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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.

Related:

A Very Good Dog