Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

When Our Dog Ate the Thanksgiving Turkey Thermometer


Thanksgiving is a time for gathering of loved ones and sharing what we are thankful for.

In my family it also includes being thankful for our pets. That brings to mind something that happened to our special dog, Smokey.

He was part of our family for 14 years, helped raise four kids and was always ready for a treat.

During one particular Thanksgiving, our feast was done and the clean-up was in full swing.

As I finished stripping the turkey carcass of all the remnants of meat, I removed the used pop-up thermometer from the bird.

Smokey was right there in the kitchen, waiting for any stray morsels to drop on the floor, even though he already had some turkey leftovers.

I casually tossed the thermometer toward the open garbage can in the middle of the kitchen.

At that moment, everything switched to slow motion just like in the movies when something crazy is about to happen.

The garbage can was only arm’s length away but as I watched the thermometer go end over end toward the huge opening of the can, Smokey was also watching it with great intensity.

I noticed the trajectory was not headed to the center of the can.

It happened so fast, I was frozen and couldn’t move as it hit the top edge of the can and bounced and missed going in.

The thermometer landed on the floor and before I could grab it, Smokey was on top of it.

He swallowed it in one gulp.

Holy crap!

I could not believe he just ate that thing.

It has a sharp point on one end that could puncture his intestines or get lodged in his gut.

What the hell was I going to do on the evening of Thanksgiving with my crazy dog?

Of course Smokey looked at me funny as I was shouting. Now all he was doing was just waiting for me to drop something else.

I got out the phone book and started calling the nearby veterinary offices and I found one with after-hours service.

I left a message and I was astonished when someone called back in a few minutes.

I told him what happened and we had a little laugh but he calmed me down and said just to keep an eye on him, keep him well fed and watered, and hopefully it would pass in a few days.

The doctor said if he seemed sick or in pain then I would need to bring him in to be checked.

I thanked him for his time and advice and went back to cleaning up, but this time I kicked the dog out of the kitchen, much to his disappointment and protest.

In the following days I had the job of checking Smokey’s bowel movements — what a joy!

But this all came to an end when he puked up the thermometer a few days later.

I was so glad it never left his stomach and he was able to bring it back up.

After this experience, I try not to use pop-up thermometers and I’ve been practicing my garbage tosses.


A Very Good Dog

Thanksgiving Travel: It’s In the Bag

Thanksgiving Day, the whole family is together.

My son is home from college, my daughter is making cookies and we just finished preparing the candied yams to bring to the family feast at my brother’s house.

Running late as usual, I think we can finally start heading to the van.

Wait. My oldest daughter is still not dressed after running the hair dryer for what seems like the past hour in the bathroom.

“C’mon! Let’s go!” I can’t believe this. We have a two-hour drive and we needed to leave an hour ago.

Van packed and ready: yams, cookies, and a bottle of Fireball to share with my bro’.

Finally on the road, the two youngest girls in the back, college boy and oldest daughter in the middle row, all with their respective devices and ear-buds, and the lovely wife riding shotgun.

Running late and moving along quickly, my son scarfs down a couple of snack bags of chips since he didn’t have any breakfast.

That’s when things started to leave the rails.

I am not sure how the chips hit his stomach — maybe with the bouncing of the van — but I hear a cough behind me, a wet gurgling cough that erupts with a force of expulsion (can you just hear that?) that prompts me to ask if he is OK.

He says he is OK. He caught the up-chuck into the empty bag of chips.

Ugghh!! Oh! And then the smell!

His sister next to him starts dry heaving and we need to crack the windows open.

Before we can find a place to dump the puke, my youngest in the back starts to heave.

Here I am, driving and looking in the rear view. I see her cover her mouth with her hands, and as everyone knows, that never works.

The next thing I hear is “blarghhh!” and my other daughter screaming and, oh, that smell again!

Oh my God! Open the windows!

Now I’m seriously looking for a place to stop. Luckily, we find a convenience store and pull in. Everyone jumped out, except for the puker.

I didn’t even check the damage and went right into the store and bought lemon-scented cleaner, wipes, air freshener, garbage bags and a roll of paper towels.

Got back to the van and opened the door. I wanted to scream.

Actually, I did scream.

I didn’t know where to start: The back seat, the floor, her pants, her jacket, even her ear-buds! I started spraying, wiping and tossing it all into a garbage bag.

Repeat, repeat, repeat, and repeat some more.

Finally made it to my brother’s house just in time for the Thanksgiving meal. I can’t believe what I just went through but I am thankful for surviving it and still being able to spend time with my family.

And yes, I think I’ll need to trade that van in a lot sooner than I first thought.