De-Skunk Your Dog

Skunk Dog

De-Skunk Your Dog

Dear Friends,

While In the Doghouse is a work of fiction, I did draw from my personal experience as a pet-parent to create Skip’s personality and escapades, such as GETTING SPRAYED BY A SKUNK.

My dog, Kimo, who I pet-parented and adored for fourteen years, was a labrador-mix and was sprayed multiple times by skunks in San Francisco (yes, there are many skunks within the city limits).

People, tomato juice does not work–that’s an urban legend. Multiple baths won’t work–water makes the smell worse. But thanks to the dot-com era and the world wide web in 1999-2000, I found a De-Skunk formula that worked like magic. The first time I tried it, I was shocked by how quickly it worked; the smell was gone immediately. I channeled the memory while writing a scene for In the Doghouse. I’ll share the scene at the end of this newsletter. Right now, I want to share the De-Skunk Formula with you:

De-Skunk Your Dog formula

It’s true; all you have to do is mix together 32 oz. of hydrogen peroxide (the over-the-counter, brown bottles), 1/4 cup of baking soda, and a teaspoon of liquid dish soap. DO NOT GET YOUR DOG WET. Do not include water in this mixture.

Put on some rubber dish gloves, mix the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap, and lather it all over your dog. It will make a difference immediately. You don’t need to keep the mixture on your dog long. As soon as you’ve lathered him/her up, NOW use water to rinse your pooch off. Until this point, keep water away from your dog as water multiplies the thiols in the skunk’s spray (see the scene I share below for more clarity). Dry off your dog and his/her fur will be as soft as a puppy’s.

I know some of you want to share your skunk-spray stories with me. Please do! Special thanks to the Bookmasters Bookclub in Carson City, Nevada, for reading In the Doghouse and asking me to share this formula.

By the way, I’ll be sending an extra email this week about how pet-parents can enter a contest with DOGTV for “2020 Dog Mom of the Year.” There are some awesome prizes. Skip has a lot to say about DOGTV in the novel, In the Doghouse.

Until next time, thanks for being you. Stay home, healthy, happy, and skunk-free. And please feel free to share this newsletter with your friends–they will love you forever.


Chapter 13
The Truth Hurts

Manny points downstairs. “Out!”

No way, I’m not going back out there. Are you nuts? The skunk may have gotten his stinky-ass friends. There could be a skunk posse out there. I’m defenseless. If you and Tank have been wanting a piece of me, now’s your chance.

Just then, Tank pokes his head out the door but shakes his head as if trying to dislodge the stink in the air and returns to the safe recesses of his home, which I imagine smells pleasant.

No threat from him.

Manny bends over and inspects the food bag where the skunk had dug in.

Despite my excellent hearing, either Manny is an expert mumbler or the skunk has destroyed my sense of hearing. I can’t understand what he says.

“Skip,” Manny says loud and clear.

I’m sick to my stomach and desperate for water. I ignore Manny and take a drink of water and immediately regret it. The water has triplicated the skunk spray in my nose and mouth. I gag and gag.

Manny! Call 911!

“You bonehead,” Manny says. “I’m trying to help you. Come.”

What else can I do but follow him downstairs? He’s all I’ve got right now. I’m pissed when he tricks me and locks me in the backyard. I start to cry. Nobody loves me. I’ll be known as Stinky Skip.

“Quiet,” Manny yells from the stairs. “I’ll be right back.”

Sure you will. I don’t even want to be around me right now.

But he returns with a large white bucket, a bottle of dish soap, that brown bottle of fizzy stuff that Lucy is always putting on scratches (thankfully none of mine), and a small box of baking soda.

Based on my limited experience with being sprayed, I run to the hose even though I’m afraid the water will burn my mouth again, but Manny commands me to stay still.

“Never water first,” he says. “Multiplies the thiols in the skunk’s spray.”

Thiols, what? And John always hoses me down first.

Like he can read my mind, Manny continues. “Thiols are a sulfur atom. The other atom in the spray is hydrogen. You need to oxidize the spray to get rid of it. Not throw water at it.”

Dude, now is not the time for a chemistry lesson. Save it for John if he comes back. Save me now.

Manny pulls a black garbage bag over his head, pushing his head through the seam. He’s taller than John, and the plastic covers him down to the crotch of his jeans. He yanks on long yellow plastic gloves and mixes his three ingredients in the industrial-size bucket.


I sit.

His arm disappears into the bucket, and he pulls out a handful of foaming slop.

Oh no. You’re not putting that on me. Where’s the tomato juice? I shy away from the chemicals and his descending hand, but he uses his free hand to grab my collar.

“Stay.” He rubs the cold gooey concoction into the dry fur on my head. The mixture seeps into my eyes, and they begin to sting anew, but not as bad as the skunk thiols. I hear a trillion pop, pop, pops. I reflexively lick my upper jaw, and the bitter paste makes me shudder, but the more Manny lathers my dry coat, the more the skunk fades away. And then, as Count von Count from Sesame Street would say: à la Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, the smell disappears into thin air. Like magic.

How did he do that? What is this magic elixir? Manny, you’re brilliant. A hero!

He doesn’t stop with my head. After every inch of my fur is frothing, he steps back. I’m pretty sure he’s given me a Mohawk hairdo and is laughing at me, but I don’t care. Make me look silly. Go for it. I no longer stink. I’ll take looking like a cockatoo over reeking any day.

He tosses the containers into the now-empty bucket, lifts it high by the metal handles, and shakes it until I look up at him. The sun is above him, and while I can’t see his face, I can see his halo. My angel.

“See?” he asks. “The ‘crap I don’t throw out’ is the reason I could help you.”

Touché, Manny. Touché.

Click here to continue reading In the Doghouse and for purchase options. The ebook and audiobook are also on some libraries’ websites.

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