Skunked Dog

The story of my first skunked adventure with my dogs.

a Photo a Day” blog post is postponed until tomorrow ūüôā

Last night I let the dogs out for their ritualistic, before bed time tinkle. ¬†When I hear Sam barking his “I’m super scared and trying to scare something off” bark I run to the door and when I open it two things happen at once: the reek of skunk floods my¬†nostrils¬†and Haley bolts inside. ¬†Curiously though, Sam stubbornly stays outside. ¬†I get nervous because I can’t see a thing and I assume that, since Sam is rooted to the spot, that the skunk is possibly dead or wounded at his feet. ¬†I dart back inside and frantically run around the house turning on the porch light and grabbing my iPhone for a flashlight so I can see what I’m dealing with.

Sam looked unscathed and was alone but had crazy eyes. ¬†I proceed to call him again but he wouldn’t budge. ¬†Finally he moves but only in a tiny arch that keeps him as far away from the back of the house and the door I’m summoning him to as his harness will allow. ¬†I don’t want to dawdle around for fear of the skunk rushing me or Sam so I result to bribing. ¬†I pull out some dog food shake it until Sam forgets the threat long enough to answer my call.

I leave him on the harness in the porch so he can’t touch anything else. ¬†Now that both dogs are safe I go find Haley to check if she stinks. ¬†She does. ¬†In fact, the whole room does because she went directly to the bedroom and rolled all over the bed.

I call her into the bathroom and she is wonderfully obedient as usual.  I tell her to stay while I fetch a towel and a couple other bath necessities and get to work.  I lift her into the tub.  This makes me laugh, as usual, because she does this spread eagle, disjoined air sprawl.  Once she is in I set to work.  I soap her up once, then twice, and then I give her a sniff.  She still reeks but now I can at least pinpoint the place on her body where the smell is coming from.  But I need another plan since the soap proved mostly ineffective.

I leave my shivering dog in the tub while I research solutions. ¬†I found one that required hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap; I didn’t have hydrogen peroxide but decided I would have to give it a shot anyway. ¬†I think it helped but she still reeked.

I take a break to give my oddly patient Sam a sniff. ¬†I smell his face. Nothing. I smell his back. Nothing. ¬†I smell his belly. ¬†Nothing. ¬†And I am so convinced at the naughtiness of my dog that I smell every inch of him but I still don’t get even a slight whiff of skunk. ¬†I’m completely floored. ¬†How is it possible that my¬†disobedient, trouble-making Sam was the good dog tonight. ¬†I suddenly realize that he was somehow smart enough to recognize the threat without having to investigate AND had the good grace to alert me of the issue.

Even though Sam doesn’t smell, I’m so convinced that he had to be the culprit that I actually entertain the idea that I’m so used to the smell already that I simply can’t smell it on him. ¬†But that doesn’t hold up because when I go sniff Haley again there is no mistaking that she definitely was skunked. ¬†So I let Sam off the hook and bring him around the house as my investigator. ¬†He promptly reveals to me any areas Haley touched with her skunk face and I gather up all that stuff and pop it in the wash. ¬†I give Sam a grateful pet and squeeze and get back to the bathroom to attend to Haley.

I just sit on my bathroom floor for a while… pondering what I can possibly do to get rid of the stink. ¬†My eyes fall on my Sabon Body Scrub. ¬†I shrug and think “well, it’s worth a shot.” ¬†I am hoping the oils in the scrub will replace and overwhelm the skunk oils. ¬†I scrub her once. Sniff. ¬†And she actually smells significantly better but I still have two troublesome spots to deal with. I scrub her two more times and decide the scrub can’t do any more for me. ¬†So I try the baking soda/dish soap blend again and she’s about as close to clean as I can get her I think.

I lift her out of the tub, dry her off, make her sit, and rub tea tree oil on her face.  And I did it!  After three different methods of washing and a little tea tree oil my dog is odor free!

It is midnight but I quickly give Sam a bath just because I’m already at it, wash myself (half to get the now pouring sweat off of me and half to secure my own¬†odor-free¬†state),¬†rotate the laundry,¬†make the bed with spare sheets, and crawl into bed with my two clean, but semi-damp pups and fall asleep smiling.

A Photo A Day | June 24 – 30

1M2Tu 3Wednesday-3 4Th5F 6Saturday 7Sunday

MONDAY Sam goes a sniffin’

TUESDAY My little tomato plants are trying so hard to grow big and strong.

WEDNESDAY We have these BEAUTIFUL flowers blooming on our property!

THURSDAY Spotted eggs are my favorite!  Farm fresh eggs = fun eggs.

FRIDAY Loved all the rain we got this week!  Thunder storms are my favorite!!!

SATURDAY Sarah + Mike Wedding (Full photo blog post coming soon! To see more of my wedding photography CLICK HERE)

SUNDAY A sweat bee visitis yellow lilies just after the rain.

A Photo A Day | June 10 – 16

1Monday 2Tuesday 3Wednesday 4Thursday 5Friday 6Saturday 7Sunday

MONDAY Mr. Slug – I found him hitching a ride on my foot ūüôā

TUESDAY almost sunset

WEDNESDAY definitely sunset

THURSDAY the beautiful harmony of nature and man

FRIDAY Carly and Shane got married at St. Thomas More Church and held their reception at Riverside Receptions (full photo post coming soon)

SATURDAY Megan and Randy held their wedding festivities at Winnetka Community Center, just a couple doors down from the Home Alone house!

SUNDAY an evening hang with the Drew family… Leah, the dog, and I were best buds at first sight ūüėČ

To see more “A Photo A Day” blog posts¬†CLICK HERE.

The Man with the Pretty Garden

There are so many times in life when I feel I am all too undeserving of thoughful acts of kindness.

Josh and I live in a slightly shady neighborhood. ¬†In fact, our next door neighbor had a burglar last summer. But I’ve found that any crazies stay away in the during the day. ¬†This is important to me because I love to be outside and so do my furry lovers. ¬†I take them for walks in the neighborhood almost every day. ¬†Our favorite part of this walk is the¬†park that is buried in the back corner of the neighborhood. ¬†We always¬†route¬†our course to go there because when we get there I’m usually able to let the dogs off the leash to run around free for a while. ¬†I’ve got my timing down like a science so that I’m sure to walk them when I know the park will be vacant or mostly vacant.

In this park there is a baseball field and this is where Haley and I like to play fetch.  After an exhilarating 100 rounds of retrieval she is parched and at the far end of the field there is a large garden with bird baths lingering at its fringe.  When we first started this walking habit Haley would suddenly ditch me and her stick to go gaze longingly at the bird baths, knowing they held water.

A few walks later I found one of those¬†bird baths¬†moved to the ground. ¬†I wasn’t sure but I thought that maybe the man with the pretty garden was very observant and saw my¬†thirsty¬†pups.

Well today, about one year later, I saw that same bird bath in its now usual place in addition to another funny looking water holder and a very distinct dog dish full of water. ¬†All of these water vestibules had recently been filled as little droplets still clung to the sides. ¬†Along side this plethora of water options was a small pile of hardy sticks. ¬†I have a hard time believing that all wasn’t intentional and my heart is so touched by this man’s very thoughtful gift.

The rest of my walk I contemplated ways to get a note of thanks to him for his kindness.  Maybe there will be more on that later.

Happy Saturday!

Puppy Love

I don’t get out much. ¬†I am a self-employed photographer in the middle of the slow season with a husband on the road. ¬†This means I rarely leave the house. ¬†In here, it’s just me and the dogs.

I adore my dogs.  They are everything this hermit girl needs:  they get me outside, they make me laugh, they snuggle me while I sleep (and simultaneously keep me warm), they love on me, and they give me someone to love on.

A lot of people say getting a dog is like practicing to have children. ¬†I don’t know if it’s that adage¬†or my desire to learn as much as I can out of everything but I’ve learned a lot from these two kiddos.

7Sunday-2

Nothing else on Earth loves as unconditionally as a dog.

My dogs’ life goal is to love me. ¬†Oh, and to eat, sleep, and pee on the whole world. ¬†But the loving part really is their primary goal when they aren’t¬†hungry¬†or crossing their legs. ¬†I don’t know how else to explain it… I am their whole world. ¬†As I work at my desk all day long, I get visits from each of them, just to say hi and snuggle for a minute. Every time I leave the house without them they act as if I’m never coming back. ¬†Every time I come home it’s the best day of their life. ¬†To be loved like this brings warmth and life to my bones.

Even if they SOOOOO deserve to be yelled at it doesn’t do either of us any good.

When we first got Haley, and for about a year after that, she developed a terrible habit of pooping in the same corner of our living room several times a week. ¬†A couple of times I was beside myself with fury. ¬†One time in particular I really boiled over. ¬†She’d pooped in that corner one too many times and was busy looking pathetic about it when I got home. ¬†I started shouting things like… “If you’re so ashamed maybe you shouldn’t do it!” “Do you even love me at all!” “Haley you’re so dumb!” Then I got an idea. ¬†It was raining outside. ¬†Haley hates the rain. ¬†I put Haley on her leash. ¬†I put my shoes on. ¬†I dragged Haley through the rain. ¬†I made it just past the end of the driveway when I paused and looked at her. ¬†She wore the most pitiful expression I’ve ever seen on a dog and my heart warmed with compassion. ¬†I brought her straight inside after that. ¬†In fact, we ran in. ¬†To repair her¬†sadness,¬†I shot loving words her way and soon she was joyfully skipping beside me.

I love that Haley is so sensitive.  Josh and I had far from mastered arguing well when we got her and she became the reason we learned sooner rather than later.  If he and I so much as raise our voices Haley runs out of the room and shivers in a corner until we stop the anger and snuggle her.  She has also taught me to be gentle and kind to her and others, no matter how wronged I feel.

Sam angers me like that rainy day with Haley on a weekly basis. ¬†He’s a charming little bugger, but I now figure that the more charming you are the more evil you are as well. ¬†He’s simply obstinate. ¬†With Sam I tried everything. ¬†I tried kindly dealing with him like I do Haley, I tried shaking him by the scruff, I’ve pinned him to the floor and glared in his eyes until he went limp and looked away, and I’ve gone completely bonkers on the fur ball. ¬†I’ve learned that if Sam does something wrong I have to tell him to sit. ¬†If I make to grab him before that or tell him to come he runs and hides. ¬†And I’ve learned that if I want Sam to come, just in general, I have to crouch down and open my arms to him… then I can call him over – I have to do this about half the time, sometimes he actually does listen with a simple “come” command. ¬†I’ve learned these two things, for the naughty and the coming, almost daily.

I love that Sam is such a goofball, even if it means obstinate behavior on¬†occasion. ¬†Sam makes me laugh more than anything else in my life. ¬†He even makes me laugh when I’m trying to discipline him. ¬†I’ve learned a lot about patience with Sam and because of that I’ve learned how to be more patient with people and life in general. ¬†With Sam I’ve learned that no matter how angry he makes me I can’t possibly teach him a lesson until I’ve calmed down enough to get him to stay put – this means I’ve learned how to cool my anger quickly and discipline with my brain instead of my emotions. ¬†Because of this I’ve learned how to be a better punching bag for Josh in times when he’s outraged and to not take it personally. ¬†After all, everyone needs to vent sometimes and it certainly doesn’t help if it becomes an argument because the ventee gets defensive and vocal.

Laughter is good for the soul.

Haley makes me laugh. ¬†Sam makes me laugh more. ¬†Sam even makes me laugh at Haley more. ¬†It’s hard to stay mad at Haley because she gets so pathetic looking about it. ¬†It’s hard to stay mad at Sam because the way he reacts to my anger makes me laugh. ¬†It’s hard to stay mad at the world with Haley’s pretty and knowing face¬†sympathizing¬†with me and Sam’s fluffy and blank face provoking me to laugh. ¬†Fact is, if you laugh you can’t be mad. ¬†Laughter chases the anger out of the heart.

The best parenting happens when both parents are on the same page.

When Josh and I adopted Haley she was a mess of issues stemming from abandonment. ¬†We had her home for a couple of weeks when I noticed Josh was whistling for Haley different from¬†me. ¬†I thought that would be too much newness for our emotionally disheveled dog so we agreed on one whistle to use to call her. ¬†That was our first parenting lesson on “mommy and daddy are a team.” ¬†Since then we’ve agreed on discipline styles for every circumstance so that we both treat her the same way. ¬†This way, no one is the bad guy.

Every kid is so unique in the way they need to receive love.

If you can’t tell already, my dogs have a lot of personality! I understood Haley right from the beginning. ¬†I suppose that means she’s more like me than Sam is. ¬†And on the other hand, Sam is still a daily learning experience but I’ve actually come to welcome it. ¬†Since the main lesson he teaches me is patience and kindness I suppose those are the areas I’m severely lacking. ¬†So thank God for Sam.

Thanks for reading my puppy love life lessons! ¬†Maybe I’ll have more to offer on another rainy day ūüėČ