I'm an early riser, especially when there's a science paper, history book, or news article I want to read. My life is very busy and I don't have the time or energy to read unless I get up early and make time.
So, it was with some satisfaction that I woke early, got up, and made coffee this morning, looking forward to catching up on all the hurricane and political news.
(I don't much like reading about the hardships people are facing with this hurricane, or about all the partisan attacks this election season, but I feel a responsibility to know it, and I was upset I hadn't time earlier this week to find out about it all.)
But then Ernie the Womerlippi sheepdog came downstairs too, and in the way of all dogs, had to be let out to piddle. I went out with him, and he went off into the shadows to do his thing. I was admiring the moon and stars as usual, when there came a short "wuff", and then, before I could stop it (because I knew instinctively that it was a skunk), the unmistakeable squeal of a dog getting a full facial dose of skunk spray, followed by the almost physical shock of the skunk odor permeating the dooryard.
Stupid bloody dog! Arrggghhh!
Clearly the skunk we'd evicted from the barn last weekend was still around and looking to wreak revenge for his eviction. Horrible, nasty, peevish little pole-cat.
But now what?
It was only around five am, and Aimee was fast asleep still. Not wanting to wake her, I put Ernie on the porch, and went back to my newspapers and coffee.
But the skunk smell began to creep into the house. And, of course, a husband that might be blamed for skunking up a dog and a porch is one thing, but a husband blamed for skunking up the inside of the house, on the first day of a nice weekend off, to boot, well, that's no husband at all.
So I duly got up and gently woke Aimee and told her what was up and what all the banging and noise and smell would be about and then told her to go back to sleep, which she did.
Then I carried multiple buckets of hot water out to the dooryard, where the dog's washtub sits. Ernie got a good scrubbing with the skunk shampoo. (Which was, indeed, right there under the sink, as per last weekend's wifely advice.) Flame also got a good scrub. The two dogs went into the garage to dry off, no ifs, ands or buts, while I pulled out the porch rug and hung it on a fence rail for the rain and wind to take care of. Then I sluiced out the porch with five gallons of the left-over skunk shampoo water. This was left for a while, hopefully for the remaining active chemical to do its work.
While I waited, I took a shower and threw my skunky clothes in the washer. Then I dried off the porch floor with the skunky dog towel, and threw all the cleaning and dog-scrubbing accoutrements out on the lawn to deal with later, once the daylight arrived.
It was during the final besoming of the porch floor, when I was sweating on my hands and knees, that our neighbor drove by. I'm not sure what he thought was going on, with the yard lit up like a Christmas tree and Mick on the porch floor scrubbing and sweating at five in the morning.
But, in mustelid emergencies like this, you can't be too worried about what the neighbors think.
Has the smell gone? So far, so good. I think we'll need to launder the futon cover on the porch futon, but the worst seems to be over. And that cover needs to be laundered every couple months, skunk or no.
Meanwhile, with almost full daylight, Aimee sleeps on still, completely blissfully, restfully unaware.
What a good husband. Do you think I'll get credit?
And don't you just hate skunks in the dooryard? I do.