Friday, 19 April 2013

The Skunk Who came to the Wrong Farm

THE DOG SMELLS LIKE SKUNK!!!!! Ugh it's almost unbearable! I can't even be near him and he is so adorable. My poor Golden Retreiver stinks to high heaven. Tomatoe Juice, Tomatoe Juice....MUST GET TOMATOE JUICE!!! I run to town and get to the grocery store juuuuuust before the grocery store closes and I grab the LAST two bottles of the lovely red smell remover off the shelf.

When I get home, I had a second thought about the juice and went to my good friend Google. I love that site!  I am a huge fan of cleaning your house with all natural products, lemons, baking soda, vinegar etc, so I went online and found a wonderful home remedy using baking soda, vinegar and Dawn dish washing soap that is supposed to remove the smell of skunk 1000% better than tomatoes juice. So I go into the kitchen and get out my chemistry set and concoct the potion. I lead the dog into the bathroom after I change into my shorts and tank top. Picture dog weighs about 75 lbs, I have the upper body strength of a fly and I am gagging with the smell of skunk. Nuff said?? Cleetus is a wonderfully understanding dog. He's like an old man, doesn't like hugs but always wants to shake your hand. So I get him in the tub, we don't have alot of water pressure, but I pour the concoction on my dogs shoulders and it fizzles and sizzles, I rub it into him and he is so good, he just stands there. I pour water over him with the jug and try rinsing this out. Remember the water pressure?? Ya, well it took a little longer to rinse out than he liked and he started shaking the water from his fur!!! I was smart and shut the curtain but, there was no hope for me. I was soaked.  He smelled nice but I was soaked.

My husband works away for most of the month and so most things that happen around here I can handle and what I can't, usually waits for him for his days off. When I call him to tell him that the dog got sprayed he told me to watch the yard and the barn for the suspect. I went in and out of the barn for days and about 4 days later, I go in to do chores and the OVERWHELMING STENCH fills my nostrils as I open the door! The stinkin thing had gotten in the barn through the cat door in the side of the barn and had eaten all the cat food in the hay loft and left after he sprayed goodbye. The next day as I go up in the morning to do chores, for some reason I decide to go into the back of the barn instead of the front door. I slide open the door and I see instantly that the pigs are looking at something. I peek over the gate and THERE IT IS!!! A young skunk sniffing around at the front door INSIDE the barn!!!! EXIT STAGE LEFT!!!!
I go outside the barn and call my husband immediately!  Since the skunk made his first appearance, hubby has been trying to figure out how to block the cat entrance in the barn, do something to stop it from coming inside so in case the skunk has rabies, it wouldn't harm our other animals. He coaches me through how to use the impact drill, scrap plywood and shut off all entrances and exits into the barn. This works just fine for about 3 days and then we realize the 5 barn cats can't get outside to use the bathroom. The skunk got in again and sprayed inside and now my pigs are covered in smelly skunk oil and its burning thier skins. The buggar must be INSIDE the barn. In all my efforts to keep him out, I must have blocked him in! Lord give me strength!!!

Hubby's truck veers into the driveway that afternoon. He took the afternoon off  and drove home. He was on a mission. He came in the house, dressed up in old jackets, had a kercheif over his face and walked up to the barn armed with a shotgun and alot of hope. He was convinced that this evil spawn of satan lived under one of the mangers in the barn. The barn reeked of skunk. With eyes and nostrils burning, we tore apart 3 mangers that were closed in. Hubby is ripping and tearing the wood away from the the wall and I am standing guard with the gun. I must tell you I AM NOT COMFORTABLE at all with standing guard with a gun! I have never held nor ever even shot a gun in my entire life. Yet here I am, watching I don't accidently kill my husband or shoot my foot off.

All said and done, No Skunk that day. Hubby goes back to work and the next day he calls me while I am doing chores in the barn. I answer the phone and he proceeds to try and coach me through some repair work and closing that cat door off again. We are sure the skunk has left the barn by now.

I hang up the phone and reach for the reciprocating saw, again something I have never used, and hold it up in the air to test that I have the safety button and the power button in alignment so it will turn on. WHIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR goes the saw. I stick my head into the manger where I am preparing to do the work and it's too late. I see the SKUNK'S BUTT not 2 INCHES from my face! SPRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!!!!  I GOT SKUNKED! His yellow oily spray is ALL OVER my face and IT BURNS!!! MY GOD IT BURNS!

Picture this.....I have a balaclava on, because it has been sub zero temps here since halloween, I have my glasses on and every showing peice of flesh on my face is now burning and stinging and I am sure melting and falling to the ground! I am in total shock! My phone is ringing! I know it's my hubby. He has this innate sense of when I am in trouble and calls me immediately.

All I remember hearing on the other end of the phone was "GET TO THE HOUSE NOW!!" and I was off and running like a herd of turtles towards the house! I can't see a thing really, my lungs are burning, my face is melting and I suddenly remember that I have left the feed room door wide open and the barn lights on! Like a fool, I turn around and run back up the hill. Go in the back door, close the feed room and lock it and hit the lights. Nothing was getting a free meal off of me! Especially something that just sprayed me!!!!

I step inside my front door and cry out my daughters name. I might add that I just recovered from severe bronchitis and my daughter was taking a nap. She came around the corner with sleep lines on her face and this horrid look in her eye. "WHY IS YOUR FACE YELLOW???!!!" I BUST out into tears, sobbing, melting, hurtful, I NEED MY MOMMY TEARS! "Oh it burns so bad" I blubbered! The nurse in her instantly went into action and took my hand and led me to the washroom. She turned on the shower and stuck my head under the water. I moaned and cried my way through an explanation of the last 15 minutes of events and I can hear her laughing under her breath. "I'll be right back" she whispers in my ear. Little did I know, she texted hubby, told him what was going on and came back to the baathroom with baking soda, vinegar and dawn soap! Have I told you I love this girl!??!!! She made a paste in the palm of my hands and I buried my face in it. The burn and sting instantly went away. After a 1/2 hr, my face had felt like it had grown enough new skin to emerge from the shower.

My skin was tender for quite a while and while hubby was home on days off, he taught me how to use the shotgun in case I saw the skunk again.

The next week, hubby is back to work, daughter is at school and when I get out of the shower I hear my dogs barking feircely at something in the yard. They are chained up and can't get to whatever it is. I look out the kitchen window and see nothing. Living room window, the side door, I look out and there he is! Waddling up the middle of my driveway in the middle of the day, Mister Skunk! I run to my room, throw on a pair of shorts and a sweatshirt, grab the gun and some bullets, throw on my winter boots and head up the driveway. I follow his tracks in minus 25 degree howling wind and at the top of the hill just before the barn, I lose his tracks. I say a quick prayer, Please God do NOT let him go in the barn! I don't want to miss him and then hit one of the pigs, or have the bullet hit the ground and have it richochet back at me. It's way too cold, I run back to the house and get my winter farm swag on. Coveralls, balaclava, wool mitts and boots and head back up the hill.

Going into the back pen behind the barn, I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE......there he is! My adrenaline is SKY HIGH! I try to load the bullet into the gun, try to get the safety release off, wrack my brain as to what else hubby told me not to forget about the gun.....nothing else, ok, how do I aim this thing again?? Ok where's the skunk? I take my eyes off the sucker for two seconds, ohh wait, there he is, going into the horse shed. The horses aren't in there, they are right behind me. I can't shoot now or I will spook the horses. I walked slowly up to the shed and the city girl in me wanted to follow him right in there and blow his little head off, but the country girl thinking took over and I steadied my arm up on the fence and waited for him to come out. He had to come out sooner or later. There he is!!! SHOOT! I scream in my head. My adrenaline is coursing through my body like a runaway train going down hill! I don't even remember pulling the trigger but the next thing I know is that I blinked and it was lying on its side in the snow.

I got him! I felt bad, do NOT get me wrong. Killing something is NOT what I agree with at all but these animals do carry diseases and are huge nuisances to my livestock and livelyhood that there is no other choice.

I text hubby to ask "WHAT NOW?" really, like what do I do with a dead skunk that may have rabies? I go into the barn to get a shovel, there is NOT A CHANCE in this world that I am picking up this dead varmint with my bare hands and taking it any where! The entire time I am trying to get it on the shovel, I am sure I can still seeing it breathing and that at any moment it is going to jump up and bite my hands and face off in revenge! Yes, I watched too many Stephen King movies when I was younger! lol!

I said a prayer for the skunk, it's family and for me that day and since then I haven't seen anymore striped stinky beasts in my yard.....but there is still 6 ft of snow to melt, I am sure I will see more soon, I just pray that God gives them a u-turn and keeps them out of my yard!

I love my life on the ranch, it's crazy but it's mine! xo

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