Tux the Dog had a close encounter of the skunk kind last night.
I was taking the garbage out, and the moon had not yet risen, so it was really dark. Tux, who is a border-collie/lab cross, had been barking off and on all evening, but he's a high-strung creature and likely to bark at almost anything, so I didn't pay much attention. He came out with me when I took the garbage out, and didn't make a sound. He usually just runs around a bit when he goes out at night with me, but this time he was slow coming back to the door, so I called him and he came zooming past me into the house.
Then I smelled skunk wafting in on the breeze.
The surprising thing is that I didn't smell it in the house. Yet. I wasn't sure he'd actually been sprayed, because while I smelled something bad, it wasn't skunk. Then Jan woke up and called, "Tom, did Tux get sprayed by a skunk?" He was by that time in the bedroom, rolling about, and definitely smelled bad. He had smears of some oily substance on his forehead.
I got hold of him and hauled him into the bathroom, but there was no way he was going near the bathtub (he's had an aversion to water since I rescued him from drowning in a spring iceflow when he was a puppy.) I got some cheese, which is one of his favorite treats, and then Jan tried to coax him into the tub with it, but he wasn't having any of that, either. Finally I picked him up (which is no small chore--he's 85 pounds and fairly awkward to handle) and put him in the tub, and was able to get the worst of the stuff off. For all his flightiness, Tux respects me and lets me handle him pretty much any old way, which is a big advantage in a case like this.
He spent the rest of the night locked in the bathroom. Various rugs and towels are piled up outside the house, reeking, I still smell faintly myself, and this may be a sign from God that it really is time to replace the hall carpet. I'm only living there for a few more weeks, and these are tense, tense times for me, so the comic relief element of the whole episode is certainly something I need right now.