Manhattan Wildlife Encounter (of the smelly sort)

Who says people who live in Manhattan don’t understand the issues rural America deals with?

Last night I was walking our two dogs and the smaller one (who’s an excellent hunter) charged what I thought was a squirrel. The tree I thought the squirrel was on was inches away from a huge wrought iron fence in the park adjacent to our building (the ping pong area in Fort Tryon Park – right near the subway entrance).

The problem was it wasn’t a squirrel. As soon as I saw a black furry thing and a white stripe I started pulling the dogs up the street. At first I thought we were lucky ’cause I didn’t smell anything, but then as the wind shifted as I got near our building I realized we’d been sprayed.

Buddy, the dog who started it all, got off pretty easy. The tree had gotten in the skunk’s way and it couldn’t spray him very well even though he was just inches away. But our other dog Holly was right in the skunk’s target area. Her head and chest got a pretty good dose of it and unfortunately her fur is thicker than Buddy’s and harder to get the spray out of.

We kept them in the hallway until we could deal with giving them a bath. The closest thing to tomato juice we had were tomatoes, so I used one of those on Buddy until Dan came up with the baking soda, peroxide and dish detergent mixture that was better (we also washed them with vinegar).

We controlled the smell pretty well. After two baths Holly still has a faint skunk odor around her head, but it’s not too bad. I’m just really happy it didn’t happen earlier in the day when we had to rush out to meet a new client.

So those of you who don’t think Manhattanites interact with nature, think again… Our parks have all sorts of unexpected animals in them…

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