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When Youssef Saliba and Elizabeth Streb of Yucaipa, California lost their family dog to a battle with cancer, they felt a void that they knew would never go away, but might one day be lessened. One year later, Youssef and Elizabeth were introduced to Colbie, a 2-year-old Husky who needed a new home. After spending a couple of weeks with her, they immediately fell in love and chose to welcome Colbie into their home. Colbie was making great strides adjusting to her new family until one day when she had a huge craving for chicken and landed in the emergency veterinary hospital. Colbie’s dumpster diving dinner and swift recovery have earned her the title of June’s “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance.
“When we first saw Colbie, we thought she was crazy beautiful,” said Youssef. “We wanted to give her a chance at being a part of our family. We had her for two weeks before we chose to give her a forever home.”
Colbie fit in flawlessly with Youssef and his girlfriend, Elizabeth. The trio spent their weekends hiking and visiting state parks until one evening, when they found themselves rushing Colbie to the nearest animal emergency hospital.
The night before the incident, Youssef and Elizabeth’s refrigerator stopped working, which forced them to dispose of a large amount of cooked chicken in the garbage cans. The next day Elizabeth returned home from work to a jaw-dropping surprise.
“That evening Elizabeth discovered Colbie lying on the ground next to the trash can, unable to move,” said Youssef. “Elizabeth started to panic, unsure of what we had thrown inside the garbage and what Colbie may have eaten.”
A frantic Elizabeth rushed Colbie to the Emergency Pet Hospital of Redlands, hoping that she wasn’t too late. Once presented at the emergency hospital, the staff attempted to induce vomiting on Colbie, which proved unsuccessful due to the amount of food she ingested.
They turned to their last resort, which meant surgery to remove the excess food consumed. The staff performed an intestinal resection surgery and, to their surprise, discovered that Colbie had eaten up to six pounds of chicken and chicken bones. They managed to successfully clear the blockage and allowed Colbie to return home under close supervision.
“The team at Emergency Pet Hospital of Redlands knew how critical Colbie’s situation was,” said Youssef. “Upon arrival they took her straight to the back and started doing everything they could to make her feel better.”
Colbie was given a 10-day recovery timeline that included around-the-clock observation to ensure that she returned to her normal state of health, which fortunately, she did. Since the debacle, Youssef and Elizabeth have taken extra measures to ensure Colbie won’t be able to infiltrate the trash bin and consume its contents again.
“Elizabeth and I are very grateful to Emergency Pet Hospital of Redlands, they did a phenomenal job taking care of Colbie,” said Youssef. “Purchasing pet insurance for Colbie has proven to be one of the best investments we’ve made. There is no way that you should raise a pet without insurance and we’ve learned that the hard way.”