Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stink. Stank. Skunked.

So, one of the downsides of having a farm with animals is that they somehow attract other, wild animals. Case in point: Monday night, after having shoveled Bronte and Scout outside to settle the chicks in, I let them back in for the night...along with the distinct scent of something foul. I had smelled it around the house earlier in the evening and assumed it was a skunk. Unfortunately, it was not. It was Bronte, who was sprayed by a skunk. As she waddled through the door, her zaftig body brushed along every surface in the house, dappling it with odor. Choking and eyes burning, I shooed her back outside and tried to stop heaving. Obviously, she wouldn't be sleeping on the bed that night.

Since it was only 17 degrees outside, I lured her into the garage with food and fluffed up an old comforter for her. When I opened the door in the morning, the smell once again blasted me, and I thought maybe a good dose of outdoor life would help those awful molecules lift from her fur.

But come to find out it doesn't really work that way. The smell lessened by day's end, enough for me to let Bronte in the house but not enough for her to get her usual lovin'. By Friday she still stank, and with Mike out of town, I tried to enlist my parents to help hold her down in the tub while I rubbed her down with tomato juice. With my bad back and my mom's bad knees, we were in no shape to handle a slithering wet animal with all of her claws.

Instead I traumatized her and Scout, who had cuddled with Bronte and picked up the smell on her fur,  by stuffing them in cardboard boxes and trekking them 20 minutes over to my parents' house, where a mobile pet grooming van awaited. (While a mobile unit is a fabulous idea and convenient for many clients, I unfortunately live in an area where we have limited services of nearly every kind, despite living near Kansas' No. 1 tourist destination, a popular low-priced furniture store, retail and entertainment mecca, burgeoning world-class water park, baseball park and racetrack. We just got our first grocery store this fall when Walmart opened.)

Bronte popped out of her box five minutes into the drive, and no doubt rubbed herself all over my brand new car. She proceeded to hide under the seat once we arrived to her appointment then hid behind a table when we got her inside. Anna Gepson, local franchise owner of Aussie Pet Mobile, coaxed her out then snapped one of those humiliating plastic rings around Bronte's head, dipped her in the tub, sprayed her down, lathered her up and blew her dry.


Bronte actually handled it quite well, only making a break for it a few times, and came out smelling like a rose...well, like shampoo, although a residual skunky smell remains by her left cheek, which is probably where she took the direct hit and where Anna didn't scrub as much to avoid the eyes.

Six loads of laundry consisting of everything she touched later, the house is back to normal, and I can get back to lovin' on my fur baby. My husband sure is missing out...funny or coincidence?

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