Chewy — Walkies and a Midnight Misadventure

comments 39
California / Inspiration / Photo Log / Photography / Positivity

IMG_2790_DxO10 ChewyBlog

December 1, 2014 — Los Gatos Greek Trail, Los Gatos, California

“Walkies” is more of a British expression than an Americanism, so we caught on late. It’s a perfect word. We learned it from Wallace and Gromit and adopted it immediately. So did Chewy. He adopted it so well that we had to resort to using other expressions when simply planning a day — perambulate, circumnavigate the block, mosey, constitutional, hike — to prevent him from injuring himself by bouncing off the walks when he overheard the word when it wasn’t meant for him.

But when it was time, “walkies” is what we said and what he said was “Let’s GO!”

We made many game attempts to train him to heel — but he saw no personal advantage in that so he usually took lead. A professional dog trainer, professionally training professional dogs would cringe. Good thing Chewy wasn’t a professional.

There were several things that were consistent with him: If he had to relieve himself, he always made his deposit far off the trail where nobody would walk. We never trained him to do that. He just did. He loved to greet people and was always a gentleman. Didn’t jump up. Waited for a pat or a scratch. And he sniffed everything. That was his way of catching up in the daily news. “All the news that fit to sniff.” Because he was, after all, a dog.

And he would always look back to make sure we were with him and say, as in the photo above, “Isn’t this great?!”*

(Aside: Canine psychologists and others with lofty titles pronounce loftily that we mustn’t anthropomorphize dogs and assume that dogs are smiling. “Dogs,” they dogmatize, “do not smile.” Right. They grin.)

The one thing Chewy didn’t count on when he became part of this family was the Muse. On occasion, the Muse could out-walk him to the point of his being dragged-out shot knackerd for the rest of the day. Didn’t happen often but when it did, he could be counted on to sleep the day away, waking up only to jump onto the bed when we retired and then conk right out again.

But there was one time we almost didn’t let him join us.

Midnight Misadventure

It had been a long day. A busy day. A stressful day. So when I took him out to do his pre-bedtime business at midnight, I wanted him to hurry and told him so. (This was before we had coyotes; I didn’t have him on a leash.) He wandered dutifully into the designate relief area. Quiet. Rustle. Rustle. Quiet. Rustle. Scramble. Yip! Yelp! Whimper… Chewy came tearing out of the darkness, blasted into the, house, jumped onto the family-room couch, buried his head deep into the cushions and frantically rubbed, screaming his head off. The Muse grabbed him and took him back outside. The aroma was — pungent is too mild a word.

Skunk. Direct hit from about six feet, right in the face.

I immediately thought, tomato juice. We had none.** What to do? Of course, Google skunk remedy dog.

 Try it. See what you come up with.

Right: hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and a dash of dishwashing detergent in specific proportions. Work into the hair, wait five minutes, and rinse. I did it.

You want a bonding experience with your dog? De-skunk him in five minutes. He was in awe. I was his god.

An hour later, scent-free, he was in bed with us.

(To be continued…)

(Canon 7D; Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 II DC OS HSM. RAW processing in DxO Photo Pro, Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)


*Spoiler: He was on a leash. I Photoshopped it out.

**The website I found at the time was written by the guy who discovered this formula. A cosmetics chemist if I recall correctly. He said, correctly, that if you use tomato juice you’ll just end up with a dog that smells of skunk and tomato juice. Not a desirable outcome.

He also said that he’d been asked many times how come he didn’t manufacture and sell the stuff. He’d make a bundle. Because if you put it into a closed container it will explode. Not with a fizzle, but with a bang. It’s a product liability thing.

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


  1. Wow, he has certainly made a special edition to your family, love the photo with the over the shoulder look. Do you realise that the term Walkies came from an extraordiary woman who at late stage in life found fame by training dogs on TV and it was one of her expressions…that we now all use.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I saw the “60 Minutes” segment about Barbara Woodhouse in the 1980s. Here’s a little commentary about it from the CBS website:

      “You might have thought that man praising dog is the most natural, most ordinary thing to do,” says Morley Safer. “Mrs. Woodhouse tells us there’s only one way to do it – her way.”

      “You use one finger only for scratching the chest,” says Woodhouse. “And you say ‘What a good boy.’ And you scratch the chest like that.”

      “I have a very wide range. You know, a, a voice…that is cross. You know, ‘What a good dog,’ ‘Walkies,’ ‘Pippie down,’ ‘What a clever girl,’ or ‘What a clever boy.’ ‘Naught-tee dog.'”

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I guess “It was a dark and stormy night” must have been out for walkies when you prepared this post, so you let “It had been a long day” stand in for it.

    As for the anti-skunk remedy, why not sell it as a kit with each chemical in a separately sealed packet to avoid interaction until a user is ready to mix the ingredients?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We’ve been lucky to never experience this and, although from afar both in time and distance, I smell your pain. That’s an odor one does not soon forget…especially in clo0se quarters. Poor Chewy. Their sense of smell is so much keener than ours he must have been in olfactory agony until you cleansed him. Of course he worshipped you. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • That was the first of two times it happened. Of course the second time we knew exactly what to do. That formula is amazing. It neutralizes the smell instantly. The hydrogen peroxide neutralizes the smell by making a chemical change in the skunk’s spray droplets. That produces a strong acid. The baking soda is there to neutralize the acid. The detergent simply allows the mixture to get down into the hair.


  4. Your wonderful photo captured my attention, Michael, but your prose is what held it for so long. It seems like each dog has its own way of doing things and its own quirks and personality–that is why they are so much fun to be around. I love dogs, though I don’t have one at the moment. I have had the “pleasure” of using tomato juice on a dog that had been sprayed and can confirm that it does not work all that well.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Cathy Lane says

    We loved these stories and great pictures all about Chewy, what a great gentleman dog he was!
    thanks for sharing, we are smiling this morning remembering your wonderful friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Bonding experience indeed!!!! Never had a skunk attack. One such ‘bonding experience’ I had with Hera was when a huge thorn from a cactus pierced her nose and before I knew what it was she was jumping like a kangaroo on the same spot! Pulling it out wasn’t easy but once it was out… oh the look she gave me! 😉
    That Chewy look on the photo above is just precious! Amazing shot!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Indeed. There was one other remarkably similar skunk attack about a year later. That time we know exactly what to do. We always made sure we had hydrogen peroxide and baking soda in the house. One time he got a long blade of grass up his nose and I had to pull it out. He thought I was a pretty cool guy then, too. The photo shows the “isn’t this great?“ look and smile. I mean grin.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s wonderful to see. And the stories shouldn’t detract. When you get a dog, you’re getting the entire package. There will be one more on Chewy for now, then a break, and then some more.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. What a joyful expression in his eyes! Yess!
    I used the term “walkies” with my dog when I lived in Germany too, it describes the daily, playful walks better than any word.
    Baking soda is very good cleaning and removing odeurs, I have learned that the hard way too. ;-😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that was his “isn’t this great?“ look. When he was happy he wanted everybody to be included. When we were happy he wanted to be included. Very social creature. A person in a dog suit.


  8. Ups, it went off… I’m not too good at commenting with the new iPad Pro, do not feel like I’m in control of everything, but it’s a challenge to give a try. 😉 I have never met a 🦨 but my golden retriever once had a terrifying encounter with a wild boar 🐗.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this image of Chewy. What a personality he was and absolutely gorgeous! We have never had the skunk experience with any of the dogs we’ve ever had. But that first little fawn we raised… she was curious about her first encounter with a skunk. Slowly she walked towards it with her neck stretched and her nose sniffing away trying to catch scent. At about ten feet from the skunk, she finally caught the odor, and stepped back, ears at full alert, and suddenly her tail went up! She high-tailed a warning and high-stepped it back to me… then she observed the critter from a distance!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much. I’m very glad that the fawn did not actually get blasted. I would imagine the mixture would be more difficult to apply to a fawn than to a dog

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s