Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Boo-Boo: Skunked!

Skunks eat grubs. Did you know that? I like skunks better than Japanese beetles, whose larvae hide in my lawn and flower beds. So, if skunks are eating those, I guess I can like them for that reason. I really hate Japanese beetles, though, so you can imagine how little I like skunks.

However, in my world, as in yours I have no doubt, skunks and dogs do not mix. Meet Boo, the Great White Hunter. The horribly smelly, stinky, Great White Hunter. Small mammals -- BEWARE!

Boo is a white German shepherd-mystery mutt mix, rescued from a farmhouse where puppies were viewed with no affection whatsoever. When I found her, she was a miserable six-week-old with runny nose and eyes, flea-riddled and terrified of humans, especially men. She cowered whenever I got out the broom to sweep the floors. She hid from men as a pup and growled at them as an adult. Her tail was kinked and bald, as a steer had stepped on her in the barn where she and the other pups were living, their only solid food coming from table scraps that undoubtedly did not provide them with proper nourishment.

I feared it was a mistake to adopt one of these obviously troubled puppies, but my daughter insisted. We put the pup in a cardboard box and got in the car. On the way home, my daughter tried to come up with a name, "Princess! Beauty! Snowball!" All woeful misnomers. I glanced in the rear-view mirror at the pathetic creature peering out of the box and said, "Poor little boo-boo." When we got home and plopped the puppy at Gourdo's feet, a father's day present, he said, "Where'd you get this boo-boo?" I looked at our daughter and said, "Sorry, kiddo, I think we have the puppy's name: Boo it is."

Boo has been a challenge from the beginning, but she's family. I don't entirely trust her around small children or small animals. She no longer is quite so fierce (terrified) around men, but whenever she's nervous about anything she growls. She still casts a dubious eye at the broom, retreating to another room if I get within 10 feet of her with it. Roxy came to live with us when Boo was 4 and I was concerned about how Boo would treat her, but the relationship they've worked out has brought a lot of laughter into our lives. Roxy jumps on Boo, bites her, steals her food and toys--and Boo tolerates it all with uncharacteristic good humor. Roxy never does a thing without looking to see what Boo does first. Roxy has mellowed Boo and brought out her good side.

Anyway, I've digressed. Back to skunks.

The first skunk Boo encountered had wandered into our attached garage seeking garbage or maybe shelter. Boo cornered it behind the trash cans, and I thought it was a kitten. She dragged it from its hiding place by the scruff of the neck, and I was right behind her, yelling, "Drop it, Boo! Drop it!" My son, hearing the commotion from the house, opened the garage door just as I realized it wasn't a kitten but a skunk. I backpedaled out of the garage, shrieking, "CLOSE THE DOOR! CLOSE THE DOOR! SKUNK!"

Boo was sprayed. The garage was sprayed. The entire house reeked for weeks.

Apparently, Boo didn't remember that lesson earlier this week when she discovered a skunk in the woods. She came trotting home across the field from the woods--you know that happy jaunt dogs have with the wide, toothy grin and waving plume of tail? That was Boo. The stink preceded her like a breaker--no, a tsunami. Gourdo hosed her while I scrubbed with vinegar and dishwashing liquid. She spent a couple of days out of the house. I think we have most of it off her, though, as she's merely funky now, rather than skunky.

As ever, she is still our boo-boo. Boo photo by JulenaJo; skunk photo from Wikipedia.


  1. Such a sweet story of your Boo. Hopefully the smell will go away soon.

  2. Poor Boo, is a slow learner *chuckle*

  3. Oh, Ive been there...only it was my kids who got sprayed. They couldnt get on the school bus for a week!

  4. We've had a couple of close calls but have been lucky and not gotten sprayed. Poor Boo! I've heard that tomato juice is supposed to get the smell out but we haven't had to try that yet :)

  5. Poor Boo! and you.You would have really thought he had learned his lesson. Maybe he thought it was a kitten too.Makes my nose wiggle just thinking about the smell.:-)