I’m Alive Because a Skunk Sprayed my Dog

HornetThe last few days the world has looked a little rosier to me. I notice I’m taking more time to marvel at natural wonders.

Near death experiences tend to have that effect.

Here is the story of how a skunk spraying my dog last week saved my life. It’s one of my silver lining stories.

Hubby, Doug and I were on vacation last week and our daughter was babysitting our 13 year-old Golden Retriever, Divot.

Two days after an emergency vet visit, Divot encountered a skunk. Despite numerous baths she still emits a faint “eau de skunk”.

Our first day back Divot had a playdate with Betty, an elderly customer of Doug’s. Betty loves Divot.

I had an hour of found time. What will I do?

Read my book? Or weed my flower garden?

Lazy Shelley voted for reading. Responsible Shelley opted for weeding.  Responsible Shelley won by a hair.

My, how the weeds have grown in just ten days! There is a big one there.

Ouch! Something just stung my left calf. Oh! There are prickles up my right side! What is happening? Insect! Bees! Run!

I dash for the front door, tear into the bathroom and tear off my shirt to survey the damage. One of the attackers is in here with me!

I bolt for the kitchen, slamming the door behind me.

Baking soda! I make a paste of baking soda and cold water and smear it on the stings on my side and in my armpit. Soothing.

I feel light-headed. Something is happening. Where is my cell phone? I have to sit down. My phone in hand I head towards the couch.

Divot and Doug walk in the front door.

“I’ve been stung several times and I don’t feel well.”

I sit down, relieved to see Doug. I know he will take care of me.

“What can I get you?”

My lips begin to tingle.

My throat feels tight.


“Call 911.”

While he dials I have the sudden urge to scratch myself. All over! It doesn’t help.

“Can I get you anything?”

“Yeah. A bucket. I’m going to throw up.”

I wake up on the floor. Doug is holding me, saving me from aspirating my own vomit. He is on speakerphone with 911. I obviously missed the pail. I am confused. When did that happen?

EMS arrives.

They ask a lot of questions. I know the answers but some of my answers are too long. I don’t have the energy!

Epi-pen in thigh. That hurts!

We need to get your blood pressure up. That’s why you passed out. How is your breathing?

Amazingly, I had all the symptoms of anaphylactic shock except the trouble breathing.

After six hours in Emergency, they release me, a prescription for an Epi-Pen in hand and strict instructions to avoid bees for 72 hours. Seriously? They need to tell people that?

Doug found and destroyed a hornet’s nest behind the weed I plucked. (Now I am The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest!)

So what does all this have to do with the dog being sprayed?

When Divot got to Betty’s, Betty wasn’t feeling well and she was put off by Divot’s skunk smell so Doug decided to cut the visit short.

If he hadn’t walked in the door when he did, I’m not sure I could have called 911 for myself. I could have choked on my own vomit. Without immediate attention, I could have experienced cardiac arrest or had severe breathing issues.

So the way I see it, I’m alive because a skunk sprayed my dog.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.