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Meet Rex, a shih tzu and the beloved little caretaker in Nahla’s family.
“My son wanted a dog, because all his friends had dogs,” Nahla remembers.
An only child, her 12-year-old-son needed a companion, but adopting a dog wasn’t an easy decision for her. Nahla grew up with a deep fear of dogs—fortunately, Rex’s personality and his smarts quickly won her over.
“My husband actually encouraged me to not be scared,” she remembers. “From the first moment I saw [Rex], I liked him. I took him in my hands and that was it—all the fear was gone. The first moment I met Rex, it was a joy.”
Since that fortuitous day, Rex has become a part of the family.
Nahla says, “He likes to play around, sit in our lap … if we’re not home and we come home, it’s like a feast for him every time.”
Rex’s social nature makes him a hit at family parties. However, at one such event, he bit off more than he could chew and wound up in this Hambone-nominated situation.
“We were at a graduation party,” Nahla recalls. “There were many people there—many kids and there was food.”
Among the treats available to guests was delicious whole chicken. She continues, “Maybe one of the kids gave him chicken with the bone [in it]…. We didn’t notice anything bad happening to him. We went home and everything was fine.”
Everything seemed perfectly normal until the next morning, when Rex went out for his walk.
“He was very lazy,” Nahla remembers. “He seemed very sick and when my son saw him, he said, ‘We should take him to the emergency vet.’”
At the vet, Rex was screened for a number of potential ailments. He received X-rays and bloodwork, for fear that his liver was to blame. After several days and a few attempts at treatment, Rex still wasn’t eating and was clearly in pain.
After three days of close observation, Nahla’s son realized that Rex was trying to eat but couldn’t swallow. The vet felt around his mouth and neck—and discovered the wishbone.
Unfortunately for Rex, the wishbone was lodged in a sensitive area in his throat. He would require specialty surgery to remove the obstruction. Nahla’s son searched around for an available surgeon that could do the job and eventually found one an hour away.
“At 2:00 a.m., he took him [from Ann Arbor, Michigan] to Michigan State University in Lansing … and [Rex] was scheduled for the surgery. My son spent the whole night with him in the hospital. The next morning, they [sedated him] to take this bone out. By 11:00 a.m., he came back home.”
Fortunately, Rex was quick to recover once the bone was removed. Within days, he was back to his normal self.
How Nationwide helped
Diagnosing a mysterious ailment may require a number of costly tests and procedures before treatment begins. Fortunately for Nahla and her family, Nationwide was there to help manage the cost.
“It’s very costly to have a pet when he needs a vet care or emergency surgery—sometimes it’s not affordable” she says. “[Pet insurance] was very helpful, and we are very thankful for having Nationwide for our pet.”