What started out as a heavy and distressing turn of events for one dog owner has ended up as cause for celebration.
Harley, a 6-year-old pug from Manville, Rhode Island, recently won the third Annual VPI Hambone Award — an honor bestowed on the dog, cat, or exotic pet with the most creative mishap — for ingesting (and subsequently passing) more than 100 small rocks.
His owner, Lori Laverdiere, still doesn’t understand what prompted Harley to eat the rocks in the first place, but she is relieved to have her pal back at home after a scary overnight visit to the vet in June, when he was given medicine to facilitate the expelling of the rocks in what sounds oddly similar to humans passing kidney stones. Ouch!
Harley’s championship prize package includes a ham-shaped trophy and a bag filled with toys, treats, and an emergency pet kit.
VPI also awarded emergency pet kits to the second-place winner, Chico the Chihuahua, for surviving a tug of war on his leash with a Great Horned Owl; and the third-place honoree, Stella Artois, a Labrador who unfortunately got a big tin can of green beans lodged in her jaws after a (we say) unsuccessful attempt at dumpster-diving.
These awards were determined after narrowing the puppy playing field from 12 nominees who were culled from more than a million insurance claims received by VPI Pet Insurance. What a bittersweet and clearly occasionally amusing task that must have been! We’re glad that these winners are now safe and sound with their families.
Dogsters, what’s the strangest thing your pup has encountered or, well, swallowed?
I have to admit, I’m a huge fan of big brands and designer pieces. I just can’t help loving amazing design and high fashion. And yes, that goes for what I bring home to my dog as well. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love well-constructed, handmade clothes and accessories available on wonderful websites like Etsy.
My dog Miles and I love to comb through this extensive site to find unique pieces with a price tag we love. To show our enthusiasm over all things handmade with love, this week we’re going for the effortless look found on Etsy.
The Snap It Dog Jacket — Created with a high-quality cotton denim fabric and lined with gray cotton flannel, this cool jacket by Bean Town Handmade comes with its own snap-on pouch. If you’re kind enough to spend your hard-earned cash to keep your pooch looking stylish, the least he can do is carry his own poop bags and maybe a few of your small personal items.
Denim Squirrel Dog Toy — I don’t know about you, but my dog loses his mind at the mere mention of the word “squirrel.” He’ll never catch one in a million years, so I like to keep him happy with squirrel toys. I love this one made from recycled scraps of blue jeans. Denim is tough, so it’ll take him a while to rip the stuffing out of this one.
Custom-Embroidered Dog Portrait Canvas Pillow Cover — I’m crazy about commissioning portraits of my dog. It’s the kind of art I’m excited to invest in. This gorgeous embroidered dog portrait pillow is such a special way to immortalize my dog in pillow form.
Sloppy Drinker Canvas Dog Bed — My dog is a neat little water licker, but I know there are lots of sloppy drinkers out there. Don’t worry, it’s okay to call out your dog for being a sloppy drinker. In fact, it’s pretty hilarious.
Brass Arrow Earrings — While tribal-inspired prints and pieces are trendy at the moment, I guarantee you’ll reach for these everyday arrow earrings for seasons to come.
Urban Driftwood Dog Feeder — Driftwood Dog Feeders by Go Pet Design are must-haves for dog owners who love reclaimed rustic wood. The feeder’s modern and organic look is a perfect complement to a design-savvy home.
Blue Seersucker Dog Collar — If you’re on the hunt for a classic collar that will have your dog looking his most handsome, go with this red, white, and blue plaid seersucker collar by Nola and Spenser. It’s timeless preppy perfection at its best!
Organic Wool Jersey Skirt — Perfect for a stroll in the park or a play date at your local dog park, this gray jersey skirt is easy to wear with a tank or a tee. Throw on a cardigan and some tights when temperatures start to cool down, and you have one cute skirt to wear year-round.
Oak Leaf Headband — Call me prissy, but I have a strong attraction to headbands. This beautiful freehand-embroidered oak leaf headband made of shimmery silver silk dupioni with gray embroidered veining needs to make its way into my fall collection.
Hand-Knit Dog Sweater with Alligator Applique — I can only knit scarves, but if I could learn how to knit anything else, it would be adorable dog sweaters with alligator appliques just like this one from Simply Made by Liz.