Last week, we got a new roof put on our house so I took Bea and Daisy down to my parents’ to get away from the noise. After a great day of hanging out and hiking, we were cleaning up for the night. As usual, I let Daisy outside one last time. The moment I opened the door, she took of like a shot, barking, growling, ….and suddenly yipping. She came limping back, gagging and smelling of skunk.

My first thought, as my dad went to the store for hydrogen peroxide to mix with baking soda and dish liquid, was that this was all too familiar. Last August, we were down at my parents so Frank and my dad could run the Pikes Peak Ascent half marathon. They woke up in the predawn hours and, letting Daisy out, had a very similar experience. Last time, the skunk fell into our window-well and Daisy was sprayed twice, so the smell was much worse.

This time, I think she was hit mostly in the mouth. Regardless, my dad ended up trying out his new camping hammock and slept outside with our sad pup. The next morning, we made our way to the Wag n’ Wash as soon as it opened. There, we met about five other dogs, all in the same predicament.

As we were waiting for the deodorizing rinse to work its magic, we were laughing with the woman on duty – Why don’t dogs learn? You’d think getting sprayed once would be a lifelong lesson! She agreed, but commented that, since the spray doesn’t kill the dog, they think they can survive it and soon forget those moments of pain when a new skunk comes along.

Now, a week and another bath later, Daisy still smells a little skunky. We were caught in the rain on a hike over the weekend and the water released some of the pungent oils. It’s not terrible, but she definitely isn’t back to her normal self. We were told it can take about two weeks for the odor to completely vanish.

Sweet Daisy

Later, I was telling Frank about her comment. As we were talking, I realized it’s not just dogs who repeat this mistake. How often have I continued to make stinky, poor choices? Because I didn’t die the first time around – or lose a friendship – I soon forget moments of pain when a new situation comes along. I think that this time will be different or that the sarcastic joke was funny because people laughed instead of cried. And, like the odors, sometimes these stinky situations can linger for weeks after.

I’m sure the next time around, I’ll make the same mistakes as before, but hopefully I’ll begin to learn to leave some things alone.

Are there situations you keep returning to? How do you remember to leave the skunk alone?


Published by

Annie Rim

Welcome! I live in Colorado with my family and have taught in the classroom, at an art museum, and now in the playroom. I reflect about life, faith, and books here on my blog.

5 thoughts on “Skunked”

  1. Great post, Annie. I think sometimes I’ve been the skunk, unintentionally. Saying something that stung and stunk, only realizing later the impact of my words. I’ve also been the one who got sprayed with hurt by another’s actions or/and words. It takes time to wash the stink and the hurt from my heart. Your post is a good reminder to really watch how I handle situations that come into my life.

    PS I can see Pikes Peak from my windows. 🙂

    1. Yes … being skunked is horrible. I tend to allow that stink to hang on, too. It’s hard to let go of hurt feelings and trust.

      Fun! My parents have a view of the Peak, too. They’re moving up to Denver and I’ll definitely miss sitting on the back porch with that backdrop!

  2. Annie- What a great story and a thought-provoking message. Why am I drawn to that darn skunk? 🙂 Thanks for sharing this story and your gift. Loved it!

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