Saturday, May 17, 2008


The American government and the U.N. wasted time and money searching for WMDs in Iraq. They should have come here, to North York Ontario, because this is where all the truly toxic weapons are hiding. You think Saddam had biological weapons? Ha! The truly dangerous bio weapons are all in north Toronto, baby. It is an insidious, pervasive, soul-damaging bio hazard whose effect lingers for days and devastates all come into contact with.

Even more dangerous than the toxic weapon itself is its cunning delivery system. Silent, stealthy, well camouflaged. Lurking and moving with ninja-like effectiveness, the weapons platform seeks its target then delivers its deadly payload with computer-like efficiency ....

Yup, Hayley got nailed by a skunk last night. We knew the enemy has infiltrated our neighbourhood. We've been smelling him for days. To the extent where we've actually said "Damn, that skunk must be living in our yard" When we moved into this house last summer skunks were not an issue because we had a family of raccoons living back there; I have a feeling that, to skunks, raccoons are like an entrenched enemy army. Unfortunately, to raccoons, Miss Hayley is like Seal Team Six. She scopes out the enemy locations, infiltrates, strikes ... several times she trapped the babies in an unused grate out there and gleefully led me out to admire her first strike capabilities. Raccoons were totally safe, of course, this is a herding dog, not a hunting dog. Still, Mamma Raccoon apparently did not like the idea of her babies being treated like sheep so she moved on. And the skunk moved in.

Which brings us to last night's military campaign. It was late, close to midnight and I will use that as my excuse for forgetting about the enemy among us. Its also the beginning of the Victoria Day holiday weekend and that that means, in this neighbourhood, fireworks. Miss Hayley does not like fireworks. To her border collie brain fireworks means "Don't tell me to relax, some one's shooting at me!!!" So I just wanted to get her out of the house before the real noise began. Down the stairs, open the back door, Hayley slips out, I get almost back up the stairs, ancient addled mind kicks in "Did I smell skunk?" semi-gimpy body whirls around, goes down the stairs, into the yard, round the corner of the house and .... Does anybody have a haz mat suit I can borrow?

Poor Hayley. Skunk spray doesn't hurt but I think it must be humiliating. This is not the first time the World's Smartest Dog has encountered this enemy. At the old house she got hit two or three times in one month. So she knows skunks. She's smelled the WMD before. And this is a dog that learns, she has a great memory, especially for things that are unpleasant. You'd think she would have learned not to mess with the black and white cat; except there really is a black and white cat around here that is one of her mortal enemies. And, well, something in her yard that moves, Hayley is going to be on it. We have passed wild bunnies around here (no, really, we do live in a city with 3 million people even if we are surrounded by all this wildlife) and if the bunny freezes, Hayley does not even see it. If it takes off, she goes into full collie mode. Apparently skunks do not freeze. Why should they? They are armed better than John Rambo on his best day.

So Hayley gets the blow and I am left standing there saying "Shit, here we go again" My first mistake was letting her out into the back (usually in the presence of the enemy we take her out front to pee where we can watch her) but the real mistake was not having the moth balls down. Moth balls work, people. Put them around the perimeter of your yard and they will keep the skunks at bay. Collette's dad used them to keep away black bears up north. And no, they are not harmful to dogs. So, if we had had the moth balls down ... Someone owes a border collie a huge apology. And that someone writes this blog.

Luckily we still had some of the commercial skunk shampoo that we purchased last year from a local vet. Its called Skunked, and it works. When we had Gigs we gave him the tomato juice treatment. The way to use tomato juice, is you rub into the coat, let it dry, then brush it out; it can be quite effective. But Gigs had lab fur. Hayley has a coat you could make an entire fashion line out of so the juice is not near as effective. But Skunked works, thank god. So there I am, middle of the night, out on the patio, subjecting Miss Hayley to a further ignominy piled upon the embarrassment of us realizing that the world's smartest dog doesn't know a skunk from a cat ...

So, here we are the next day, Miss Hayley is mostly de-toxified (she may need a little touch up) but she still is carrying the shame of being outwitted by a life form that lives on grubs. I am off to buy moth balls and set up up our perimeter, and we are launched upon another summer engagement against our insidious enemy. So do not be afraid to come visit .... but bring your own haz mat suit.

1 comment:

Gaina said...

Hehe, that reminded me of when our old Springer Spaniel used to roll in Fox poo. He couldn't help it, it was in his gun dog genes :)

Tomato ketchup was the first thing we'd reach for to neutralize the pong, then bath him. I'm not sure how it works for skunk stink but it's worth a go! :)

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