April Fool's Prank of the Century

Sorry we missed you yesterday, both on the blog and at the store. We have not been closed for any of the blizzards this winter, even when the rest of town seems to shut down. Yesterday morning, we stayed home to clean the house. Let me explain.
This is our three year old dog Wrangler. Sweet and innocent right? I'm pretty sure he wasn't part of a "planned" litter of pups. His mom, a registered Beagle got knocked up by the neighbor's Blue Heeler. Enter Wrangler. He's goofy and spoiled but Gage loves him and he does a great job of cleaning up leftovers. Tuesday night about 11:45 Wrangler thought he needed to go outside so Jack let him out and dozed off on the couch. At 12:05 (barely April 1st) Jack opened the door to let Wrangler inside and could smell skunk. Every couple of weeks, we can smell skunk at night but there are a lot of trees around our house, some abandoned buildings on the property next door and a sale barn to the south. Needless to say Jack didn't think twice until he turned around and Wrangler was rolling through the carpet. Jack's grogginess started wearing off about the time mine set it while Wrangler was rolling through the comforter on our bed. The smell of garlic and burned rubber has a way of waking a person up in a big hurry. (Side note: that's what fresh skunk spray smells like, don't be deceived.) We figure Wrangler took a direct hit to the side of his head from a skunk. Jack and I spent two hours Tuesday night washing the dog, airing out the house, changing bedding and carrying out science experiments on our living room carpet. Baking soda and vinegar is even fun at 1:30am.

Wednesday morning we thought we didn't smell too bad so grabbed clothes out of the dryer and headed to work. It took less than 15 minutes (and the babysitter's confirmation) that we smelled of skunk so Jack moved some service calls, we shut down the office, headed to the grocery store for supplies and tackled this lovely April Fool's prank (gone horribly wrong). Here's what we've learned:
  • This website is amazing: http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf576594.tip.html and I've been there a dozen times in the last 40 hours.
  • A mixture of peroxide, baking soda and dish soap (not tomato juice) works best to remove "direct hit" sprays. We didn't have peroxide or tomato juice the first night but baking soda and dish soap did take the edge off. Bath #3 is tonight.
  • Every piece of fabric that we own that was in a closet, drawer, or on a bed smells like skunk and the mountain of laundry is impressive. We're not quite sure how to make our leather shoes right again, but we're working on a few experiments.
  • I am nearly certain that there is not enough Oxiclean in this town for all of our laundry. It doesn't help that we've washed a few stubborn pieces (like my coat and shoes) twice and they still smell. But it does work on most stuff.
  • Vinegar cuts down on skunk odor significantly. All upholstery in our house have been sprayed with direct vinegar at least once, followed up with Febreze. Three times for the carpets. They still don't smell right. I also boiled vinegar for about 3 hours yesterday morning with the cupboard doors open in the kitchen because they also smelled of skunk. I think that took care of it in the kitchen.
  • Jack hates the smell of vinegar almost as much as skunk right now. We're trying some chlorine producing reactors this weekend that are supposed to be the cure-all for stubborn odors. Unfortunately it also means that we have to take our stinky selves out of the house for a couple of days. On a positive note, its a good reason to have a pool party at the hotel for Gage's birthday.
  • Wrangler really does feel bad and has moped around the house since this happened. He does not however feel smart enough to leave the suspected site of attack alone. Jack chased him all over the trees yesterday and is pretty sure Wrangler was headed back for revenge. He's now a leashed puppy when outside (we had to steal the dog collar back that Gage had claimed as a toy, but what are a few more toddler tears?)
  • I'm in the market for a new comforter. It needs to match the sage green curtains that were in there, unless they still smell funky too. I haven't touched the comforter yet. Its outside in a large, heavy garbage bag but we can smell it through the garbage bag when we walk a 10 foot perimeter around it...sick. The bagged up dog collar permeates much farther than that.
  • To answer an obvious question: Gage really has no idea what's going on except that Mommy and Daddy would rather clean than play and that's unusual. We did teach him to say, "I smell like a skunk." and stick his little butt out and go "Pshhh" to spray like a skunk. What can I say, we really needed a laugh.
  • Our house may be the cleanest its been in a really long time and from reading on the web, it could be MUCH worse!

So there you have it. If we meet up with you in the next few days, we're sorry to share the funk but we're really doing all we can. And we're open to suggestions. One more picture of Wrangler because we do still love him. (Just don't let this happen again...please!)

Also, a huge shout out to Gage's daycare who kept him even though he stunk all day yesterday and still a little today. I'd put her name in here but I don't want you to steal her - she helps us maintain our sanity.

To the skunks living near our house: I hope you all freeze to death in the April blizzard this weekend.


  1. I am not sure whether to believe you. Is this whole thing possibly an April Fool's Day Prank? I mean... who would OWN such a dog?

  2. I wish it was a prank. Besides, who wouldn't own such a dog? He's like us - just a little quirky but highly loveable.

  3. OH MY! Well being that it is winter and so very wet this probably isn't helpful but soil (maybe potting soil) will help pull the smell from leather goods.

  4. I'm glad that the dog is still alive! Good luck, I'm praying for you guys.