Your dog’s stomach–”The Museum of Un-Natural History”

Our latest column from William Thomas

Not so many years from now after the earth has been destroyed by floods, wildfires, pestilence and…please see the Bible for the complete list of violent end-of-the-world options.

They will then begin a massive archeological dig to discover who lived here and what life was like on earth. And it will be so unnecessary because all they would have to do is go to any veterinarian’s office and look on top of the fridge where they keep a collection of the more noteworthy objects they have removed from the stomach, intestines, colons and rectums of man’s best friend.

What the vets remove from the innards of canines should be displayed in every town’s museum of unnatural history. Aliens would certainly learn about our currency and how much money means to us if they studied the file on the family in Barrie, Ontario who, after discovering $1,110 in three envelopes missing from the bedroom dresser, spent three winter days sifting through the frozen lumps left in the backyard by their three-year-old Golden Retriever. After working with hot water, Lysol and face masks, they managed to recover $960 in cash. Nobody knows what happened to the remaining $150 but they’re keeping an eye on that dog like he’s a pooping ATM.

Similarly, a husband in Montreal was ripping through Christmas wrapping looking for the cellphone his wife had given him that morning. Nothing. But when he went into the kitchen for another cup of coffee, he heard the cellphone ring…in their dog’s stomach. The vet assured him the palm-size phone would not pass and surgery was necessary.

With nothing to lose but the bonus minutes, the couple decided to wait it out and lo and behold, with an awful lot of cod liver oil, the dog regifted the phone to his owner. The process is known as “Call waiting and waiting and whoa!…man, that had to hurt.” Some important messages were lost…mainly in the lower colon.

A list of what my friend and Jake’s vet David Thorne removed from dogs would include a ten-inch plastic bat that squeaks, a rubber motor mount, a red elastic hair scrunchie, a golf ball (Spalding), a flip flop, socks, tubes of medicine and salves with oversized tops, rubber bands, beer caps, safety pins and an 8-inch curved rib bone that miraculously made it’s way through the entire system of a dog who eventually and gratefully spelled relief with a capital “Roof!”

At Madeleine Zeller’s clinic in Welland, socks, pantyhose, and scrunchie hair bands were the most popular contents of the canine stomach. She has removed carpeting, stones, rubber balls, twist ties, tinsel, earplugs, coins, baby soothers, and a shish-ka-bob skewer from a dog who pulled off a daylight BBQ robbery in full view of all the guests.

Her colleague Mike Finnigan was scoping a dog’s stomach when he jumped back at the sight of a big black spider staring back at him. It turned out to be rubber and therefore, eventually less painful to pass than that motor mount.

Dr. Allan Bennington of Guelph University once removed a mound of gravel from a dog’s stomach after he ate the spot in the driveway where his owner had emptied the BBQ grease. He has also removed everything from razor blades to a fish hook with nylon line after a dog ate the bait. He once extracted a metal ball bearing after a kid rolled the “steelie” towards the dog who

was laying on the floor at the time. The dog opened his mouth and the ball bearing kept going, all the way through to the end of the digestive tract.

Similarly, Dr. Bennington had a teenager miscue on the basement billiard table sending the eight-ball sailing through the air. His dog, ever alert for a game of catch, opened his mouth and the weight of the ball kept it going all the way down the throat and into the gut pocket.

It took the doctor an hour to recover the black ball from the dog’s stomach and forty minutes to get the surprised look off the teenager’s face. And remember Sparkie, when you scratch on the eight-ball, you lose the game.

Other items recovered from the bellies of mutts include a horse’s riding crop, a whole baked potato, a rubber chicken, the bald head of Malibu Barbie and 109 elastic hair ties swallowed by a golden doodle.

So yeah, meticulous excavation and archeological digging would be a waste of time by outer space explorers trying to unearth the life and times of humans. You name it, our dogs have swallowed it and most of those souvenirs are still on display.

Please keep a close eye on your canine. Unless the object is actually bigger than the dog, it could well wind up in his stomach thereby doing great damage to your wallet.

And for comments, ideas and copies of The Legend of Zippy Chippy go to www.williamthomas.ca.