Tabletop Trap Leaves Tibetan Terrier in Terrifying Turmoil

There are very few things Ilona Segedy of Pittsburgh, Pa. loves more than her local Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team, but even the Stanley Cup Champions don’t compare to her beloved 8-month-old Tibetan terrier, Ludmila. Ilona adopted Ludmila when she was just 8-weeks-old and has watched the spunky puppy blossom into an exuberant, yet incredibly curious companion. However, one day Ludmila’s curiosity got the best of her when she managed to get her head stuck in a solid oak coffee table just hours before Ilona was scheduled to see her Penguins play in the Stanley Cup Finals. Ludmila’s furniture fiasco and heartwarming recovery have earned her the title of June’s “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance.


On the day of the tabletop tragedy, Ilona had taken the day off work in preparation for the big night ahead. Ilona had two tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals, a dream for any hockey fan. Her brother Mark had flown into town to join her, and Ludmila was overjoyed to have the company.

“We were anxious for the game, but Ludmila was her happy self,” said Ilona. “I had gone outside to do some chores and Ludmila was hanging out inside with Mark. Ludmila is crate trained, but she’d earned my trust to have free range of the house. She’d never chewed on anything or had any potty accidents, so I didn’t think she’d get into any trouble.”

While Ilona was outside in the garage, Mark had laid down on the couch to rest from his journey. Suddenly, Ilona heard frantic screams from inside the house and rushed to see what happened. As she entered the house, she discovered a horrific scene. Ludmila had lodged her head through a small opening in the design of an oak coffee table in the living room and was violently contorting her body attempting get out.


“It was absolute chaos,” said Ilona. “Ludmila was freaking out and spinning around to the point that I thought she was going to break her neck. When we finally got her calmed down, it became obvious that we couldn’t get her head out. I didn’t know what to do so I called 911.”

Afraid for her dog’s life, Ilona called the emergency line and within minutes the fire department arrived at her doorstep. After a few unsuccessful attempts at freeing Ludmila, and giving further inspection of the coffee table trap, the emergency crew recommended that the curious canine be taken to an emergency veterinarian. Ilona wasted no time and called the local Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Clinic Inc., who advised her to bring Ludmila in immediately.


“They told me to bring her in, table and all,” said Ilona. “So we carefully loaded her in the back of the car with the table still attached and I rode with her while Mark drove. I tried to keep her calm, but I was worried sick. We didn’t even care about the game anymore. We just wanted Ludmila to be okay.”

Upon arrival at the veterinary hospital, the medical team was waiting with a gurney. As they wheeled the terrified puppy into the room, attendees gasped at the odd site. The veterinarians recommended putting Ludmila under heavy sedation to try and relax her neck muscles and squeeze her out, but warned that if it didn’t work, they would have to cut the table off with a saw. Luckily after administering the sedative, Ludmila relaxed enough for the veterinary staff to squeeze her head back through the small cutout in the table and free her.


“I was so happy when they got her out,” said Ilona. “They ran tests and took X-rays to make sure she was okay, and everything came back positive. They recommended keeping her there to monitor until the sedatives wore off. We were going to stay with her, but the staff assured me that Ludmila was going to be fine and told me to relax and go to the game. It couldn’t have worked out any better.”

Since the incident, Ludmila has made a full recovery and is back to her joyful ways. The coffee table has been banished to the basement until Ludmila is full grown. Ilona is grateful for the veterinarians’ incredible work and thankful for the pet insurance support she received from Nationwide.

“I can’t thank the veterinarians enough for helping Ludmila. They were amazing,” said Ilona. “Having Ludmila insured with Nationwide helped out tremendously. With Nationwide, I know I’ll never have to worry about Ludmila’s veterinary expenses, because I know we’re covered.”



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