DEAR ABBY: I am writing hoping to avert another tragedy like we experienced last week. Our German shepherd, Leah, was playing with a hard rubber ball the size of a tennis ball. Somehow, the ball slid down her throat. I tried to dislodge it by grabbing and pulling it out, then I tried the Heimlich maneuver. Neither worked. By the time we got Leah to the veterinarian, she was dead. They tried for 25 minutes to revive her.
Leah was a friendly, funny, loving dog, not yet 2 years old. We miss her terribly. Abby, please tell your readers to never, ever let their dog play with any object that fits into its mouth. If it fits, it can lodge in the throat. I don't want anyone else to experience the pain of losing their dog like we lost ours. -- KAREN IN CENTER VALLEY, PA.
DEAR KAREN: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your beloved pet. However, because you wrote to other dog owners, take comfort in the knowledge that you have very likely saved another four-footed family member's life.