Sunday, May 31, 2009


There is a hill behind our house so we get lots of little critters. Boomer got skunked a couple of years ago in our yard, and Phoebe just got skunked last night. Following the formula off of one of Gary Bogue's animal columns in the Contra Costa Times, we were able to get most of the stink off. We can attest that the formula does work and keep plenty of hydrogen peroxide on hand now. Too bad you can't use it on their face--that's where they've usually been skunked most!

Note: The formula stings, so be careful around sores or cracked skin.


Skunks are always on the prowl

I’m getting a lot of requests for this “Skunk Off” recipe to help people clean skunk spray off of unfortunate dogs that have encountered those little stinkers in their back yards.

One of my readers found a letter to the editor in a Chemical Engineering trade magazine a couple of decades ago and cut it out and forwarded it to me. A chemical engineer’s dog got sprayed and the engineer figured out an off-the-shelf formula that chemically neutralizes skunk spray. Unfortunately my reader didn’t include the name of the engineer who invented this, so we can’t thank him/her.

Stick this formula on your refrigerator door so it will be handy in case you ever need it. It’s easy to make and as I said, it chemically neutralizes that very bad smell.

TAKE: 1 quart of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (from a pharmacy); ¼-cup baking soda; 1 teaspoon liquid soap (I use Dawn). Mix it all together and wash the sprayed animal, keeping the mixture out of its eyes, nose and mouth. Rinse with tap water.

Don’t bottle this stuff. The mix causes a mild chemical reaction and it could escape into a BIG mess if confined in a bottle.

Based on feedback from hundreds of users, this recipe, as listed, is a suitable quantity for a small dog. Double the above amount for medium-size dogs. Triple it for large dogs.

It’s amazingly effective.


On Phoebe's face, we experimented with washing with tomato juice. Can't say for sure if it made a difference, but today, I did a little research online about tomato juice and found that it doesn't really remove the skunk odor--it just masks it for a while.


This week's myth concerns something very important to us -- our sense of smell. You may have heard that tomato juice can neutralize the odor of a skunk. It sure seems to work. A bath of tomato juice makes your dog smell like tomato juice instead.

In reality, the skunk's smell is so overpowering that your nose simply gets tired from the stench. The smell receptors in your nose bind the skunk odor so tightly that eventually you stop smelling it so much. This is called "olfactory fatigue." At that point, the tomato juice you've just bathed your pet with is a new smell that your nose is not used to yet. After a while, though, the tomato juice smell will go away and that skunk odor will come back.

In order to really rid your pet of that stench, you need to change the chemical composition of the odor itself into a compound that has no smell. One idea is to make a mixture of a quarter cup of baking soda per quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Add to this a little liquid detergent and you're ready to wash that smell right out of your pet. If the smell is in the air instead of on a pet or clothing, you'll have to rely on the only proven method for odor control—open a window and be patient!

RIP Jasper

Jasper crossed the bridge 4 years ago today. Obsessed with toys, especially balls, he was always trying to figure out a way to fit that 4th tennis ball in his mouth.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Wag of the Tail

Popeye has never lifted his tail before. We think he has at least some feeling there based on the pinch test that a physical therapist performed, but movement-wise, his tail has always remained limp. At most, the base has only twitched spasmodically.

But last week, as I was finishing up expressing him, his tail started wagging. Not in the same side to side motion that you associate with wagging tails, but it was definitely what I'd call wagging. He still doesn't do it very often and the few times have always been after I've just finished expressing him. I don't think he has any awareness or control over it, as the wagging doesn't seem to reflect excitement or any of the usual feelings that dogs have when they wag their tail. But just the fact that it actually lifted is pretty amazing.

Monday, May 25, 2009

How Bad is the Economy?

Cats are SO dramatic!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Zooming in the Cart

You'll remember that we have continually had tipping problems with Popeye's cart since day 1, something that been driving me crazy. Quite unexpectedly though, the cart now seems a lot more stable since Popeye had his legs amputated. I guess the weight of his hind legs hanging forward on either side of the cart was causing most of the problems.

Previously, I would not even allow Popeye to walk too fast in his cart because the wheels would hop up and increase the risk of the cart falling over to its side (which it did several times). Running was out of the question because the cart was guaranteed to tip over, even if he was just running in a straight line. And while the cart still isn't perfect, moderate zooming is now allowed.

"Race you!"

"Hey, where'd you go slowpokes?"

"There you are!"


Friday, May 15, 2009

Walking Popeye

That's me behind Popeye. He's just spotted Tyler up ahead. He always gets soooo excited whenever he sees Tyler--as if the man doesn't live in the same house!

Tyler walking Popeye the rest of the way home (half a block).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Popeye's New Pet Stroller

Finally got a real pet stroller for Popeye. It's built very similarly to a baby stroller, except there is a basket which sits flat rather than an angled seat. The angled seating was a bit of a problem for Popeye. Since he tends to sit with the weight of his body on his front legs, any quick stops cause his butt to fly up in the air and even out of the stroller. With the flat basket of the pet stroller, this butt flying up is less of a problem and if it does happen, I don't have to worry about Popeye falling out of the stroller. He seems to be more comfortable in the basket too.

Plus, the pet stroller is rather cheaply made compared to the baby stroller (and is reflected in the price I paid). I say that as a good thing b/c it fits my small size a lot better. The handle is a lot lower and the frame a lot lighter which makes it easier to pack in the car. I can imagine the handle would be way too low for a tall person like Tyler though. It's compact and easy to navigate around the house.

Locking rear wheels, a storage basket underneath (it's too close to the main basket though which makes it a bit hard to access), 2 cup holders and a nifty center compartment convenient for treats. There's a retractable hood, similar to what you'd find with a baby stroller. The main basket cover extends way up and can be zipped close over the dog's head to act like a crate. It would have been cool if the basket was removable so it could be transferred into a car like a pet seat.

After ordering it online, I admit I regretted it, thinking it wasn't something I really needed since the baby strollers I have work well enough. But now that I see it in person and have tried it out, I think it's well worth the $50 I paid for it (brand new too!).

And maybe now I'll stop getting comments like, "Is that your baby?"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

Popeye's First Walk as a Bipod

One thing I can say emphatically is that it is a hundred times easier putting Popeye in his cart without those hind legs!!

Can you read what his collar says?

I Chase Cats! Donated by Spiffy Dog.