Morning marrow munching leaves Lab stuck

Meet Maeve, the beloved chocolate Labrador retriever of Tim and his family.

A longtime pet owner, Tim brought Maeve into his family as their third Lab. Little did he know, this cuddly pooch came with a personality all her own.

“They’re all different, right?” Tim says. “Our first two Labs, we were really strict about the dogs on the furniture. [With] Maeve, we tried to be that way, but she was just a 75- or 80-pound lapdog. She just wanted to be with us, so she would always jump on the furniture. We eventually—a lot like the youngest child—gave up and said ‘Okay, fine.’

“But she was funny in that, too. It wasn’t just like jumping on the couch or a chair. She’d jump on the coffee table and sleep [there],” he adds.

Over time, Tim’s family got used to Maeve’s lovable eccentricities. But just when Tim thought he was ready for any surprise, an unexpected bite on her morning marrow bone led to a Hambone-nominated debacle.

What happened?

Tim and Maeve were in the middle of their morning routine—he was getting caught up on the news and she was chewing on a marrow bone—when the unexpected happened.

“It was like those traditional marrow bones—those big ones—and she would chew on those for a little while,” Tim says. “She’d chew on it as long as I let her, but I usually didn’t let her go for too long. Then, I’d take it away, and we’d go out for a walk.”

On this morning in particular, Tim noticed that Maeve had laid down and fallen asleep with the bone in her mouth. The bone was large enough to present no choking hazard, but he kept close watch over her anyway.

“I said, ‘Wow. She really likes that bone. Likes it so much she’s fallen asleep with it in her mouth,’” he recalls.

What Tim didn’t immediately realize is Maeve had hollowed all the marrow out of the big, hefty bone and got her lower jaw stuck inside it. He continues, “I looked more closely, and I was like, ‘Wow. The bone’s not in her mouth. It’s around her mouth.’”

Very carefully, Tim tried to remove the bone from Maeve’s mouth with no success. He didn’t want to hurt his pooch and couldn’t be sure if she was injured underneath the bone, so he decided to take her to the vet. “She never cried, never whimpered,” he remembers.

The vet team set to work figuring out how to remove the bone from Maeve’s mouth painlessly.

Tim continues, “They said, ‘Okay. We’re going to sedate her. We’re not going to have to do surgery—we think we can just kind of twist a little bit and get it off,’ and that’s what they did. They didn’t cut it. They could just turn it and pull it off in a certain way, and again no other injuries.”

Freed from the marrow bone, Maeve—who was fortunately not injured in any way—returned to life as normal. Tim says, “It was just kind of stuck—didn’t crack a tooth or anything like that .… She was a little groggy from some anesthetic, but that’s it. Soon, she was back to being a 80-pound lap dog.”

How Nationwide helped

Pets tend to find ways to make the unexpected happen. It helps to have support when it’s needed most. For Tim, once a pet insurance skeptic, that support made all the difference.

Tim says, “When you think about when you need insurance, it’s for routine health issues—but it’s really for the significant health crises. When I did the math in my head I was like, ‘Wow. Look at what it covers. This may be a pretty good idea.’”

Now, several years and a few claims later, Tim has become a pet insurance enthusiast. He continues, “At first, I said ‘What?’ But when you go through calculations of the cost of health care for your dog over the course of a year, it makes more sense to look at insurance. We’ve had Nationwide pet insurance for all three of our dogs, including Maeve. When I meet [people] and they have a puppy, I say ‘Do you ever think about getting health insurance for your dog?’ And they say, ‘What?’ and I’m like ‘Listen, I’m telling you—I thought the same thing. Think about it, okay?’”


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