Lola Teaches Problem Solving

Many of you already know Lola as our social media manager and holiday good wish giver.  Last week, she gave us a good lesson on problem solving.  We were in Cleveland, Ohio for my first half marathon since breaking my leg.  It was 6:00 am Eastern (a/k/a 5:00 am Central), and we were outside with Lola to go potty before getting in the car for the 7.5 hour ride home.

There was a rustle in the bushes, which meant she had to go check it out and chase after whatever was causing the rustle.  Of course, it was a skunk.  A skunk that sprayed her right in the face.  No harm was done to her, but man alive, did she smell.

So what do you do?  First, you make sure she does NOT go into the house.  Then you identify the problem and potential solutions.  Next you start looking at which of those potential solutions are feasible.  In our case, we identified the potential solutions of:

  1. Dog wash at local dog kennels
  2. Dog wash at a car wash

There was a local kennel that advertised being open 24/7.  However, after a phone call, it turns out they boarded dogs 24/7, not that you could bring a stinky dog in at 6:00 am.

There are quite a few car washes that have installed dog washes.  However, the nearest 24/7 one was 30 miles away, and the closest one opened at 8:00 am.   No one was going to last 30 miles with her in the back seat, and waiting 2 hours meant that we’d miss a meeting that night in Madison.  So first 2 solutions were no-go’s.

So, next solution session was how do we “home remedy” this?  Which brings us to the next step of problem solving: Start asking others.  The American Kennel Society and the Humane Society each suggested the following concoction:  Hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap.  With a 24 hour CVS a few blocks away, this was a possibility – assuming it worked.  So, off I go to CVS.  On the way there, I get a call, “Further Google results say that shouldn’t go on her face.  They suggest buying douche.” OK, I start loading up my basket with what looks to be the beginning of the weirdest spa day ever, but I can’t find the hydrogen peroxide, and I strike up a conversation with the clerk.  It turns out her dog was sprayed by a skunk a few months ago.  She used the same remedy, and it worked!  Yay! There is a chance the next 8 hours won’t be pure misery.

We move on to the next step, testing the hypothesis.  We mix it all together and apply away.  Lo and behold!  She smelled less and less with each hosing.  She may have also been a tiny bit blonder.  The douche did knock down the smell considerably and added a summer freshness that wasn’t there before.  She wasn’t skunk-free, but it was definitely something we could deal with in the car.

Quite a few shakes from her later, and off we went.  Problem solved!

To summarize:

  1. Identify the problem
  2. Identify potential solutions
  3. Ask experts and others who have experienced the same
  4. Test drive the chosen solutions
  5. Learn from experiences to do better in the future


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