Pets can eat the darnedest things. Rocks. Socks. Panties.
Jamie Garwood's dog once ate a giant burrito. Not too unusual until you find out her dog is a Chihuahua.
Garwood, of Fort Wayne, left the house on an errand and left her wrapped burrito on a tray table, out of Cheech's reach. When she returned, Cheech had retrieved the burrito, unwrapped it and eaten the entire thing – all without making any sort of chili, cheesy mess.
"People can't do that," Garwood says. "He's done lots of funny things, but that one always perplexed me."
Veterinary technician Cindy Beard says employees at Veterinary Services in Fort Wayne have found all the "common" things inside pets: socks, underwear, rugs.
"You name it, they've eaten it," she says. "We've had a dog with a whole stomach full of rocks."
In most of these instances, the vets need to perform surgery to remove the item.
Usually, Beard says, owners are frantic when they call for help. But "the ones that have (called) multiple times roll their eyes," she says.
For the veterinarians at Northeast Indiana Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital in Fort Wayne, it's not uncommon to see a dog with a mouth full of porcupine quills. Each pincushion puppy is sedated before the veterinarians go in and pull out each quill, one by one, outpatient supervisor Kim Brooks says.
Brooks has even seen a number of "hooked" dogs, caught by their fishermen or -women owners when they cast a line. Or maybe the worm on the end of the hook was too appetizing for Fido to ignore.
Brooks tells the story of a boxer who got a soup can stuck on his snout after trying to get every remaining drop from inside the can. The solution, Brooks says: Sedate the dog, and cut the can.
Veterinary Services has a few repeat customers who just can't stay away from their favorite, inedible snacks.
Like the golden retriever with a palate for hairpins. Or the Siamese cat that gobbles gold necklaces.
Jack Neck had a thing for green Pixy Stix. Sara Patalita's cat had managed to get into a high, closed cupboard to steal the candy, eating the sugar sticks on her bed.
"He left the gummy wrapper on the floor and a sticky green mess all over my white bedspread," says Patalita, of Fort Wayne.
But not all animals' ding-dong dining moments are so traditional.
David Thoma, a veterinarian at DeKalb Animal Hospital in Auburn, tells a story of a baby gray-horned owl owned by a family who fostered and cared for it.
The family brought the owl in, noticing that it seemed to be depressed and not feeling well.
Thoma took an X-ray and noticed an enlargement in the owl's crop – an area in the throat. He anesthetized the owl.
It was a knee sock.
Maybe it looked like a mole?