My dear wife Karen let out Ellie B in the backyard for a few minutes just when the sun was setting Monday night.
I heard the bark, the frantic one, the I’ve-got-an-animal-bothering-me pitch. I heard Karen calling my name with an equal amount of panic.
I smelled the hint of trouble as I saw my wife waving the broomstick and the dog stalking the butterfly garden fence and the black-and-white flash inside, among the plants.
Skunk, not gopher. It liked that spot under the shed and the butterfly garden, too, vacated after we’d trapped the other furry and carted it off to other places. Pepe was pretty patient, dishing a small spray to the dog, hitting her in the face and front end.
Down the steps and to the garden fence, I hooked the dog’s collar and dragged her up to the screened porch. Karen brought out the Nature’s Miracle and hydrogen peroxide, and we poured them onto rags and took our time rubbing Ellie B where she’d been skunked. We spend a half-hour, 45 minutes, longer, patiently working the smell out of our dog’s fur.
Mostly, it worked.
She smelled some, but we had to let her in the house.
Then we read up on how to rid yourself of an urban skunk.
On the way home from work Tuesday night, I stopped at the Valu Home Center and bought a box of moth balls and a Halogen Light.
I spread the camphor underneath the shed, and we focused the beam of the work light on the shed and the butterfly garden. Skunks are nocturnal. The online literature says keep the beam on in the yard all night, four days in a row. It says spread the moth balls where the skunks like to hang out. Check. Check.
It also says they don’t like urine. I think maybe …
We can’t let Ellie B out in the backyard by herself until we know that skunk is gone, gone, gone. Our previous beloved rescue mutt, Lissa, was skunked in this very backyard twice. We know the skunks love to hang under that shed. I’ve got to figure a way to block those couple inches from ground to shed. Solid blocks from Lowes on Saturday, maybe, laid down after operation Skunk Be Gone is successful.
Our good neighbor Lorraine suggests we could put the same humane trap that caught the gopher out, find out the proper bait, and drape a cover over top to keep the skunk calm to drive it away.
I do not trust that strategy.
We will win and recapture the yard nevertheless. Again.
Has a pet of yours ever tangled with a skunk? How would describe the skunk smell? Would you put a skunk in a trap in your car and trust it not to spray?