external noises - and smells, but you're still slumbering. I was getting irritated because it seemed that the dog had been pacing the deck, barking and howling for hours, and I also knew that my bride had been in and out of bed a number of times. I opened my eyes. It was time to put the dog in her kennel so that we could get some sleep…. and, what the hell was that nauseating smell?
I walked out of the bedroom and declared, "okay, it's kennel time". The dog and Lori were now in the living room; our 100 lb. "puppy" was jumping around like a Jack Russell Terrier - and Lori was laughing. "What is so humorous, it's one-thirty in the morning", I asked my wife. The distinctive odor of a skunk was now overpowering.
She told me that she had already tried the kennel idea and it didn't work. Because Lilly had been so anxious and barking, Lori leashed her and attempted to take her to the back yard for a look around and a pit stop. As soon as the door to the back yard was opened, Lilly bolted through the door and dragged Lori into the kennel, barking and snarling at some unseen threat. That's when Lori noticed the streak of white… Lilly had a skunk in her mouth and was shaking it viciously; the skunk never had a chance.
I was instructed to look out the back window and even in the dim light, I could pick out the skunk carcass lying very still in the yard.
Lilly (a.k.a Lilly LePew
) was still pacing the room, growling and letting us know she was not happy to be inside and the eau de skunk was unbearable - and getting worse. In hindsight, it is hard to believe that Lilly could hear or smell an animal on the other side of the house stealing her dog food. But that little malodorous critter is what was bothering Lilly for hours before she gained her new reputation as a slayer of skunks.
I figured that the only way to lessen the smell was to give the skunk a Viking's funeral and burn the carcass, so I proceeded to build a fire in the fire-pit we have in the back yard. It was now after two o'clock in the morning and we were burning a body - after I had shot it to make sure it was not playing possum. It wasn't.
While the skunk baked, I used the garden hose to wash down everything within range and Lori sponged down "killer dog" with a solution of hydrogen peroxide, dishwashing liquid and baking soda. Thank God the Internet was still open at this hour and Lori's search uncovered a potion guaranteed to remove skunk smell from the dog.
By five o'clock that morning, the funeral pyre had died down enough that I could leave it unattended, and Lilly seemed to be pleased that the skunk was no longer visible or stinking up her neighborhood. Although the skunk was now history, Lilly's double coat of long hair wouldn't quite give-up the smell as advertised. It was better, but our baby still has a lingering heady aroma a week after she snuffed that poor skunk. (pic at right is skunk prior to ignition)
Although we were back in bed around five, we were only able to sleep for a couple of hours. We had to call our veterinarian and the Animal Control office to find out if there was anything we needed to do as a result of last night's escapade. That's when I learned that I should not have torched the skunk
. It seems that they need to examine the skunk's brain to determine if it is rabid - and we had no brain left to test. However, we did learn that no case of rabies in skunks had been discovered in our part of the state in more than fifteen years and Lilly's shot card was up to date. Animal Control did take a precautionary measure and imposed a thirty-day house arrest on Lilly. We were not supposed to take her out of the county or let her mingle with other animals while she did her time in this lock-down quarantine.
... and now you know the story of our skunk-slaying Great Pyrenees