August 21, 2009

Home Sweet Remedies

I washed our dog, Cairo, yesterday. It was my attempt to save money by trying a home remedy to rid her of fleas. There has been way too much scratching recently, early morning scratching. I enthusiastically pulled out my bottle of vegetable oil and covered her in it all the while thinking of the extra sleep I will gain by her not rattling her doggie tags in the morning. Come on! Scratch those fleas downstairs or something!

After I oiled her up, I waited a few minutes hoping those darn fleas would drown in the oil before I washed her again with tearless doggie shampoo. (Do dogs cry?) She was so glad to be done! But then I noticed that the shampoo didn't really do the trick. She was still oily. So I washed her with Dawn dish washing detergent. If it's good enough for the geese, it's good enough for Cairo! Then came the final rinse. At last! She was clean and hopefully, flealess.

Then I got a whiff of her. All this bathing seemed to make her smell worse than before! I had removed the dirt which must have covered that scent. What scent is that? I'm glad you asked.

One night John and I were playing games late, too late to admit to non-gamers. When we were calling it a night, John let Cairo outside to do her business while I was performing the obligatory bedtime rituals of brushing my teeth and washing my face. When I splashed water on my face to rinse the cleanser I smelled something strange. I began to think to myself, "What's that? Is there something on my hands?" *sniff sniff sniff* "I better wash my face again. I better wash my hands again." The smell remained so I exited the bathroom to sniff some more. "Aha! The smell is stronger out here." I began to think that it smells hot to me. "An electrical fire? Is a fan overheating? Are we in danger?" Nothing seemed to be wrong inside our house. It seemed to be coming from outside. I anxiously looked outside hoping that my elderly neighbor behind us was alright but I didn't see any signs of danger. Then I thought that perhaps someone had set off some fire crackers. At last I went to bed. I awoke in the morning and went for a walk, I was downwind of Cairo when it dawned on me.... a skunk! My dog had been skunked! Of course! It all made sense now! If only my nose did not confuse skunk smell with hot tar/pavement/electrical fire I would have gotten more sleep ... and I may have banned Cairo to the basement until she was bathed!

So Cairo is getting familiar with baths and home remedies. The skunk bath was accomplished with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and Dawn. (Do NOT save any remaining amount of the mixture. It can turn volatile when sealed or so I'm told.) It worked fairly well. Even though she still had a hint of skunkiness, it was mostly gone and she certainly was shiny! Yesterday's bath left her glossy. Was it successful? Well, I still woke up to the sound of doggie tags rattling this morning.

Does anyone else know any home remedies?

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