Sudbury·Merry Mishaps

How a Sudbury family dog survived after eating a decoration full of straight pins

The Montgomery family of Sudbury feel very lucky to be celebrating yet another Christmas with the dog Luna.

Luna the dog has earned the nickname 'Lunatic' after consuming more than 70 straight pins

The Montgomery family dog, Luna, a Portuguese Water Dog, was notorious for eating household items such as socks and kitchen cloths. (Tina Montgomery)

The Montgomery family of Sudbury feels very lucky to be celebrating yet another Christmas with their dog Luna.

Five years ago, they were told she wasn't going to survive after eating a homemade holiday decoration that included more than 70 straight pins.

The decoration was made by their four year old son.

"It was a Styrofoam ball with small marshmallows pinned in, with glitter on it," recalled mom Tina Montgomery.

This decoration is similar to the one that Tina Montgomery's 4 year old son decorated at daycare. The family dog ate it along with 70 to 100 push pins used to pin the mini marshmallows to it. (Supplied)

She let her son put his hand-crafted decoration on the tree.

"So we went to bed that night thinking nothing of it." said Montgomery.

But it was a treat their pup could not resist.

Luna was already known for eating socks and handcloths whole.

The next morning, her husband Joel saw the Styrofoam ball on the floor with just a few pins in it. He didn't think much about it at the time, but the severity of the situation eventually sunk in.

"He was taking our son to a hockey practice at 7 a.m. and, on the way there, it sort of clicked."

This is the side view of the x-ray of a dog who ate a Christmas decoration with anywhere from 70 to 100 push pins in it. (Tina Montgomery)

He immediately returned home and took Luna to an emergency clinic.

The vet told him he had to make a trip to a vet surgery clinic in downtown Toronto if Luna was to survive.

The clinic prepped the emergency room for their arrival and asked Joel if he would need a gurney for his dog.

Amazingly, Luna didn't seem to be suffering.

"Meanwhile, Luna is sitting in the front seat with hear head out the window", said Montgomery said with a laugh.

"[She was] just wagging her tail, so excited that she's going on a road trip with her master."

But once the clinic looked at the x-rays, they felt it was too risky to operate on Luna.

This is the top view of a dog's x-ray after eating a homemade Christmas decoration full of push pins. (Tina Montgomery)

"They had no idea how many pins and, at that point, they were [located] from her throat all the way down. She could [also] have another pin perforate her bowel, maybe after the surgery, and she would never survive a second surgery," Montgomery said.

Luna ended up staying at the clinic for three days.

They fed her pumpkin pie filling and high fibre bread to get her to pass the pins, Montgomery said.

Luckily, Luna's reputation for eating household items may have saved her life.

Many of the pins became lodged in "a Batman sock that she had [previously] ingested," she said.

Luna eventually passed all the pins. The vet in Toronto was so surprised the clinic asked Tina is they could keep the x-rays to show their colleagues.

The Montgomerys say the experience hasn't changed any of Luna's poor eating habits. After the incident she also ate three big, dark chocolate bars — and many more socks.

And Luna now has a nickname that seems to have stuck: they now call her Lunatic.

LISTEN TO TINA'S FULL ACCOUNT OF LUNA'S STORY HERE

If you have a Merry Mishap to share with us, just email jan.lakes@cbc.ca

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