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That bone seemed like a great idea

It seemed like a brilliant idea: My husband would stop by the butcher on his way home from work and pick up some bones, aka meat popsicles, which would keep Denali occupied while we entertained dinner guests. Denali would get a treat, and I would get to eat dinner without a Siberian husky muzzle next to my plate.

But like so many of my brilliant ideas, it backfired.

Don't get me wrong – we had a lovely evening and ate in peace last night. Denali was so intent on that bone that he gnawed and chewed and played for three hours, only to be separated from it forcefully at bed time.

No, the idea backfired on me this morning.

I gave Denali the bone in the hopes that I could complete a Jillian Michaels workout without being licked in the armpit. Again, he gnawed and chewed and had a grand time with his high-value treat.

When it came time to walk him, though, there was no room for the bone. He would have to leave it at home. One problem: It was stuck in his mouth ... or on his mouth. The bone, now a ring, had got caught behind his lower front canines.

I naively tried to pull it off as we stood ready to go in the kitchen. It got back there; it certainly has to come off. Yeah ... not so much. The attempt sent him off to the living room and on the rug, where he's allowed to play with the bone. (Bone on hardwood floors = bad.) I got him to sit and again tried to remove the bone. Nope. He cried out and clamped down his jaw. I pried it open and tried again. Another failure.

It was at this time I wondered whether I was going to have to make an embarrassing trip to the vet – definitely not how I wanted to spend my morning. By the way, can you imagine that call in to work, explaining why you're late?!

I opened Denali's jaw one last time and saw that I might be able to remove the bone by twisting it, to change the angle of the opening, and pulling. One try equaled a wail. A second twist ... a second pull ... and I had a slobbery, disgusting bone in my hand. Success!

Denali, of course, tried to grab the bone and resume play time. And I, of course, went directly to the kitchen to throw it away. I think we'll be sticking to bones with narrower openings from now on.

critters@jg.net

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