Skunky 1, Steve 0

During night shift I often use my meal break to squeeze in a midnight run around the Stanley Park seawall. It’s a good way to burn off a little steam and forget about work for a while.

While I usually head out alone, tonight I convinced a co-worker to come along. It was nice to have a little company as I ticked off the miles. Unfortunately, it appears my friend and I got a little too caught up in conversation. While cruising along one of the trails that cuts through the park, we apparently failed to see that we were barrelling down on one Skunky McSkunkerson.

I saw him at the last second and tried to jump out of the way, but Skunky had already lifted his tail and let one rip. It was a direct hit.

Needless to say, I cleared out a good chunk of the office when I got back to work, and upon returning home was advised that I would be spending the night on the couch.

If anyone has a home remedy for skunk spray, please send it my way.

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38 Responses to Skunky 1, Steve 0

  1. K says:

    Tomato juice. Seriously. My dog was sprayed in the face, a few years back and 4 of the 1.5L cans did the trick. Not Motts Clamato, just plain old tomato juice.

  2. Laura says:

    The only thing that works on our dog is a combo of peroxide, baking soda and dish soap. Mix it up, slather it on and let it sit for 10 minutes or so then rinse. Might have to repeat it for the ‘direct hit’. Tomato juice etc. is just an old wives’ tale.

    Oh, and needless to say anything you were wearing at the time should go in the trash.

    Sorry this happened to you – wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

  3. Claudia says:

    Buy skunk shampoo at a vet clinic. Happens to dogs all the time 🙂
    Good luck getting rid of the smell.

  4. Chloe says:

    Time for a tomato juice bath!

  5. MBFA says:

    Oh damn!

    I don’t suppose the old tomato juice route is working?

  6. RK says:

    Mix half and half water and baking soda into a paste and use it as a body scrub in a bath with 2 cups vinegar in the water. Not only does baking soda + vinegar neutralize odors but its a damn fun bath. (2-3 cups white vinegar for a full bath of water). You can use it in your hair too. It WILL leave your skin feeling funny but it will get rid of the smell.

  7. TBB says:

    Mix equal parts of baking soda, peroxide and Dawn dish soap- this actually removes the odor, not just masks it. Be sure you first put the baking soda, then the peroxide, so the soda can dissolve. Then add the dish soap. You can wash of with it. You can even handwash your clothes, using it as a detergent.

  8. REskeptic says:

    EEEEEEEEWWWWW! Oh, boy I feel for you. And your colleagues. And anyone you have to get within 4 feet of. Skunk spray is…nasty.

    Best thing I’ve found for clothes, furniture and our large, hairy dog is Nature’s Miracle Skunk Off. You can get it at any pet store. If you have the ingredients at home, you can also mix up the following deskunking solution:

    1 quart (or liter) of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide, H2O2. Use fresh (unopened) hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Hydrogen peroxide eventually turns into water (H2O).
    1/4 cup (50 ml.) of Baking Soda
    1 teaspoon (5 ml.) of Liquid Soap

  9. Jen says:

    Dish soap, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide – works on the pups everytime!

    • Steve says:

      I mixed up a bottle of that at 4 a.m. but it had no effect. I’ve been told the swimming pool works, so I may head there.

  10. Raingurl says:

    Steve, I’m trying to eat my breakfast here! So hard to do when I’m LAUGHING OUT LOUD! Not even a good ol’ fashion beat cop can fight off a skunk! I honestly thought this was going to be a story about one of the residents that live in Stanley Park! I would get (all) your hair shaved off and bathe in baking soda, vinegar or peroxide. Maybe all three………Thanks for the laugh, I needed it………..

  11. Janet Cook says:

    That stuff comes out of your skin for days. When you sweat, take a shower or bath, the stink is still coming to the surface! Anyone that would even let you in the door is GOLD.

  12. Jenny says:

    Keep scrubbing down with tomato juice and vinegar… takes multiple applications.
    Husband and I met the business end of a skunk on a hike in Maine last summer.
    We ended up chucking our clothes.
    That smell was stuck in my nose for DAYS.

  13. Scott says:

    A more alert running partner would probably help you more next time…..

  14. Neil Fisher says:

    I must ask. Do you run through the trails of the park at midnight in full gear or do you change into something more suited for running comfortably?

  15. Rogers says:

    I’m with the poster recommending tomato juice. It works! As a boy I too had an up-close-and-personal with a skunk. My mother hauled out the Heinz and that was that.

  16. Paul (Ontario) says:

    Skunk-off is a safe and effective product for pets that is available from veterinarians and some pet supply sources. It might work on a stinky cop, too.

  17. Jules says:

    Hi Steve
    We live in the mountains of the Kootenays, and encounter this situation a fair bit. (But it’s usually our dog that gets sprayed, LOL). We use toothpaste in very warm water- the paste kind, not the gel kind, and not a tooth whitening kind either. It seems to work, although I think that whatever people use, there is still a hint of skunkiness for a few days. I don’t know if this works on people, but hey, worth a shot! Best of luck!

  18. Kristin says:

    Tomato Soup… that’s what we used every time my dog mistook a skunk for a cat. He was sprayed many many times, and tomato soup was the only thing that ever worked

  19. Raingurl says:

    Well, how do you smell today? The folks on the WCE had a good chuckle when I told them your story. All we see in the ‘burbs are bears and deer and the ever elusive coyotes!

  20. JL says:

    I’d forgo the tomato juice remedy. Tried it once on my dog only to end up with a dog that smelled skunky and tomato juicy! I say go for a swim and clear out the pool, just like how you cleared out a good chunk of the office 🙂

    • Steve says:

      I’m happy to report that 15 minutes in the hot tub did the trick. Now I just have to figure out what to do with my stinky running shorts.

      • Paul (Ontario) says:

        How about a match???

      • Raingurl says:

        haha, don’t be surprised if they just “disappear”. I’ve thrown out plenty of stinky *boy* clothes in the past and he was none the wiser! LOL

      • Lori says:

        On some materials the skunk smell clings to and can not be removed best if you throw them out .Depending on your washing machine it may stink up your machine.( Found this out the hard way . It took 3 cycles to get the the smell out of the washer.)

  21. Jason LeSage says:

    Hi Steve,

    Glad to hear that your skunk problem has seemed to have been resolved from the hot tub. I am blogging/writing you not to give advise about your skunk problem but to ask you a couple of questions about policing. I did not know how else to contact you so hopefully this is permissable?

    I am a Criminology student from Ontario but I am working in Surrey for the summer as I got a summer job through the Federal Student Working Experience Program (FSWEP). I drove all the way out here from Ontario in mid May to accept this position. I am only in the Surrey/Vancouver/Lower Mainland area until the end of August before I return home to Ontario to continue my degree, but have been familiarized with the Vancouver Downtown Eastside from my past days of living in BC playing in the BCHL Junior A Hockey League. Being interested in community and social well being most of my life, I took it upon myself to get educated about the Downside Eastside as much as I can.

    From my experience of reading your blogs, driving through the Downtown Eastside during my own free time, studying the Downtown Eastside through other resources, and from doing a ride along with my uncle who is an Ontario Provincial Police Officer, I have decided that I would really like to be not only a Police Officer, but a Vancouver Police Officer and to one day, put in some time on the Downtown Eastside Beat Enforcement Team like yourself.

    Since I am only in BC for a scheduled short period of time, I was hoping you could help me and try to do me one of the greatest favours I could ask for. I believe that for me, in person and hands on experience is the best method of learning. I was greatly hoping I could to everything possible with your help, to try and set up a ride along or job shadow with yourself during one of your shifts. I think that this would be a unique once in a lifetime opportunity that I would be truly fortunate and grateful to experience. I realize there are concerns about ride alongs these days with many police agencies due to liability issues and the like. I am willing to go through an extensive background clearance (my current job required me to have a “Reliability” clearance with the RCMP) and application process in order to possibly experience this. I would be willing to forward you my Curriculum Vitate so that you get an idea of my qualifications and why I think I would be a great and deserving person to get to experience this with you or another colleague of yours. I am also willing to sign any liability waivers necessary for this experience. Addionally, my University has an insurance policy that I am familiar with, that allows its student to participate in job shadow experiences 12 months of the year, including ride alongs with police agencies.

    I am sure that your first instinct is “no” this is not possible, but I urge, beg, and plead you to please help me exhaust all possible avenues and resources/hoops that I may be required to jump through or go through to truly get this once in a lifetime and extraordinary experience. I feel this is a valuable and important chance for me to not just go on any job shadow or ride along, but specifically with the Beat enforcement team to give me unprescedented experience and knowledge of the Downtown Eastside and specific and unique policing strategies that VPD uses for the Eastside.

    Without writing a book to you about why I want to be a part of the VPD and why I would want to work in seaminly the worst and most difficult area of the city, all I can say is that I am truly very passionate and dedicated to wanting to be a police officer with VPD and helping people in the Downtown Eastside. I love difficult and challenging jobs/positions in my life that come with high risks, but also high rewards. When I played hockey in the BCHL I was a goalie, when I played football I was quarterback, when I played baseball I was the pitcher or catcher, and now, in real life, I want the most difficult job out there in my opinion. A police officer in the Downtown Eastside. Arguably, all the positions that I played in sports are the most difficult of each respectable sport mentioned, so it is only natural that I want a difficult and challenging career. In all of these positions in sports if you are performing poorly, you are at the centre of criticism and blame. Yet, if you are performing at a high level, you get the most praise and greatest feeling of accomplishment and contribution to a team environment.

    This is not to say that I wouldn’t want to stay on the Downtown Eastside my whole career. I also want to experience the K9 unit, the ERT team, and others. However, working the Beat is something I truly want to experience. Even if I had just one success story in my whole career about someone getting clean and improving their life, like the ones you’ve mentioned in your blog, I would be satisfied with myself and my duty.

    Before responding, if you could take your time and think of all avenues and resources that you can think of that I could explore if you are unable to assist me, I would truly appreciate that. I am a very dedicated, ambitious, and passionate individual so please let me know what if anything I can do for myself or what you can do for me.

    Thank you so very much in advance!



  22. Sue says:

    I never know what’ll pop up when I take a peek here. hmmm if you slept on the couch maybe bathe that in tomato juice too?

  23. Tanya says:

    bathing in tomato juice does work but add some fresh whole tomatoes too.

    • Tanya says:

      oh n cut them up too, GoodLuck 🙂

    • Jupp says:

      Ah, the aroma of skunks. don’t you just love it? Ew! We used to have one (my son named it Mr. Stinky) that would show up in our yard every siglne night. And it almost always meant going to sleep with that lingering stench in the air. I hope your skunk decides to move to another area soon.

  24. Steve (not the cop) says:

    I had a similar experience a few years ago… but with a better ending. I was running through a somewhat tight space between a building and a fence, and all of a sudden saw a skunk 5 feet directly in front of me. I stopped on a dime. The skunk lifted his (or her) head, looked at me, and simply walked off. For whatever reason, he/she possessed the good judgment to not perceive me as a threat.

    All in all, the reputation that skunks have is considerably worse than their actual behaviour. They have to feel quite threatened before they pull the trigger.

  25. Bruce says:

    Heh! Steve (not the cop):

    Operative word is that it is not when the skunk lifts their head at you that you have to worry, it is when they lift their tail! HA.

    Living in Delta, with a large lot populated with about seven 90 ft cedar trees, we have our resident racoons, who can sometimes be a pain, but also from time to time the skunks love our garden. And every once in a while a skunk will spray one of my golden retrievers.

    I have found that the products “skunk Off”, Natures Remedy” and other commercial products, can work well, but only if you have not tried to wash of the skunk deposit with water before hand. With dogs, all these remedies, including tomato juice, if you have tried to wash it off beforehand, will just result in the skunk smell coming back every time the dog gets wet. For a year!!!

  26. Raingurl says:

    I was walking up Dunsmuir to Granville on Friday night with my sister and my daughter. Two beat cops were behind us so I turned around and said “Where’s Addison?” The one guy laughed and said “What?” I said, “You know, the beat cop. He got skunked last week, I read it on his blog” The beat cop starts laughing again and says “Oh yeah, I heard something about that” Meantime, my sister pipes up “You can’t talk to them like that!” I do have a commanding voice after all. My daughter gets in on it with a few questions of her own so we held back while she and the beat cops walked and talked. It’s a good feeling knowing that my daughter is growing up knowing she can always talk to the police. My sister took pictures from behind. I told her to get in front of them but she said we aren’t allowed to take pictures of the police. I said “Haha, OK” I wasn’t in the mood to argue (it was her birthday). I realized after that chance encounter with the police that it was one year to the day from the Vancouver Riots. What a difference a year makes.

  27. Tyler says:

    Okay a few points…

    – The office still smells.
    – Your locker still smells.
    – Now, I’d imagine, some hot tub somewhere smells.
    – Did I mention the “new” office still smells.
    – At least is was a skunk and not a bear, mountain lion or midnight ron des vous.

    Was it running by the skunk that perhaps made if feel threatened or was it that little scream you let out at the sight of “Mr. Skunkerson”?
    Come on Steve, the blog world wants to know.

  28. Heather says:

    Hi Steve. 🙂

    Just recently found your blog and spent the better part of the last two days reading the whole thing. I think this is a really cool thing you’re doing. It gives us a much better idea of what is involved in the work a police officer does.

    I will be going back to school this fall, majoring in criminology and psychology. I haven’t completely made up my mind yet what to do with my degree once I have it, but the one thing that has come up over and over in the little research I have done is law enforcement. I do have a few hurdles to overcome but four years is plenty of time to take care of them.

    I spend a fair bit of time downtown so I will keep an eye out for you and say hi if I can.

  29. Sarah says:

    Awe Steve 🙁 poor you, maybe you should of still walked Hastings, scare some people away for the night 🙂 I heard tuna water works…. But then you would just smell fishy so don’t know which one is worse 🙂 good work on the down town east side PLEASE keep it up.

  30. Norm says:

    Hello Constable,

    I used to deliver newspapers as a second job and have been hit by skunks two and a half times (the half was shoes only as I managed to jump away) and because I was away from home a fair distance I had to use my car until done with papers and then drive home. I too made other things smell, especially my car. I found a product at Canadian Tire called: Smoke Relief and Odour Control. It not only gets rid of smoke smells but animal musk smell as well. It does work. I sprayed the interior of my car and then left all the windows closed. Sprayed my shoes and left them out on my balcony. Applied this stuff twice to both car and shoes and no more smell. If you can find this product still, give it a try. Hope it helps.

    Thank you for all that you and your fellow Police Officers do out there. Take care.