My Jack Russell Terrier Ate What? Part 2

pin by proxy

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.

Why is everybody excited?

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?



I’ve been on the Polo field

an important point, I'm sure

So, you have been wondering where I’ve been- looks like I’ve been hanging out at Polo Matches, not? No, you just see me in my ‘wedding attire.’ Included in this number is my ‘I never go anywhere without’ UV protection sunbonnet. I’m also sporting my first pair of prescription sunglasses. Yes, without these, who knows whose wedding I might have ended up at… squinting no less as well. As it happened, LT and I almost missed our niece’s wedding chasing back to S’ house to get the forgotten potato salad. After taking said salad to the host restaurant, owned by another niece and her husband, LT and I skidded into the City Hall patio area in Athens, Georgia just in time to see our beautiful niece get married.

What else is new? Sammy and Doggy Day Care. Yes, you heard me correctly. To get ‘acclamated to staying over the weekend when we traveled to heretofore mentioned wedding, Sammy visited Preppy Pet Care for a day a few weeks before we left. He fell in love with the place. Of course I had to sing to him on the way there (to get him to stop whining). On the way home, though, no whining. He curled up in his little house, snoozing all the way home. LT and I have decided to take him to DDC once a week since he loves it so much ;-) I’ll try to get a shot of him strutting in.

Hotter than hades here- never seen without my hat- had post on Why didn’t I go to Vet School ready to go… who knows where it is? Promise, I will find it- it’s hysterical.

Ok- better go- new hat catalog came in.


My Jack Russell Terrier ate What?

All better- notice size 11/10

Last week I promised you a three-part series under the auspice of Why Didn’t I Go to Vet School? As long-time readers may guess my beloved Jack Russell Terrier puppy, Sammy, is perched at  the top of this series. Who knew a little bundle of white fir with a black spot on the top of his head and black circle around his left eye could breakthrough my well-deserved midlife crisis? Well, he shattered it…

Hey Sammy

Sammy is Dennis the Menance, puppy style. Who’s Dennis? Stop reading- give your computer back to your mother. This trilogy focuses on the ‘medical emergencies’ in the Johnson household since Sammy came home to live with us in September, 2010.

Flashback: November 3, 2011:  Wednesday began as most mornings do at the Johnson’s. One of us lets Sammy out, LT makes coffee and I grab a diet Coke.  After LT wakes up and  the three of us watch the morning news together. Sammy and I whine; we want LT to stay home. We lose the battle. Everyday. He kisses me goodbye.

I then scooched Sammy in his ‘little house’ while I took a shower. Dressed, I let him out so he could eat some breakfast and have some water before I left. Counting my predetermined number of seconds for maximum effect with my eyelash curler, I hear a loud crunch from the kitchen (by now, I know what eating puppy food sounds like). I fly out to the family room. I catch Sammy with 1/2 of what looks like a Rolaid in his mouth?

Sammy- A Rolaid!?

I don’t remember him talking about indigestion?

Puzzled, I journey back to my dressing area, my thoughts full of Sammy scenarios which would preclude the Rolaid ingestion.  I look down and see pills: of all shapes and sizes. I scramble to get them picked up. Where in the hell did they come from? Then I notice LT’s daily med container on the floor- two of the “not yet here” days were open AND EMPTY! This is serious. I look at Sammy. Sammy looks at me. No one says a word. Damn, I know one day he is going to say something, but not that day.

I call LT. We try to narrow the playing field of possibilites…which ones were still there? what possibly could Sammy have swallowed.  LT calls back, telling me he is waiting a call-back from our vet.  How is Sammy? Sammy does not look like he ate a boatload of pharmaceuticals. No, he is dashing around the house doing his famed figure-eight loops at 90 mph. I, on the other hand, exhibit signs of possible drug ingestion: my lips are quivering, my breathing is rapid, and my sentences become increasingly incoherent.

Suddenly, I flash back to my “Take Control of the Intersection” days as a Paramedic. What am I doing standing here? My dog’s life is in danger. I am taking him to the vet- let her watch him grow lethargic. Sammy screeched to a halt when he saw me pick up his little house, my name for his crate. Headed to the car, I had no clue how to secure this baby in- bungee cords were nowhere in sight.

I went back in the house, grabbed Sammy and of course, my co-ordinated Vera bag of the day. When I put Sammy in his little house I asked him not to move explaining I did not want a rollover on the way to the vet’s office. I left him in the back asking what a rollover is as I backed out of the driveway, and zoomed down the street. The thought crossed my mind to engage my emergency flashers, yet I held back. My vet is literally four minutes from our home.

We pulled into the vet- I flew around back, grabbed Sammy and flew to the front door. It was locked. I tried again. It was locked (again).My anxiety attack hit a tsunami level when suddenly a vet tech opened the door, and asked  “Sammy, what have you gotten into?”  Little did we know we would all be asking this question many times over the next six months.

When she carried Sammy away, I burst into tears. For an eternity (reality check- 7 minutes) I sit there, hearing nothing. I send LT an e-mail, advising him that they are inducing vomiting. I think I hear him whimpering. More minutes pass. Suddenly, my vet appears holding my scared little Sammy. They had induced him to vomit three times. And, yes, Sammy threw up a nice variety of pills, sticks and some pineapple (?). Hey, his Grammy eats pineapple every morning.


Sammy  spent the next few days on nausea meds and bland food (like Purina Puppy chow is South of the Border Tacos?). And, of course I babied him a bit, more.

We won’t get into what I had for the next three days. Now, remember, this is part One. Leave a quick comment for Sammy – tell him not to feel bad about scarfing up LT’s pills. Or you can email Sammy at To make SURE you don’t ever miss a Sammy tale, sign up to get savor the ride posts in your email box! See you soon for Sammy Saga #2