Tamoxifen causes sleep disturbances, so it's been a while since I've gotten a good night's rest. Naturally, I became extremely annoyed when I was awakened from a rare deep sleep in the middle of the night to the sounds of my neighbor's dog barking.
"Why don't people leave their dog inside at night, like I do," I thought.
I dozed off again but deep sleep was elusive. Soon, I began smelling an overwhelming scent - a combination of burning tires and skunk. Calling it "skunk smell" doesn't cut it. This smell deserves it's own category in the world of scents, like that Japanese flavor, Umami, has in the world of foods. It fouled my room, my bed, what was left of my sleep. It was thick and heavy and oppressive. I heard my husband move and I said, "Do you smell that?" "Yes," he said. "Skunk." He, too, had been awakened by the smell.
That should tell you how strong the smell was - this is the man who can't smell spoiled food, a fire down the street, or my expensive perfume. (He buys it for me anyway, the dear man.)
Then I heard my dog, a greyhound, howling at the back door. It wasn't a neighbor's dog barking after all, it was mine. Oops.
I went to let him in and opened up the back door. I saw him through the screen, looking up at me, tail wagging, eyes bright. And, the stench was overpowering. Horrible. Like a thousand infusions of Zometa.
I closed the door.
Clearly, my dog had been playing with skunks.
I figured it wouldn't hurt the dog to be outside for one night, and I'd clean him in the morning. I tried to get back sleep but it was impossible. I have smelled a thousand skunks in my day. I've driven by them dead on the road and they can smell my car up for a mile.
That is nothing compared to having it on your very own personal dog.
Still, I tried to sleep. I had many things I wanted to do to prepare for company this weekend. I sprayed my bedroom with Glade, and covered my face with my sheet.
The dog continued to whine, and I started to worry he might have been hurt by the skunk. I knew I'd better check him, and to check him I'd have to clean him. I was getting up.
I grabbed my iPhone, googled "dog skunk" and saw some home remedies - one involving hydrogen peroxide, which we didn't have, and one involving Murphy's Oil Soup, which we did.
So, 4:30 in the morning, my husband and I got up to wash the dog. If the Murphy's Oil Soap didn't work, husband was going to get the peroxide from the store.
I got some rubber gloves, left over from my low white count days (I wouldn't touch a filthy sponge without wearing them), and a rag, filled a bucket with soap and went outside into the dark.
And, at 4:30 in the morning, I washed the dog.
After drying him off, I sniffed him and he seemed better, so I let him in. My husband stayed up, and I went back to bed. I sprayed my room again, but to no avail. I dozed an hour or two and then got up, stomach turning from the stench.
I had four months of chemo without any nausea - all it took was one skunk to make me hurl.
I went to Rite Aide and bought hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. It was in the store that I realized that not only did my dog reek, but I did as well. I apologized to everybody around me, and went home to give my dog another bath..
His bedding is in the wash but I fear his dog bed will have to go. I don't let dogs on the furniture but greyhounds need something soft, so I actually use a crib mattress for his bed. I guess I'll be buying a new one today.
It still smells in here and I suspect it will for a while. He still smells - it appears to be in his ears and on his head. I bought something called "tecnu" which is also supposed to help, but it will require another bath.
Considering he is lying on his stripped bed, shaking from the trauma of two baths in one day, I think I'll give him a short break. Greyhounds tend to the wimpier side of life.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go shower.