Recently, one of our dogs - the troublemaker - got into a garbage bag where there were chicken bones. Please note - we did NOT give him the bones, we do know better! When Alex saw him, he of course gave the command to drop it, which had the opposite effect on Hunter, who began to gulp it down even quicker to make sure Alex didn't take the precious, forbidden treat away.
We quickly realized that there was something wrong when Hunter started acting erratically, scratching at his mouth with his paw, which was bloody. At first, we couldn't figure out what was bleeding - the paw or the mouth. When we realized that we couldn't risk getting bitten by putting our hand in his mouth to try to remove the bone, we put his muzzle on him and Alex rushed him to the veterinary hospital.
Everything happened so quickly, within 5 minutes they were out the door. But in that time period, I managed to be angry at Hunter for costing us an unknown amount in hospital bills while at the same time being scared that he may not make it. At this point, we weren't sure if he was choking or what.
As it turned out, he got the bone stuck behind his upper hind teeth, so he was definitely in pain (he was bleeding, after all), but not in imminent danger. The hospital staff made him wait as they tended to real emergencies. He ended up needing anesthesia in order to allow the vet to remove the bone. While he was under, he got a complimentary pedicure, so that was good.
When Alex finally returned with Hunter after 3 hours, we were both relieved. The bill wasn't as bad as it could've been: $200. And most importantly, Hunter was ok. He gets on our last nerve pretty much on a weekly basis, but this episode made us realize that we love him anyway, he's part of the family, and we'll just have to accept that he comes with drama and trouble.
While I was praying to St. Francis of Assisi to intercede and help Hunter, I realized that we are so often just like Hunter. We sneak things we're not supposed to do, and when we're reprimanded, we get even more adamant about having our way, until we finally get hurt. Even as God tries to help us, we resist, not realizing what is good for us. Yet how awesome to think that just like we put up with Hunter, God puts up with us. He loves us even though He'd much rather we didn't bring so much drama and trouble everywhere we go!