Late in the afternoon I took Denali for a run on the access road, where yesterday's northwind knocked down big poplars, and made piles of toothpicks out of little dead trees that had so effectively braced themselves against the south winds of the summer. Lots and lots of trees down. We had rain, and the weather has cooled off so much, I was really happy to be out in it.
My mind wandered to information about smells and memories, and the ways they're using aromas to enhance learning and healing..and then…as if I had brought it on, I smelled the distant woodsy smell of a skunk. Must have stimulated memories first (just like they say) because I immediately remembered a story about my grandpa and his cousin, who as kids, believed that a skunk couldn’t spray if it didn’t have it’s feet on the ground. They had some elaborate noose snare...that didn't work. I smiled before the smell made it’s way to the cognitive part of my brain and I shook my head and called Denali.
When Denali cheerfully came running to me, I was trying to be optimistic about it…because skunk smell was everywhere, and…..she couldn’t have had a skunk incident without barking could she? After all, we’ve met that skunk. They’re sort of friends. Aren’t they? And, poplars were down on the road... you know the smell when you cut a poplar tree down? It’s sort of a skunky stink. Maybe, maybe…that’s all I smell?
Then she got closer. Oh boy, no. She had been completely skunked.
During dinner,instead of reading about olfactory lobes, I was googling de-skunking formulas. Bingo: hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, Dawn dishwashing liquid. This is how Denali and I spent the rest of our evening. Rub it in, wait 10 minutes, hose it off. It’s lucky to have an outfitting yard in a situation like this. And even though I was the torturer—we bonded. She doesn’t know what else to do but come to me when I whistle.