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Barney the Dog Eats 109 Pebbles at the Beach

It was quite a meal for the chocolate Lab, but it didn't do much for his stomach. Vets intervened.

 |  Feb 27th 2013  |   2 Contributions


Some time ago, Kim Woollard, a jeweler, and Andrew Woollard, a builder, spent an afternoon on the beach with their dog, a chocolate Labrador named Barney. It was a fine day. Barney loved walking on the beach in Kent, England. The beach was littered with delicious pebbles.

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The next day, Barney was feeling "sluggish," according to his owners. He wasn't acting himself. Perhaps he had eaten 109 pebbles the day before, on the beach, slipping them quietly into his mouth while his owners enjoyed the salt air? That thought never occurred to his owners, because they are not crazy. 

Yet after they took Barney to the vet, they discovered that eating more than 100 pebbles was exactly what ailed poor Barney. An X-ray proved as much. Imagine eating 10 pebbles, then 20, then 30 ...

This is not a story that speaks to the intelligence of dogs so much as to their determination.

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"We were absolutely astounded when we saw the X-ray and it showed why Barney was feeling under the weather. No wonder he had been feeling sluggish when there were more than a hundred stones in his stomach," said Kim Woollard. "When the vet showed us the X-ray, I was gobsmacked. You could see lots of the pebbles still in his stomach and intestine."

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Wet pebbles by Shutterstock.

During an operation, doctors removed 79 pebbles from Barney's stomach and intestine. Twenty had already made their way through Barney, which the owner had discovered at home in Barney's "basket," which, I suppose, is where Barney does his business. 

The craziest part, next to a dog eating 109 stones for pleasure, is that the owners never saw a thing. 

"Barney was always full of energy, and he loved going for walks on the beach," said Kim Woollard. "It was a pebbly beach, and I let him off the lead there as there wasn’t anyone on the beach apart from us. Andrew and I were chatting and watching Barney, but we didn’t see him do anything out of the ordinary. He was racing along enjoying himself.

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"He’d kept going into the sea, and if he’d had his mouth open then he may have swallowed the stones then."

Barney is fine now, though he seems to have chipped a tooth at some point during the swallowing of the 109 rocks. He won't be going on walks on pebbly beaches for a while. 

Via the Telegraph

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