Poodle takes bait - hook, line and skinker
JASON Crofts glided his fingers through the fur of his fourth-and-fury "child", as he began to explain the event which scarred his family - literally.
The gut-turning occasion left the belly of Chico, the seven-month old Schnoodle, stitched - after she snagged more than a snack on their fishing trip on Sunday.
The rascal-like pooch swallowed a "size two" hook, sinker and line, which was baited and ready to be cast.
Mr Crofts turned away for "not even a few seconds" to help his daughter Tayla, 5, reel in her rod, before his attention was drawn elsewhere.
The distressed reaction of his 13-year-old son, Joshua, alerted the family of Chico's mischief.
"Josh immediately put his hand on her mouth to stop her from chewing," Mr Crofts said. "She was attached to the rod so I cut the line and tried to get her to regurgitate: to get it out.
"It didn't budge."
The family was sent into frenzy to ensure the safety of Chico, which had been a Mother's Day present for wife Haley.
Mrs Crofts, who was away at the time, said she promised Chico a party if she was to get better.
However, veterinarian Marta Brysha said she would have become "a very sick dog" if she was admitted 24-hours later to the Andergrove Veterinary Clinic.
"It would have been a very, very different outcome," she said. "The hook was not going to pass through the opening between the stomach and intestine, and since the line was still attached - with time, as the intestine bunches up, the line cuts through the intestine.
"The sinker was caught between the small and large bowel and sinkers are made of lead.
"If it was not removed, lead can cause toxicity which can be potentially lethal.
"If people suspect that their dog has eaten anything and swallowed it, it's best to come in and get an x-ray."