No one should have been surprised. He’s only eight months old. Putting things in his mouth is expected.
But swallowing a large rubber lizard?
Aspen, the dog my daughter’s family loves to love and laugh at, stopped eating and drinking for two days. He became lethargic, so not like himself. They took him to the vet and found out there was something in his intestinal track that was causing problems.
He’d need surgery.
This dog is a walking garbage disposal. He chews on anything that comes within mouth reach. Because he’s fast, that’s just about everything. Typical for most labrador puppies.
In our experience with pets, we’ve never had to deal with surgery for an animal. This wasn’t easy for my daughter and her husband–in the short time he’s been with them, Aspen has become part of the family.
For better or worse.
Aspen had his surgery, and the vet too pictures. He called the photos “veterinary gold”. When they cut open the intestine, this rubber lizard popped out, bloody and large, like it was still alive. Leave it to this four-legged dude to provide entertainment for the doggy surgeon.
When they picked him up, the poor guy was wearing the big cone around his head to keep him from licking his sutures. It’s been referred to as the cone of shame. Shame on him for having eaten what wasn’t edible. It affected how he acted. The normally bouncy, flouncy, fun dog was more still than I’ve seen him. He refused to sit or lie down. Sad situation.
He’d stand still, staring. Tail down. Head drooping. His eyes would close. He’d begin to sway–the medication made him tired. Then he’d fall asleep–and fall over. And bounce back up and do it again. His discomfort was obvious.
The cone will be on for two weeks. Consequences of his unconstrained chewing habit.
I feel sorry for Aspen. He’s at that point in his puppy life where he’s similar in behavior to a toddler who’s afraid of nothing and tries everything. A child learns from reprimands and experiencing the repercussions of their actions.
Or they don’t.
There are those of us at various ages that continue to act without thinking about the fallout from our choices. Kids need the structure of discipline and good decisions as they grow so they can become mature adults, full of character.
So do we.
I often don’t think twice about pursuing something just because it looks good in the moment. I’ll throw caution to the wind and will make what I know in my heart is a crummy choice. Even knowing there’ll be consequences.
When consequences come, my cone of shame may not look like Aspen’s, but I feel it as certainly as if it was around my neck.
It’s why I need a strong moral compass in my life. Someone that points me to better decisions and smarter long-range thinking.
My relationship with Jesus does that for me. He’s given me clear instruction in His word and with His presence.
No shame in that. Just a cone of love and truth.
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