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.