I’ve written before about how our shaggy goldendoodle Murray is sort of a rockstar. (In fact, while Joe was walking him at Hovander Park earlier this week a woman stopped him and asked if she could pose for a photo with the Murr. Seriously.)
But, Murray is equally famous for being a rockstar of a different sort…
…this is the story of Murray and the rocks.
We adopted Murray when he was about 12 weeks old. Like all puppies, Murr chewed everything in sight. I bet I could write and maintain a whole seperate blog with stories about what Murray chewed, destroyed, and shredded when he was a puppy. (Although I was reassured to know that we weren’t alone in this – did you know there’s a television show called “My Dog Ate What”?)
The list of inanimate objects Murray destroyed in his puppyhood included: all four corners of our deck, an aluminum exhaust pipe, the exterior cable wiring to the house, countless socks, shoes, newspaper, pillows, and stuffed animals.
Anyways, about six months in he had outgrown most of the typical puppy chewing. Or so we thought. We gradually let the dood have free reign of the house while we were at work. But, I’d often come home during lunch to check on him, just in case.
One lunch break, I opened the door, switched on the lights, and immediately noticed bits of gray plastic, chunks of red rubber, and tiny little wires strewn across the living room floor.
Looking closer, I pieced together what it actually was: the remants of our Comcast television remote.
Not too big of a deal, I thought. Those remotes are easily replaceable.
The problem? As I cleaned up the carnage, I started to realize there was a whole lot more of the remote missing than there was left on the floor.
The majority of it was now residing in Murr’s tummy.
I called the vet right away and they assured me that since Murray was such a large dog (about 75lbs at that point), the little pieces shouldn’t cause him any problems as they passed through his system. But, they had me bring him in for x-rays just in case.
And so, off to the vet we went. They told me it would take a while so I dropped him off and ran some errands nearby (errands = Starbucks and picking up a new Comcast remote). About 15 minutes after I’d left him, my phone rang. It was the vet, asking me to come right back – they had something interesting to show me.
When I got there, the vet had great news: they couldn’t see any remnants of the Comcast remote in Murray’s stomach.
He then flipped on the light box and held up Murray’s films to show me the bad news.
Two quarter-sized rocks firmly lodged in dood’s stomach.
Murr hadn’t been acting sick – he’d been eating fine, not throwing up, acting his normal, goofy self. The vet mentioned that sometimes dogs will chew things when their stomach is upset – the reason why dood may have gone after the remote. (*I have another theory…see below.)
The verdict? The rocks needed to be removed surgically, and quickly. The vet was not sure how long they had been there but could see they’d be too large to exit on their own without causing major damage.
And so, Murray endured surgery the next morning (and had to suffer through a week wearing the Cone of Shame around his neck).
And we footed the bill…for well over $1,000.
Two days later, we signed up for pet health insurance.
It’s a good thing we did because about six months after that, this same story occurred again. Dood seeked out the Comcast remote, chewed it to bits, got X-rays, two more rocks were surgically removed from his tummy, cone of shame.
And, about two months after that, ditto. Again with the remote chewing, X-rays, surgery, cone of shame.
Yes, that’s THREE surgeries the dood has had to remove rocks from his stomach.
Thank goodness for pet health insurance – it’s helped out with the cost of these surgeries immensely. And, it’s reassuring to know that we’ll never have to make a decision about medical procedures for the dood based on cost. He’s our first baby and we love him, tummy full of rocks and all.
Doodle’s been surgery-free for several years now – he’s outgrown most his rock-eating tendencies (knock on
wood rocks). Or, it could be the fact that we’ve eliminated most of the rocks from our backyard (in our first house, we even poured a large concrete patio to replace the giant gravel pit that butted up against the deck).
Moral of the story: get pet health insurance – and hide your remote around this guy:
*My theory on the Comcast remote chewing: I don’t think Murray just coincidentally chose the same random household item to destroy each time. To him, the remote looks just like a telephone. He could see that used the telephone to talk to others, to send them messages. Chewing the remote was simply his attempt to talk to us, to send us a message. Calling us up as if to say: “hey peeps, my tummy hurts – take me to the vet.”
Don’t let that goofy, clumsy demeanor fool you. My Murray is brilliant.
On a completely unrelated side note: Lyla will soon be rockin’ (sorry I had to) a new pair of Tiny TOMs, thanks to a great sale today at Zulily. Check them out, there may still be some left!