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Treat time for cattle dog mix gets tricky

Meet Rue, the quirky and playful cattle dog-retriever-Lab mix that Alexis Rose-Hamburg and her husband, Steve, adopted six years ago.

Rue shares the house with her beloved sister Gidget, an Australian cattle dog. While Gidget is laid back, Rue is the life of the party. Alexis says, “[She] loves to play fetch, loves to do silly things. She’s like the class clown.” She’s also known on TikTok for her blueberry catching skills.

Rue’s love of fetching, catching and play has added something special to the family. It also led to a bizarre emergency that resulted in her Hambone Award nomination.

What happened?

“[The dogs] had just come in from being outside in the backyard,” Alexis remembers, “and Rue has us trained very well for when she gets treats.”

Alexis tossed Rue her treat, like she did countless times before.

“It was a lighter-weight treat, so I think that just a piece of it got stuck, because she was so excited to get the treat.”

The couple didn’t notice anything wrong at first. But soon after they noticed that Rue was breathing in an unusual manner.

Alexis continues, “She was patting at her nose and sneezing and just doing weird things, and then an hour later there was a very loud sneeze … the treat came loose, but then unfortunately all the blood came with it, too.”

Alexis and her husband got Rue ready for the emergency vet, unsure about potential injury or damage to her sinuses.

“Even though we knew why it was happening, it still is very concerning when your dog has blood coming out of their nose,” Alexis remembers. “We were really scared that maybe she tore something or actually hurt herself.”

Fortunately, she escaped any serious injury from her treat tussle. Alexis says, “[The vet] took her back, and I think they scoped her and looked around, and they said, ‘She seems to be fine.’”

How Nationwide helped

Everyday routines can sometimes have unusual outcomes—a missed step off the patio or a treat in the nose can lead to a surprise visit to the vet. Fortunately, Alexis had pet insurance to help manage the unexpected cost.

Alexis says, “I always was like, ‘Ehh, do I really need [pet insurance]? I’ll just pay for the bill,’ but it was very affordable, and since it was offered at a discounted rate from my employer it was kind of a no-brainer.”

As a devoted pet parent, the peace of mind that Alexis feels makes it worth it. She adds, “I think knowing that God forbid anything seriously goes wrong that we have that other protection to help.”

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