Sammy ate a straight pin. Yes, the kind with a point, a sharp one.
Remember the promised three-part Sammy series about my infamous Jack Russell Terrier: Why didn’t I go to Vet School? You DO remember the nice, fuzzy moment we had reminiscing about my fire-drill run to the vet’s office. Think back: when Sammy swallowed some of LT’s medications after his pill container fell and some of the days opened? Any who missed it can catch it in My Jack Russell Terrier Ate What? Part I.
This week, I take us back to a wintry morning in January. Sammy scooted into the pnut room, ran out, looked up at me and innocently smiled; his beautiful smile revealed a yellow-topped straight pin sitting parallel to his gum line.
then he swallowed it.
I stood, transfixed, disbelieving, with a milk bone gripped in my hand (plans were underway to barter said object way from said pet). He smiled again, swallowed the pin and trotted off. I freaked. I picked up the phone to call 911, but something stopped me. Perhaps it was the sudden recollection Sammy is a dog. Who knows?
Plan B- Call LT. When LT finally deciphered my hystericalese*, LT called our vet. Word came down to rush Sammy to Dr. G’s office to Xray his stomach. Maybe I was dreaming?Not trusting him in his little house, I strapped my seatbelt over the two of us, and tore out of our neighborhood in typical Jack Russell Terrier fashion, 99 mph.*term used to describe souther wommen dialect when distraught and talking at a rapid rate.
We slid into Knightsville Vet Clinic with me jumping out of the car in mid-park. As I clamored through the front door, juggling Sammy, my keys, my purse and an umbrella, I hit the panic button on my car keys. Sonic sound waves bounced through the building touching off a crescendo of barks, meows and human exclamations. Welcome to Sammy’s world.
A quick X-ray revealed what we already knew: sitting mid-esophagus was the now-curved pen. It had paused, in an endoscope reachable area, for how long no one knew, before it would catapult its way down the digestive tract of our rambunctious puppy.
Now what? Dr. G pronounced if we’re lucky AND Sammy does move around much- Dr. S at the Emergency Fancy Smancy Vet Clinic aka Charleston Referral Vet Center could go down with an endoscope and retrieve this now infamous pin. So, back out in the rain with Sammy, my Vera bag, keys- you know the story and off to the Internist we go. Sammy begins to cry. I begin to cry. He wins. I stop crying- I belt out a verse of “You are my Sunshine,” and guess what? Sammy curled up and fell asleep. The problem with this solution, other than the mere fact that I cannot carry a tune is that I only know the first two lines of this wonderful song. I approximate I sang these 2 lines 55 times each way, making a grand total of 110 lines of iridgelytunes in an afternoon. That’s a lot of singing.
I digress– arriving at “the hospital,” I meet with the Internist, Dr. Serge Chalhoub, DV, DACVIM, to go over the medical procedure he is going to perform, sign 22 forms and leave. I then drove home to wait for word after the surgery.
When the call came, I levitated off the couch as if I had never heard a telephone ring. Quickly composing myself, I sputtered hello. With a line straight out of ER, Dr. S tells me “Sammy did fine during surgery, we got all the objects out. He is in recovery now- we’d like to keep him here for the day for observation. Unless something unforeseen develops, you can pick him up this afternoon.” “Objects,” I question. “You mean he ate other items?” The other ‘items’ found included a piece of porcelain and some ‘fuzzy stuff.’ When I saw the fuzzy stuff I knew where that had come from- he got his paws into some of my doll stuffing! The porcelain remains a mystery to this moment.
As you would expect, all at the hospital fell in love with Sammy- He never even made it into a kennel. He spent the afternoon on the cardiologist’s lap! Sammy’s doctor at the Emergency Vet here in Charleston was a Godsend as a doctor and a friend. In addition to his skill as a diagnostician as an internist and nephrologist, he is an all-around great guy. He called Sammy at home Saturday to check on him- Impressive, huh? (I keep his card in my wallet.)
For the next few weeks, Sammy continued to grow, play and enjoy life at the Johnson’s. We purchased pet insurance. We all settled in for ‘happily ever after.” NOT. Remember- I told you this is a three part story.
Final part of “Why didn’t I go to vet school?” will be out in the coming days. Believe it or not, it surpasses the first two! Now, animal rights activists- understand: Sammy is never alone. I do not jump in the shower, leaving him to nap on the rug. Sammy goes in his little house if one of us cannot “SEE” him. We keep our eyes on him outside in our fenced back yard. I do not want anyone to mistakenly think he strolls through the house with free access to anything in his path.
Wait, do Jack Russells stroll?
Maybe we find out in the next chapter of “Why didn’t I go to Vet School?”