PORTLAND, Maine — January 12 started like any other day for Portland resident Willa Wirth but quickly changed to one her nose would never forget.
Wirth went to take out her six-month-old golden retriever, Tommy, from her Munjoy Hill home, when things turned south.
"Where do I even begin," Worth said. "All of a sudden, I have a skunk in my house."
When she opened the door to take out her dog, a skunk slipped by her into the home and started running roughshod. The skunk's first victim: the dog.
"He got it in his mouth because he kind of went right for the skunk, and he pawed him, so he got it on his paw and he got it in his mouth," Wirth said.
After spraying Wirth's dog, the skunk continued to spray in her living room before running up to the second floor.
"It sprayed the stairs, turned the corner, sprayed the wall and the stairs again," Wirth said.
The skunk continued to spray in her bedroom, leaving its stench on all sheets, linens and clothes out in the room.
"I scrubbed for eight hours, at least," Wirth said.
She added that she had to do 14 loads of laundry to try and get rid of the smell on exposed items. Eventually, Wirth was assisted by the Portland Police Department in removing the skunk from the house. Once the skunk was gone, however, the stench didn't go away.
"It was so unbearable that I couldn't even be in there," Wirth said.
Wirth has since been able to stay with friends and family while her home continues to smell. A cleaning crew has already come and torn out the tarnished carpets. Wirth said, however, both she and her landlord have renters and homeowners insurance, and that it has greatly helped to offset cleaning costs.
Through the entire ordeal, Wirth has stayed remarkably positive.
"I'll be honest with you, I've been laughing all along. Life is short. If you can't laugh at things like this, it's going to be a long road," Wirth said.
She expects to be able to fully return to her home in one to two weeks.