Peace of Mind Costs Exactly $154

Earlier today, right at about 4:55pm, I was sitting in my home office rearranging and updating my cork board.  It’s a quiet and productive day and I was expecting for it to end in about 15 or 20 minutes as I was wrapping up a few emails.

I grabbed the 2012 “quick reference” page for work off of the corkboard to replace it with the 2013 updated version.  As I removed the sheet of paper, the pushpins holding it to the board fell on the desk and the ground beneath.  I gathered up the pins on my desk and stuck them back into the board.  I did a quick sweep of the floor, but couldn’t locate the pin(s).  I decided that I would finish up my work and then do a thorough sweep of the area.

I was distracted as I typed up the final sentence of my email when I hear Joe Louis (my 7 lb and 7 month old miniature dachshund) enter the room.  Joe was sleeping in his new tempurpedic bed by the heat vent in the dining room, so when he visits me in the office he is usually looking for a new place to sleep.  I was waiting for that familiar nudge to let me know that he wanted to be placed on my lap.

That is when I heard him chewing something right at my feet…and it’s a hard something.  Joe is the type of puppy that is always looking for something to chomp on.  With the renovations going on in the basement, I have kept the area blocked off and thoroughly vacuumed just in case he sneaks down.  Having to constantly sweep Joe’s mouth for foreign objects has become a standard around here.  Lucy (my 10 1/2-year-old border collie/lab mix) has never ever ever eaten something that wasn’t edible, even as a puppy.    I call her my little professor because she could teach me a thing or two.  Where was she when I dropped that stupid pushpin??  


My heart immediately sank to the floor when I heard that familiar chewing sound.  In the split second it took me to grab him he looked up at me with his big brown eyes.  and swallowed.  This is when my heart sank about 10 feet below the floor.  I don’t know what he just ate.  I do know that I vacuum several times a week and so my head goes directly to that pushpin that I was “too busy” to pick up 2 minutes ago.

Since I was already at the computer, I typed “what to do when a dog swallows a pushpin” into a Google search. The results aren’t horrible, but they are all referencing large dogs.  Large dogs with large intestines and large stomachs that might be able to take this sort of thing.  But Joe is only 7 lbs.  Thankfully, I keep the vets business card on my corkboard so I picked up the phone and called them.  I was trying to speak to the vet tech to explain the situation and WHO I WAS CALLING ABOUT and I got so choked up that I couldn’t even tell them what he swallowed.  I feel like the worst dog-parent.  ever.  Eventually, I got it all out and they told me to come by right away.

After I hang up the phone I set Joe in his crate and almost threw my desk out of the way to get behind it.  There it was.  A clear pushpin.  But it wasn’t good enough, I could have dropped two or maybe it was from my carelessness a few months ago.  I decided that I wouldn’t feel comfortable until I had proof that he didn’t have a sharp object in his really little, teeny, tiny belly.  For a minute I felt like I was overreacting and he was probably going to be okay.  I mean he was acting normal.  Then again, the vet was open now, and what if it was the worst case scenario.  I needed to put my mind at ease, so I grabbed Joe and headed out the door.

Here is Joe completely at ease and wondering what I’m all hyper about.

We arrive at the vet hospital only 30 minutes from the time that he swallowed…something.  The vet was expecting us and they immediately took him back to get an X-ray of his stomach.

10 minutes later he was cleared.  

This is Joe after we received the good news of his clean tummy.  No pushpins.

Joe weighs a healthy 7.8lbs – and had an empty stomach and a full colon.  I paid $154 to discover that Joe Louis was ready for dinner and needed to poop.  But thankfully, he didn’t snack on a pushpin.

I have no regrets.  But I did learn that you can put a price tag on “peace of mind” and for me, it costs about $154.

Hard lesson learned…. I will now find the darn pushpin as soon as it falls to the ground.  Or maybe I’ll just create a new organization system.

What “horrible mom” moment have you had? Would you have taken your child or fur-child to the doctor if you thought swallowing a pushpin was possible?  Or would you wait for it to pass?


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