DEAR ABBY: I am grief-stricken. Yesterday my husband and I faced the awful experience of putting our 3-year-old chocolate Labrador to sleep. For two or three days, he wouldn't eat or drink, and was lethargic and vomiting. We took him to the emergency vet hospital. The vet examined him and found "something" in his abdomen, which would require surgery to remove. What they found in his intestines was part of a kitchen towel.
Unfortunately, the tissue around the towel was infected and dead from the lack of blood supply to his intestines. The damage was worse than anticipated, and he began bleeding internally. He was too weak to make it, and we had to put him to sleep. To say that we're devastated is an understatement.
I always hang a kitchen towel on the handle of the oven on which to dry my hands, remove things from the oven, etc. The towel probably smelled like food, which prompted him to chew it. To top it off, when we came home from the surgery, our 1-year-old puppy threw up the other portion of the towel!
Abby, please make other pet owners aware of this potential hazard. If sharing my story can spare someone else the devastation of losing a pet to something so avoidable, I'll gain some comfort. -- KELLEE IN TEMECULA, CALIF.
DEAR KELLEE: Please accept my sympathy for the sad loss of your dog. I'm printing your letter as a warning to pet owners. While I thought what happened to your beloved pet was a freak accident, a staff member recalled that something similar had happened to a dog belonging to one of his relatives.
DEAR ABBY: The passenger side door of my friend "Rodney"'s truck does not close easily. A few weeks ago as I left the vehicle, I closed the door, but not completely. The locking mechanism prevented me from opening the door to reclose it, so I decided to push on it to force it closed.
I pushed the door with my posterior and heard a ringing, metallic popping sound. I leaned away from it and saw I had dented the door with my rear end!
Rodney had recently paid for two collisions with this truck, so I offered to pay for the damage I caused. I got estimates from two repair shops, and it will cost close to $1,000 to fix the door.
My girlfriend insists that it was not entirely my fault, and that I should tell Rodney to make a claim on his insurance for it.
Abby, what is your advice? -- WATCHING MY ASSETS
DEAR WATCHING: Rodney should not have to file a claim on his insurance, as that could increase the cost of his premium or possibly result in it being canceled. You damaged his vehicle, and you should pay to have it repaired. Fair is fair.
DEAR ABBY: Your column about displaying pictures of deceased spouses reminded me of the time our minister asked if anyone in the congregation thought that he or she was perfect. No one stood up, so he repeated the question. A man finally stood up. "Do you really think you are perfect?" the minister said. "No," the man replied, "I'm just standing up for my wife's first husband." -- VERNON BENSON, ST. LOUIS PARK, MINN.
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