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“Mom, Why is Finn frothing at the mouth?”

...the time Finn learned about skunks

When Scott and I decided to start a life together we had a serious discussion about 2 things….kids and inside dogs. Scott wanted kids and I wanted dogs that lived inside and were part of the family; we compromised and now have 3 of each.

Scott had a few caveats that had to be agreed upon before we started a life with dogs in the house. We have followed them for 25 plus years, that is until recently with the addition of our big goofy Aussie, Finn.

There are 4 indoor dog guidelines:

  1. No dogs on the furniture (Finn sits on the couch). The reasoning behind this one was solid. My dachshund beagle rescue often had a blocked anal scent glad which would release whether he was on the couch or not…..a hard smell to get out of furniture.

  2. No dog paws on the table (Finn brings his ball, puts his front paws on the table in front of Scott and drops his ball between them). This one was a mutual decision with the addition of larger dogs and some unfortunate counter grazing incidents.

  3. No dogs should be fed from the table (Finn routinely gets fed bits of whatever Scott is eating).

  4. Under no circumstances are the dogs to ever be allowed on the bed (Finn takes a nap with me every Saturday after market).

Finn has Scott wrapped around his huge, sweet paw. The rest of us are loved by Finn but Scott is adored.

When Scott is at home Finn follows him from room to room like a lost puppy (he never follows me), when he was younger he would pee with excitement whenever Scott came home (he has never peed when greeting me), Finn actively pushes Scott’s arm over his back so Scott can hug him (you guessed it…..never wants a hug from me). If I raise my voice or seem agitated in any way, Finn sits on Scott’s feet and pushes all 70lbs up against him (there have been a lot of raised voices with COVID and online learning).

Finn is Scott’s dog and Scott is Finn’s person. I would be a little offended if it wasn’t so sweet.

Finn is a lovely dog (despite not choosing me as his human) he honestly loves his family. There is nothing reserved about him, he loves big, plays hard and has big feelings which can get hurt. He has this habit of sitting next to you and leaning his head back giving you an adoring smile. It is hard not to love this big ball of brown fuzz, even if you’re not his favorite.

Poor Finn’s feelings got hurt badly this past weekend, he tried to make friends with a skunk who didn’t want to be friends.

Last night, just as Scott and I were headed to bed (to be fair, I was already in bed and Scott was just putting the dogs out for one more chance to empty their bladders) two things happened.

First, I smelled that all to familiar smell of our local skunk. I didn’t think much of this, we sleep with our window open and often smell our stinky neighbor as he makes his nightly trip to our bird feeders. He (or she) cleans up the discarded seed then heads on to the next stop on his nocturnal round (I think it’s the milking parlor to see if there is any leftover feed). The smell lingers for about 5 minutes than gradually dissipates as the wind replaces the foul air with fresh from the surrounding pasture. Or not so fresh. We live a life rich in odor.

Next, I heard Scott call for the dogs a second time. This is unusual, they usually run out to pee then turn right around and are on the porch waiting to be let back in before you can turn off all the lights. It’s unusual but not unheard of, our dogs take sleeping almost as seriously as I do.

It wasn’t until Scott and I were both in bed reading (with the distinct smell of skunk still in the air) we were interrupted by Owen letting us know that Finn was frothing at the mouth and should he (Owen) be worried…….DAMN, not only did I have a skunked dog but now I would have to spend days convincing Owen that Finn isn’t rabid!

We had 2 choices. We could get out of our nice warm bed to give Finn a bath or we could wait until morning and try to ignore the smell. After going through a mental inventory of our medicine cabinet I remembered that I didn’t have the most important ingredient for our Skunk Funk Wash recipe, hydrogen peroxide (you can find this recipe on my blog). We opted for option 2.

Sweet little Finn never wants to be too far away from Scott and sleeps right outside our bedroom door, around 3am I began to wish my Spring allergies and my sinuses, hadn’t cleared up.

The smell of skunk was well and truly entrenched by morning with the whole bottom floor of the house stinking to high heaven. A quick trip to the store got us the necessary ingredients for our home Skunk Funk removal recipe. I don’t remember where I first saw this recipe, but it really works.

I knew I couldn’t wash Finn or he would be giving me the stink eye for days but Scott on the other hand would be forgiven immediately. After 27 years of dog ownership Scott washed his first pooch (he says nonsense, he’s washed many dogs.....reminds me of the difference in our memory of how often he changed diapers when the kids were little), it was Finn’s first bath as well.

Poor Finn wasn’t happy about the process but kept looking adoringly at Scott while keeping a resentful eye on me the whole time. Imagine how thi

ngs would’ve gone if my hands were doing the bathing!

Once out of the bathtub there was a lot of shaking left to do before he was allowed back in the house but he came through the ordeal pretty seamlessly with his feelings intact. He isn’t even holding it against me😊

There is still a slight lingering general skunkiness outside our bedroom door but, with all the dog beds washed in addition to Finn and his collar, the rest of the house is skunk free. We think. May have just gotten used to it.

I wish I could say the same about the lingering funky pond smell in the back of my van (from our grass carp adventure)

. A life rich in odor.


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