Monday, March 06, 2006

Prince Le Peu

Farm Week continues. This is the first and (I believe only) installment in our Beast Against Beast series. It was brought to mind by events of this past weekend. We were cleaning our house in preparation for my mom's visit, when we realized that something in the house smelled like zombie diarrhea. Initially, I (naturally) assumed it was zombies (they've been a major issue since the cemeteries were flooded), but it turns out it was our dog, Penny. She had obviously found some rank substance, rolled in it, eaten it, puked it, rolled in it again, eaten it again, puked it again, ad infinitum until she was a joyously foul mess. Several baths later she smells somewhat better, and we're having a lovely visit.

My dog when I was growing up was Prince, a beautiful, purebred Collie, just like Lassie, with long, elegant features, and a flowing white mane. He was also pure hick-dog through and through. His hobbies included chasing cars, eating baby groundhogs, and growing large colonies of ticks in his ears. One day, apparently, he decided to eat a skunk. It didn't work out for him, and he slinked home reeking like hell. We couldn't bring him in the house. We couldn't bring him near the house. We were at a loss.

Finally we decided to try the only skunk-stank remedy any of us had heard of - wash him in tomato juice. For those of you in non-skunky parts of the world, I'm not making this up. It is, in fact, something close to standard protocol. And it doesn't work. We trekked to the store, bought umpteen cans of tomato juice, returned home, filled up the washtub, held our breath, and immersed Prince, vigorously scrubbing the tomato juice in and (hopefully) the stank out.

When he finally emerged from the tub and shook himself off he was as hellacious-smelling as ever. And he was pink. He was pink and stinky for weeks. He was pink, stinky, and sad for weeks. It was very pathetic. Don't do it.

The end.


  1. you have great stories!!

  2. Anonymous6:07 PM

    What's up with the tomato-odor-killer myth? When I was a little kid I often had to endure some very weird childcare during the summers. One summer the family I stayed with would regularly go out fishing all night. The day after these excursions they had a lot of fish and me and their kids had to clean them. It stank. But the smell was a million times worse after we all washed our hands in ketchup. Yuck.

  3. Perhaps it's supposed to be some sort of mildly acidic abrasive thing, but the downside seems to outweigh any negligible positives in my book.

  4. My mother reminds me that it was also January, and at one point, Prince escaped and the tomato juice was freezing onto him in little savory juice-cicles. Yum.

  5. I know! and then when you bathe the dogs, all you really end up doing (as my sister pointed out) is thinning the skunk juice out and spreading it all over the poor dog. AND turning the dang think pink. Stinky Pinky.

  6. I mean thing. The damn THING pink. Pinky Stink Thang.

  7. My first cat got into it with a skunk in the garage and we did the tomato-juice bath thing and yes, he then smelled like skunk marinara, and he was pink and black, like a little Jackie-O suit.
    Cats are supposed to be color blind? I just know he was embarassed about the pink.

  8. And--I didn't grow up on a farm. Wish I had, but then I would have learned pretty early on that chickens are omnivores. Ever seen a chicken eat a mouse? Ugh. I figure, since this is Beast Against Beast...
    ...I worked at a model farm one summer, and was doing some landscaping around the barn and watched a hen chase a mouse under a rock, then peck it out from under the rock (three pecks), stunning it, then pick the mouse up sideways in its beak, then flip it around to gulp it down head first. The mouse was clearly still alive--the warm mammalian intelligence swallowed without ceremony by this creature with nothing behind its eyes. The chicken went on as if nothing had happened. I had to sit down and think for a good bit about some pretty serious things.