I have discovered that, for a couple of reasons, blogging from my recliner is not the best option for me. First of all, when I sit down and lean back with my feet out in front of me it tends to trigger a hidden switch somewhere in my body that causes my eyelids to get heavy. This is not something new; it used to happen years ago, when the kids were still at home, and we would have family movie night. Everyone would enjoy watching a movie together except mom who dozed, and possibly snored, through most of it.
The second problem is that when Ranger sees me sitting in my recliner it is an open invitation for cuddle time. He seems to think that my lap is better suited to a lapdog than a laptop so as soon as I sit down, he comes and puts his paws on my knees and pleads to come up.
Our hearts are broken, and tears are falling. Our beloved Trooper has gone to wait for us at the rainbow bridge.
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….
We’ll miss you Trooper but will forever cherish the memories. ❤
Let me start by explaining that the photos of this tree frog hanging out on our deck railing have noting to do with the title of this post or the story that will follow. They were just some cool pictures that I took that really didn’t have a story and since this story didn’t really have any photos to go with it I decided to pair the two.
Isn’t he cute?
On With the Story
It was shortly after 4:00 A.M. when I was awakened by the sound of my husband frantically calling “Ranger, Ranger No!”. I heard the screen door close and again my husband’s command, “Ranger No!”
“What’s going On?” I called from the comfort of my bed.
“Ranger just got sprayed by a skunk.”
In the few minutes it took me to get up and ready to help, my husband had already gathered the baking soda and peroxide and was getting Ranger in the bathtub. I gave him a towel to dry off the pup when he finished and spread a blanket on the floor for Ranger to roll on after his bath.
The smell of skunk permeated the house and my next task was trying to get rid of it. If you have never smelled skunk spray before I will try to describe it. Putrid is the best word I can think of. It will make your eyes water, your nostrils burn, give you a headache and will make you nauseated.
You may have guessed that this is not our first go around with de-skunking dogs. In fact we have had multiple skunk encounters with both Scout and Trooper falling victim. In most of the other occurrences we were largely able to keep the smell out of the house by bathing the boys before they came inside. This time that was not an option. This skunk was on our deck and was not in a hurry to go anywhere.
In order to get the smell out of the house the first thing I did was open some windows and put fans in a couple so they were blowing out. This didn’t seem to have any effect. Fortunately I remembered what I used a couple of years ago when Trooper got sprayed that did seem to help remove the odor from the house. It was a container of diatomaceous earth. This particular container has cinnamon oil infused in it because it is sold as a flea powder but since diatomaceous earth is said to absorb odors I decided to give it a try. I did not want to sprinkle it on the carpet because vacuuming it up can clog the filter and burn up the motor in a vacuum cleaner (it is best to use a shop vac if you do use it on the carpet). Thankfully it was not necessary to put it on the carpet. I only had to set the open container in the area when the odor was present, in this case the living room, and the odor began to fade away. Since the mud room also smelled of skunk I took a disposable cup and poured some of the diatomaceous earth into it. I then covered it with a paper towel and put a rubber band around it to hold the paper towel in place. I wanted it covered just in case it got tipped over. I placed it on the shelf in the mud room and again the smell began to fade away. By the end of the day the house was pretty much odor free.
As for Ranger, the peroxide and baking soda bath reduced the smell to a tolerable level but the smell lingered on him. It was about two weeks later when we took him to get his nails trimmed. After doing his nails the groomer used cotton balls with hydrogen peroxide on them to clean Ranger’s ears and wipe his eye lids and the corner of his eyes, while his eyes were closed. She also took a Q-tip with peroxide on it and cleaned inside the edge of nostrils. These were details that we missed and this really seemed to help.
There are a couple of other things that we have learned through these dog-skunk encounters. One is even when the odor seems to be completely gone it continues to lie in wait only to return the next time the dogs coat gets wet, and the next time, and the next time… It may actually take up to a year before the smell can no longer be detected on the wet dog.
The other is that getting sprayed by a skunk does not teach the dog a lesson. The next time he encounters a skunk curiosity will get the best of him or his instinct will take over. He will approach the skunk and this scenario will be repeated and THAT STINKS!
According to almanac.com the dog days of summer run from July 3 through August 11 which is normally the hottest and most humid time of year in the northern hemisphere. Around here every day is a dog day. Just ask Ranger and Trooper. But, yes, the HEAT IS ON and it is accompanied by a dry spell so keeping the gardens watered has been the main focus for the past week or so. If you are curious about how we manage that on our off-grid farm you can check out our off-grid irrigation system here.
In the mean time I put together a collection of pictures that I’ve taken over about the past few weeks to share with you.
This is how Ranger cools off on these hot days. (Did you know beagles can swim?)
and Trooper enjoys laying on the beach after a swim in the pond.
The grandbabies love the water as much as the dogs do.
Dragonflies are yet another creature that appreciate the pond.
This one is drinking water from the sand. Check out the honey bee (on the left) that photo bombed this shot. She too was coming to the beach for a drink of water.
This beauty hung out with us on the beach, for a couple of hour yesterday evening, fluttering about and pausing now and then to rest or perhaps get a sip of water.
One last pond picture because we can never have too much cuteness. LOL.
Speaking of cuteness, here is a double dose – twins.
The lavender is gorgeous this year and the bees and butterflies are all over it.
We have transitioned from strawberry season to blueberry season. On the same day that my husband, and (daughter) Kara, picked the last of the strawberries, I took (daughter) Tina, and Jackson and Addy into the blueberry patch to pick the first ripe berries. While Kara took her 3/4 of a basket of strawberries home. Addy couldn’t wait, so she ate all of the blueberries we picked while they were still at the farm.
Start them off young – that’s my motto. They posed for a group photo then dad took Jackson and Addy, one at a time, for a ride on the tractor.
The garden is flourishing. I have harvested basil and calendula flowers twice so far.
We have green tomatoes, peppers starting to develop, blossoms on the eggplant,
blossoms on the green beans and the corn is knee high.
We cut garlic scapes (check out this post to learn more about scapes) about two weeks ago and will be digging garlic soon.
It seems that every summer our back field is dominated by different plants. This year it is full of clover and birdsfoot trefoil and I think it is just gorgeous. It’s also great bee food.
I’ll leave you with one last photo of this pair who stopped by our deck for a short visit last week. They were kind enough to stay so I could get a photo then they hurried on their way.
Thanks for visiting and remember – stay hydrated, breathe deep and stay well.