Stomach contents of a 7 month old Labrador RetrieverThis was taken out of one dogs’ gut, at one time. Apparently, a 7 month old Labrador Retriever was admitted to the Campbell River Veterinary Hospital in British Columbia with lack of appetite and loose stools.

A Gastronomy was performed to liberate this pup of its stomach contents. All in all, 9 socks, a wash cloth, several rubber bands, underwear and assorted other items were retrieved.

Well, no wonder…

It would appear to me that this dog would require a tad more supervision and training.

Recently, a young dog was brought to me for training; a 6 month old Boxer mix pup with a penchant for childrens’ socks. Nothing to this degree, but within hours of his arrival, I noticed his roached back and generic, ‘uncomfortable’ appearance.

I cautiously dismissed his discomfiture as ‘noobe’ jitters, most dogs that come in for training struggle with the new surrounds, schedules and chaos for a day or two before they settle in. Young pups generally adapt more readily than their adult counterparts, so I was observing him closely but was not alarmed.

A quick email to his owner disclosed nothing unusual, he is well-supervised at home and is normally not a gulper of inappropriate objects.

He was reluctant to take water, had decided that the cooking was not to his standards and by the 10 hour mark I knew we were dealing with something else.

Sure enough, about the time I was getting ready to call the Animal ER, I hear the telltale urping and kacking of an animal getting ready to hurl the content of his abdomen somewhere in the vicinity of  my shoes, duvet or doorway.

My son hurriedly escorts the pup outside as my husband looks downward for the telltale sign of sputum and comes up with a pretty little green and white sock with red trim at the toe stitching and again at the top.

Gold Toes. Nice socks. I didn’t know that they came in sizes this small, or that color.

The pup is immediately comforted by his effort, he is moving better, acting less stressed and settles in for the remainder of the night without issue.

I contact the owner in the morning and ask her to locate the companion to the little green sock.

Thankfully, she finds it on the floor in the back seat of her minivan.

A cautionary tale that I have written about innumerable times before. Please exercise caution any time a dog enters your home.

Practice better housekeeping, teach your children to pick up after themselves and train your pup these two life-saving commands, “Leave it” and “Drop it”.

Since you cannot supervise your pup 100% of the time, please have the wherewithal to confine your dog appropriately so that he remains safe from such temptation.

If you think that training is too expensive, let me assure you that the cost of obstruction surgery is far greater not only financially, but in the risk that your dog may not survive.

Do yourself, your dog and your household a favor. If you struggle to find ways to properly manage your dog in order to teach him effectively, call a professional to help you.  It is far less costly than the emotional heartbreak of losing a beloved pet from something so simply avoided.