Got a pup who will scoff absolutely anything? Lynn Redpath, 44, from Polbeth, West Calder, knows how you feel...
At 10, my toy Yorkshire terrier, Cooper, remained a bundle of energy. Playful, he usually found fun in anything he got his paws on.
His favourite game was to pinch my loose hair bobbles and toss them in the air, chasing them as they bounced. It was a daft habit, and I was forever picking them up before tossing them, saliva soaked, in the bin. But Cooper was too gorgeous to tell off!
Then, one night in autumn 2015, he suddenly dropped to the floor, in a fit. Panicked, I took him to the vet, but nothing was obviously wrong. The vet advised I keep an eye on Cooper. He was fine until, that December, he vomited. Next day, he vomited again, three times.
Worried, I sped him back to the PDSA Pet Hospital, Edinburgh. An X-ray revealed a large mass in his stomach.
‘We’re not sure, it could be a tumour,’ the vet said gravely, adding he’d need to operate.
Thankfully, the PDSA covered the £500 bill for the one-hour op. I waited anxiously at home, dreading what I’d tell my kids Aleah, 14, and Callan, 4, if our pooch didn’t make it. Then, my phone rang.
‘He’s OK, but his tummy was in a tangle,’ the vet began.
‘What was it?’ I gasped.
‘It was 22 hair bobbles, and one button,’ she replied.
The little scamp had been swallowing the hair bands! Collecting Cooper that evening, I asked to see the X-ray… Mind bobbling! They’d chucked away the horrid lump of elastic bands.
‘They’d clearly been in there some time,’ the vet commented.
Cooper’s intestines had been restricted. We’d got help in the nick of time.
Back home, our plucky pooch took a week to recover. Now 11, he’s back to his old sprightly self. I’ve since cut my hair short, and Aleah keeps her bobbles hidden.
Sorry, Cooper, they’re now banned!