Dog’s Eye View: Show me the money!
February 20, 2014
Years ago, while my husband and I were visiting friends, something happened. Our friends were avid coin collectors and had amassed quite a large collection. They were showing us some of the rarer and more interesting coins and left them on a table when we went out for dinner. Upon returning, we found the coins scattered across the living room floor. Many were missing. Yes, the more valuable ones were among the missing.
They had a very active medium-sized collie type of dog named Pip. As the saying goes, "she was into everything." Unfortunately, when we opened the door, she actually was eating the coins. You can imagine the frenzy of activity from everyone present. We shooed her out into the backyard and began frantically searching everywhere for missing coins. We wanted to find out how many she'd eaten. It turns out, she must have eaten quite a few.
The next activity was taking her to their veterinarian. A major concern in this situation was to see if she'd eaten any pennies. Pennies and some other coins contain zinc and can poison animals that ingest them. When coins containing zinc enter the acidic environment of the stomach, the zinc breaks down, causing an upset stomach and zinc absorption into the bloodstream. This can lead to many serious medical conditions.
Fortunately, it seemed that Pip didn't eat any pennies. To "coin a phrase,” she had more expensive tastes. Their veterinarian thought that she'd probably pass the coins.
Our friends spent the next many days searching through her poop. They related that they'd been on their hands and knees in the front yard meticulously looking when a neighbor passed by. She asked them what they were doing and they replied, "We're looking for money.” The neighbor kept on walking. Pip was OK and returned their coins in due time. They spent a lot of time scrubbing the coins and returned them to a safe place away from Pip.
A more recent story was told to me regarding a larger dog that ingested more than a hundred dollars in paper money. The owner was preparing for a trip and had left the money within nose reach of this inquisitive young dog. He found her with a large-denomination bill sticking out of her mouth. They may be noting where to look when the snow melts.
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Paper money doesn't necessarily fare as well as coins. There have been reports of paper money passing through in pieces and occasionally intact. Some owners have laundered it, as well, taped it together and received some return on their investment at the bank.
Paper money can cause choking or possibly blockages, as well. I'm wondering, too, if the brand-new "high tech" paper money may have other repercussions.
These scenarios are not uncommon. It's important to check with your veterinarian if you're aware that your furry companion has gotten into your money.
Sandra Kruczek is a certified professional dog trainer at Total Teamwork Training with more than 25 years of experience.
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