Golden Retriever’s Health Insurance Claim Otter Than Most

Rupp of Saint Petersburg, Fla., had only seen one other river otter in her area in the 14 years she’s lived there.

But Pauline and her 3-year-old Golden retriever, Sadie, got an up close and personal look at another otter last month during a late night walk through the neighborhood. “Sadie’s always investigating other people’s gardens,” Pauline said, “but that night she started barking at a neighbor’s bush along our route.” As Sadie went to investigate what was causing the bush to rustle, her barks changed to yelps. “She took her head out of the bush, and she had this… thing, hanging off her face,” Pauline said. “It was so dark that I didn’t know what it was.”

Once Sadie had backed far enough out into the street light, Pauline saw that a 20 to 25-pound otter had clamped onto Sadie’s nose and wasn’t letting go. “I didn’t have anything with me but a retractable leash,” Pauline said, “so I didn’t really have anything to get the otter off Sadie’s nose, and I didn’t want to be bitten myself.” Eventually, Pauline swung the handle end of the leash at the otter’s head, and the resulting jolt was enough to make it let go. The otter scurried back into the bush, and Pauline took a shaken Sadie back home where Pauline cleaned the injuries to the retriever’s nose.

Sadie’s veterinarian prescribed antibiotics to prevent a bacterial infection and gave Sadie a rabies booster. “Oh, she hasn’t learned her lesson,” Pauline said with a laugh. “She’s still poking her head in bushes, and she recently got her head stuck in a gopher hole – that the gopher was still in.”

Barbara’s advice for fellow pet owners is not to assume their pets will keep their distance from dangerous equipment. “I would tell others to make sure that your pets are not close to you if you are using any type of tool,” Barbara concluded. “If your puppy is as inquisitive as mine, it just might cost it its nose!”



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