Skunked: Trials and tribulations of single parenthood after divorce


Picture this: I’d just moved into my first house alone as a single mom. First house alone ever. Divorce pending. Marital home still on the market. Boxes everywhere. Kids getting settled into the “routine” of two houses and new rooms. Money was tight. We used plastic outdoor plates for dishes. I didn’t even have a vacuum cleaner. (Big mistake as you will soon see.) I was moving, divorcing, working full time, putting on a happy yet tear-stained face for my kids every day, and wondering if I’d ever find love again.

And then – the skunk happened.

Here’s how it went down:

Step 1: 10:06PM Let cockapoo (this is a dog) outside to go pee before bedtime.

Step 2: 10:08PM Watch in horror as skunk confronts dog, lifts fluffy yet lovely black tail, releases its stench, and scurries away under your fence and disappears into your yard.

Step 3: 10:08:02PM (If you are sensitive like me) freak out as  your dog cries and paws at its eyes, then  let dog inside feeling so sorry for it and hoping its eyes have not been burned out of its sockets.

Step 4: 10:09PM Walk inside and gag from the skunk stench now permeating your entire home and watch in horror as your dog rubs its face all over the basement carpet, then runs up the stairs…then runs up the other set of stairs…to your bedroom. Which does not have a door. (It’s a rental house, long story).

Step 5: 10:10PM  Send panic Facebook status update: Help!!! Dog’s been skunked! Now what??

Step 6: 10:15PM Capture dog and lock in laundry room and wash it nineteen times with your son’s Axe shampoo in a tiny tub that for some reason will not drain and keeps filling up with skunky dog water. Tell dog you are sorry and that she’s a good girl while you curse under your breath and thank God for having such a lovely sense of humor.

Step 7: 10: 19PM Remember that you posted on Facebook for help. Check Facebook. See numerous recipes and links to websites for skunked dogs and (if you are directionally-challenged like me), ignore all measurements and simply pour large quantities of baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide (pause here and wonder why I even have a bottle of this when I don’t even have a vacuum cleaner, long story), liberally add dish detergent. Stir until smooth. Ha ha. Wash dog three times in this mixture. Note: it is very important that you swear through this part of the process because your fingers are pruned, you smell like skunk now, but the dog smells like a combination of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar with a hint of Axe shampoo. She will be so popular with the ladies now.

Step 8: 10:27PM Dog still smells, is wet and miserable, and the sink is nearly overflowing. Check Facebook again. See a PS that the peroxide can burn the dog’s eyes. Oops. (She was fine. She ate a bucket full of Halloween candy and is still alive. Strong constitution, this one.) Sprinkle rest of baking soda all over the carpet and realize your ex has the vacuum cleaner. Call ex and mumble, can I swing by and get the vacuum? He says, Now??? Why??? You stammer and finally say…um, well, I have a sort of, um, carpet emergency…I swallow my pride as he laughs at my skunky predicament. HA HA HA HA 🙂

Step 9: 10:57pm. Panic when you realize the whole house now smells like skunk. Drive by your ex’s to get the vacuum and then on to the grocery store and ask to rent one of the shiny fancy carpet cleaners behind a special counter. The checkout man tells you it is too late, THAT counter closed at 10:30PM. WHAT?! you say. But my dog got skunked and my house smells!! Can’t you please just make an exception, pretty please?

The checkout guy sniffs the air where you stand in your wet dog/skunky/baking soda/peroxide coat and takes a giant step back. Skunk, you say?? Yep, I can smell it. Well, come back tomorrow. You can rent a carpet cleaner at 8am. That counter is closed now.

Now listen – here is where it gets fun! Take a step toward him. Watch his nostrils recoil in horror. Are you sure you can’t rent me that carpet cleaner now? you say. All you have to do is step right over there (make sure you point and wave your arm so your skunky smell adequately wafts over, step closer and giggle as he takes three steps back) and pull it out from behind the counter. I’ll give you cash!!!

Step 10: 11:05PM Walk out of the grocery store before you are politely chased out with a cheap bucket, four value-sized bottles of hydrogen peroxide, three boxes of value-sized baking soda and two scrub brushes. Ignore the other patrons giving you wide berth and sniffing in disdain. Spend rest of the night hand scrubbing your entire house.

Maybe it was a sign. Warning me not to even think about finding love again because I was just going to pick skunks until I got my shit together. Maybe I just need to leave the outside lights on so the skunks don’t come around. Who knows.


PS Dog is now refusing to go outside without a personal escort. Dog bodyguard referrals welcome.

4 thoughts on “Skunked: Trials and tribulations of single parenthood after divorce

  1. Hilarious Skunk post! So sorry that happened. That really sucks, but makes an excellent story. I hope the smell is subsiding on all fronts. And you had time to record all of this on the same day. Sleep much?

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