It was certainly a case of bullseye for bulldog Dolly! We shared owner Sarah's story about her pet pooch's lucky escape in the Sunday People newspaper.
Mum-of-four Sarah, 41, and her family had always wanted a British bulldog, so they saved up £2,000 and bought one from a breeder.
They fell head over heels with the ‘runt of the litter’ and named her Dolly. She was stubborn and lazy, but the Newcastle family adored him.
Dolly would always follow their Labrador Sam around. Then one day, the two of them were outside when Sam started pawing the door and crying.
Sarah just thought it was Sam wanting to come in and she let both dogs back inside. But straightaway, Sarah noticed Dolly had a small stick in her mouth. Panicking, she tried to put her hand in to retrieve it but, at just five months old, Dolly was too strong and pulled away.
‘Quickly after that, Dolly began struggling to breathe,’ Sarah says. ‘So we put her in the car and raced to the vets. By the time we got there, she had blood coming from her nose and was very lethargic. I was terrified of losing her.’
The vet put her on oxygen and had a feel inside her mouth.
‘The vet agreed Dolly must have swallowed a small stick,’ Sarah says. ‘But her oxygen levels were unstable so we were told to rush her to the emergency vet hospital.’
After hours of surgery, the problem was uncovered. But it wasn’t a stick. It was Sarah’s sons' toy arrow – which was a whopping 15 inches long.
‘I couldn’t believe it,’ Sarah says. ‘When the surgeon removed it she said she just kept pulling and pulling and couldn't believe Dolly hadn't died. If it had gone in the other way round she would have ruptured her internal organs and died. They had never seen anything like it before.
'It cost around £2,000 for the operation but it was worth it to have our Dolly home safe and sound. And now I realise that our Labrador Sam was trying to alert us to what on that fateful night.'
Sarah says that Dolly still hasn't learnt her lesson and still tries to eat her sons’ toys.
‘We are constantly running around and picking them up to avoid the same thing happening again,’ she says. 'She must be a very lucky dog to have survived what she did. How she managed to swallow that whole arrow and still be with us today is a mystery!'