the mystery of the dead skunk

Last night, while we were watching an absolutely insane baseball game, Allan let the dogs back inside, and said the backyard smelled like skunk. There is a skunk in our neighbourhood - I sometimes see him scurrying in and out of open garages - so this is not too surprising.

The dogs didn't stink, but Tala's face was covered in black dirt, something we've never seen before. When I tried to towel the dirt off, I smelled it. She must not have taken a direct, full-on spray, or we would have smelled it as soon as she came in. But she clearly got sprayed, and must have been rubbing her face in the dirt afterwards.

While we rode the baseball roller coaster, poor Tala alternated between rubbing her face on her bed, running around in a state of hyperactive agitation, and falling asleep! There's a 24-hour supermarket nearby, and I thought we'd have to go out for tomato juice, often the only thing that will remove skunk scent.

Finally, the Red Sox won and we put Tala in the bathtub. Another sign that she couldn't have gotten a direct spray: the bath worked. The smell is 90% gone, and there's no way it would be if she had taken a direct hit. Bathing a dog isn't exactly what I felt like doing at 11:30 p.m., but at least it worked.

We took the dogs out on-leash after the bath, and Allan thought he saw a skunk running off.

End of story, or so I thought.

This morning I noticed a dark shape in the far end of the backyard - dark with a bit of white. I went out to investigate. Dead skunk.

Did Tala kill this skunk last night? Our little girl has a fierce prey drive, she's a real hunter. In her first week with us, she killed a bird, and she lives to chase. But if she actually killed a skunk, wouldn't she have been a lot smellier? And maybe bloody, too?

If she did kill the skunk, what did Allan see running off? Was it this dead skunk's mate? (Oh no, I hope not.) Or was something else running away? Or was the running-away skunk now dead in our backyard?

This morning we have to find out how one disposes of a dead skunk in Mississauga. And Cody's face needs a bath, too.

Update. "The smell is 90% gone". Make that more like 50 or 60%.

Upperdate. Mississauga Animal Services just came by to remove the dead skunk. She said it looked like a baby. She saw puncture marks on the side, but noted that those could have been from a previous attack. The skunk could have been running across the lawn (or trying to) to escape an attack, or going off to die.

Up-Upperdate. The bath seems to be wearing off. Both dogs smell worse now than they did this morning. Next up: tomato juice bath.

Upperest-date. Tomato juice is a myth. The smell will just wear off. So will the tomato-coloured tinge on Tala's white coat.

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