When Karen Woolley from Nottinghamshire mislaid her diamond ring she suspected that her puppy Barney, a cocker spaniel cross miniature poodle, might have something to do with the disappearance. But how could she prove it? Karen and husband Steve hunted high and low for the diamond-encrusted ring after which Steve suggested that they used an old metal detector – the one they’d acquired ages ago and never used.
Sure enough, the detector beeped every time they passed it over Barney’s chest. There was no doubt that the dog had swallowed the ring. Twenty minutes later the beeping was coming from the belly.
Barney was rushed to a vet and was soon on the operating table, sliced open and the ring retrieved just as it was exiting his stomach. The vet said because the ring was so large and Barney so small, he could have died or been seriously injured if he had tried to pass the ring himself.
Karen said, “There are three big diamonds that stick out of the ring – and if they had ripped the intestine he could have bled to death. If we hadn’t acted when we did, and used the metal detector on Barney, he could have died. It’s a bit embarrassing to have to tell people that the dog ate my ring – but at least we have it back now and there’s no lasting damage been done”
How nice to have a happy ending to a story. The vet said that puppies can be very curious and he advised owners not to let them play on their own and to keep small objects out of reach. The couple hoped that Barney would pass the family heirloom naturally – but the vet warned that he was so tiny that the ring could have killed him as it passed through the digestive system.
Jane McLachlan, practice director at the Veterinary Centre where Barney was treated, said: “It’s unusual for an object to be removed in an operation, as it usually passes through naturally, or by using liquid paraffin to lubricate the stomach.”
Karen said that the ring was usually on her finger all the time and that she’d taken it off when taking a bath. The solution might be to ban Barney from the bathroom, Karen!
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Previously published in The UK Searcher magazine