Our dog Eddy ate a cigarette lighter Wednesday morning.
Then he went under the knife.
It was not my knife.
It was the skilled hand of Dr. Stacy Davidson at Heritage Animal Hospital on Hilton Head Island. She went in there and fished out the Bic lighter and sent our blue heeler Australian cattle dog home in one piece.
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We even got to keep the little black lighter — our prized, $1,500 Bic lighter.
I think they're going to name a wing at the animal hospital for Eddy. It is the home-away-from-home for Eddy and his sister, Shasta.
This breed inhales life. They will do anything, and eat anything, with no fear, no second thoughts and no regrets.
Shasta has leaped from a moving car. Eddy climbs trees. They suck down dog food like they have never eaten before, and will never see food again. Outside, they eat pine cones, sticks, dead marsh grass, dead crabs.
Suffice it to say that if we were to sell Eddy, we could put him on the market as either a dog or a septic tank.
Eddy is an entrepreneur. He operates Eddy's Napkin Service, available 24/7 to Hoover up any crumbs left behind. He'll even eat your napkin at no extra charge.
So my wife, Sybil, who is responsible for these dogs as well as BraeBrae, the rescue from the wonderful folks at Maranatha Farm in Ridgeland, needed Eddy's Napkin Service Wednesday morning. Some treats and treat crumbs had fallen on the bathroom floor and she invited the Heelers in to vacuum it up.
"I saw the crumbs on the floor and then the two heelers and then the lighter, and two seconds later there was no lighter," she said.
What do you do when your dog gets fueled up with a lighter?
She was worried it could kill a dog. I was worried that if Eddy broke wind, he'd catch the house on fire.
She took them to the vet, guessed wrong on which one to X-ray first, and then watched as Eddy was made to throw up, but didn't flick the Bic. The veterinarian recommended we not leave the lighter in there, even though "they can pass some weird things," she said.
And she's known dogs to eat some weird things as well that require surgery, like a deer antler, a big squeaky toy, a disposable razor and a mango pitt. But never a lighter.
We chose to operate here over a trip to Charleston for an endoscopy.
One of the vet techs could not help but laugh at the situation.
During surgery, they took guesses on the color of the lighter.
And when the lighter came out, Dr. Davidson tried it to see if it worked. Nope. It's not a Zippo.
Now Eddy is a cone head for two weeks. And he won't get to chase a ball on the beach or leap to perch atop of a fire hydrant. He's already over the surgery thing, ready to go flat out, herding the imaginary cattle, and cigarette lighters, of Hilton Head.
Dr. Davidson fired off this helpful tip for all you dog owners:
"Smoking is bad for you — and your dog."