Finally. The scourge passed. All the children were back to health and tucked into bed on Monday night. With a sigh of relief I threw out the empty ginger ale bottles and saltine wrappers. I was anxious to get our lives back.
Two a.m. Napoleon was sleeping soundly on my feet when he woke with a start. He flew off the bed, his little Yorkie feet pitter-pattering down the stairs. In my groggy state I assumed he was headed for the pizza crust in the garbage, or perhaps a midnight sprinkling on my carpet. (Oh, how I love this dog …)
Moments later I heard him outside, barking like crazy. I stormed down the stairs, muttering my usual tirade, cursing the day we brought his little Ewok butt home. I flicked on the backyard light to see him zipping all over the grass, sniffing feverishly. I tried my best to coax him inside. He wouldn’t hear of it. I needed shoes. Who knows what lurks in the grass at night? I slipped on some flip-flops and stormed out to grab him. He darted away from me, disappearing behind a lattice in the corner of the yard.
I heard a rustle of leaves and a skirmish going on. He emerged, sputtering and shaking his shaggy head. “Noooooo! Not again!” In a panic I realized our sliding glass door was wide open. He was making a break for it! In my flip-flops I tore to the door, making it just in time, slamming it shut right in front of his skunked little snout. I knew what he was thinking. He raced around to the other side of the house, hoping to get in through the garage. I took the shortcut through the house, closing the door and trapping him in the garage, but it was too late.
Unknowingly, I had been standing within skunking range and had been contaminated as well. Within minutes, our entire home was enveloped in a peppery, spicy, burning funk that permeated our noses and mouths. Everywhere I went, I stunk up the joint. I heard Napoleon scratching at the door. I considered giving him a bath, but I remembered the words of my pet groomer the last time this happened: “Don’t get him wet!” Within minutes, every member of the family was up and groaning. OMG! Who got skunked?
It was the worst night of my life. I showered twice, brushed my teeth and gargled. It didn’t help. We didn’t know whether to open or close the windows. We cranked up all the ceiling fans but ended up freezing and breathing into towels. I felt bad for the dog but we couldn’t take the chance of further contaminating our house.
We didn’t sleep. I couldn’t wait for the morning to come, but what happened overnight was even worse. Our garage, and everything in it, including my SUV, piles of laundry, all the kids’ backpacks, holiday decorations, assorted rugs and a plush rocking horse, was saturated with the pungent stench of skunk, and had quadrupled in strength!
Raising the garage door was akin to opening a thousand-year-old crypt. The skunkage filtered out into the court, causing my neighbors leaving for work to roll up their car windows and speed away. My 13-year-old son left for school complaining that his back pack stunk, but I assured him it would air out once he got to school.
It didn’t. When my son arrived at school, he was immediately shunned by his peers. His good friend Kevin tried to de-stink him by spraying large amounts of Axe For Men on him, but that only made matters worse. I got a call about 30 minutes after school started. It was my son. The teacher had told him he had to go home. She said he was stinking up the classroom. Oh that’s not humiliating for an eighth-grade boy.
Napoleon’s fate was even worse. The groomer had no choice but to shave his entire body. He now looks like a cross between an overweight Chihuahua and a bat, and it cost me $100!
I’ve decided to stock up on horseshoes and four-leaf clovers folks. What will next week bring, killer bees?