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Man, oh man: Mini Aussie stung by man o’ war

Meet Dublin, the beloved mini Australian shepherd of Marc and Kelly’s family.

Inspired by a coworker’s adoption experience, Kelly and her husband Marc Roberts set out in search of a mini Aussie all their own, finding an instant connection with Dublin, the most reserved pup in the litter.

Once at her forever home, Dublin took to her new family’s beachy way of living. “Since then, it’s been a lot of fun and she’s a very active dog. She’s definitely become a beach dog,” Kelly says.

However, Dublin’s newfound love of the ocean also led to a frightful experience with one of nature’s most bizarre aquatic creatures: A Portuguese man o’ war.

What happened?

“It was just a typical Saturday,” Kelly remembers. “We went [to the beach] a little later in the day because it’s cooler. [Dublin] was running, she was doing her thing. She loves running after birds, herding them. And she’s looking for crabs and digging, right?”

“She’ll dig to China all day long on the beach if we’d let her,” Marc adds.

He continues, “We’re walking along the beach—probably a couple hundred yards away … and then all of a sudden she kept like rolling on her back.”

Little did Marc and Kelly know, tucked in among the seaweed along the edge of the water was a man o’ war, the common jellyfish-like creature famous for its beautiful colors—and its painful sting. Unknowingly, Dublin had stomped right on top of one.

“She came running back to me and rolled on her back looking at me like, ‘Oh, my gosh. Mommy, help me!’ And her paw was twitching uncontrollably—it was swelling, it was red.”

The couple had little experience with jellyfish stings and were still pretty new pet parents. Frightened by her symptoms, they quickly decided that the emergency vet was their best option.

“We threw everything together and I was carrying her off, because she couldn’t really walk,” Kelly recalls. “So, I’m holding her, and Marc is packing up the stuff, then we race down. Fortunately, we do have an emergency vet beachside.”

Marc adds, “Her whole back leg was getting to the point where it was swollen definitely up to her knee.”

Once at the emergency vet, Dublin was taken in for observation. The vet looked for an embedded stinger but didn’t find one.

“They determined that she probably would just need a pain medication and a Benadryl shot,” Kelly says.

Soon enough, Dublin was back on all four feet and digging around in the sand like normal. Fortunately, her fur-ightful experience didn’t color her love of the sea.

“She loves it. It’s her happy place, right?” Marc says, rubbing Dublin’s head.

How Nationwide helped

Unexpected emergency visits to the vet often can’t be delayed or avoided. Fortunately, Kelly and Marc had Nationwide to help protect Dublin.

“The biggest benefit is it’s peace of mind,” Kelly says. “We don’t have any hesitation to take her to an emergency room if we have to.”

Marc adds, “It allows us to make sure she gets the best care. We don’t have to worry about things, and it makes it easier if, heaven forbid, things happen—we don’t have to make very challenging decisions.”

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