You can tell your dog has been skunked out behind the barn when she streaks by you, sneezing, then throws herself into the grass and rolls in a hopeless attempt at scraping the smell off. While you are staring at her thrashing form and thinking, "Oh, don't tell me......" the cloud of skunk smell will wash over you as it trails along behind said dog like a comet's expanding tail. The stink is so powerful you can taste it and it's absolutely unmistakeable. Curse colorfully and mmediately abandon any plans for the evening.
Clip the poor dog to her trolley run so you can get the materials you need. Dog will be very sad and try to lean on you since you are the Stopper Of All Bad Things. Try to hold dog at arm's length while telling her you're not mad, it's not her fault and no, she can't come in the house.
In the house collect the items you need - bucket, spray bottle, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, dish soap. Mix one quart peroxide with 1/4 cup baking soda and add two tablespoons soap. Mix by hand to dissolve the baking soda. Pour into spray bottle. Roll up sleeves, put on tall boots and go back outside into the wall of skunk stink hanging near the house. Reassure very sad dog and start spritzing the concoction onto her fur. Spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz...... gently pull dog closer as she tries to ooze away from the spray..... spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, spritz, stop and shake hand which is cramping. Have dear husband take over the spritzing while you rub the spray into the wet fur. Realize that was really stupid because the smell has just bonded at a molecular level with your skin and now your hand smells like skunk. Dishwashing gloves would have been good. Continue rubbing spray into fur. Pause and start smelling dog all over. Reassure confused and offended dog that being smelled up close is a good thing. Determine which spots are stinkiest. Resume spritzing. Be happy that the smell seems to be fading! Continue until most of the spray is gone and your teeth are nearly chattering because it's freaking spitting snow!
At this point the dog will realize that the worst is probably over since the spritzing has stopped and the smell isn't burning the lining of her nose any more. She will suddenly shake violently with relief, showering you and dear husband with soapy 'skunk lite' residue. Even 1% skunk smell is skunky.
Shivering with cold, bring dog straight into the bathroom and into the shower stall for a real bath. Hold dog by collar to keep her in the shower whilst simultaneously shedding your skunky clothes and trying to keep your balance on wet tiles. Join dog in the shower and remove collar to wash later as it, too, is skunky. Bathe and rinse dog thoroughly. Give dog thorough smell-over. Congratulate yourself on deskunking the dog. Dry dog. Give yourself a shower. Step out of shower into bathroom that still smells like skunk. Feel as though the skunk smell is attaching to you in the wet air. Wrap towel around yourself and carry skunky clothes and wet dog towels to the washing machine. Start washer. Find clean clothes. Return to bathroom which still smells of skunk despite running fan. Wash down shower stall in hopes of sending smell down the drain. Wash floor where skunky dog feet walked. Wash collar. Give up on lingering smell and spray Febreze on walls, floor and shower curtain. Leave fan on.
Pour a drink, figure out what one can make in five minutes for supper at 9 PM and give the clean happy dog a cookie.....with your skunky hand.