After some time away from the blog, I figure it’s time to knock the rust off and do some writing. I mainly like to write about mechanical things but need to venture to another interest – critters. This is a current story about Ruby, our dachshund/terrier mix dog that is not afraid to bring a knife to a gun fight. She is always willing to take on formidable K9 acquaintances, yet can be intimidated by cute little puppies. She came into our family as a rescue pup, and is very personable to her people, showing no favoritism and is very patient with children.
The backdrop of this hell-hole of an incident (at the time) is my in-laws' home in a nice subdivision where we were staying during our move. Our family’s nightly dog maintenance routine was to turn Ruby out for her nightly ritual in the backyard. We noticed for several nights preceding the incident that incessant barking would ensue – a tip off of what was yet to come.
It is during one of these routine pit-stops where Ruby had a family reunion of sorts with a fellow black-and-white friend. She managed a good “dusting” from the skunk on her first encounter. It didn’t take much imagination to determine a good scrubbing was on the books. I proceeded to fill the tub and scour the dog down with the ole wives' tale of tomato juice (didn’t help much) shampoos, and Dawn dish soap, which was best at helping cut the oil out of the fur. There was still odor present, but at least it was somewhat bearable. It was good that this happened first as it was the dress rehearsal of what was yet to come.
A week or so later, the same series of events transpired with more memorable results. As Ruby voiced her mind to the odoriferous rodent, she took one point blank, a laser-guided stink bomb hit from the small woodland creature. Though she was successful at demonstrating how loud her bark could be up close, Pepe Le Pew in turn demonstrated his natural defense mechanism in great detail. After their little posturing of strength was over, she was let into the house, us not knowing she had been perfumed. By the time the smell hit my nostrils, she was already bunkered in under the bed, soaked with skunk oil.
I remember very well peering through my tear-filled eyes, nose draining like a small roof leak in a heavy rain, and noticing Ruby was doing the very same thing as we were doing our best to control our gag reflexes. Thanks to the attention to detail of the architect who designed the house, the toilet was in close proximity to the bathtub in case I needed to multitask. Multiple scrubbings were necessary to apply another coat of shampoo, tomato juice, or Dawn depending on if she was considered a dog, drink or dishes at the time. The dishwashing liquid and tomato juice looked most unfavorable in the tub during gagging. The skunk oil gave me flashbacks to handling pesticides on the farm – the skunk oil penetrated my skin, resulting in the taste in my mouth and smell in my nose. Ruby smelled for more than six months before gradually fading.
After all the hullabaloo we may ask has Ruby learned her lesson? I doubt it, as she is still pretty sure of herself and runs and barks at every critter she finds. I say she’s probably like one of her owners – when something is in your blood, there is very little that can stifle the enthusiasm.