Mischievous French Bulldog, Tux, is always getting into trouble. So, when Miami resident Jessica Farah heard a crunching metallic sound coming from the dog's mouth last Wednesday she casually assumed he was chewing on his brother's collar, something he does all the time.
However, later in the day, she noticed that her loose-fitting engagement ring was not on her finger and she started to fear the worst.
"I look at my hand, and I think, 'Oh no,'" she told a reporter from television station WSVN.
French Bulldogs lack a discriminating palate and are notorious for eating what should not be eaten. The breed's wide mouth and voracious appetite make it a consuming machine, often ingesting items as bizarre as cat litter and bite-sized plastic children's toys. They also seem to like jewelry.
Farah traced her steps and tore through the house, but the ring was nowhere to be found.
“[Then] it dawned on me. Well, I guess it wasn’t the brother’s collar. It was my ring," she said.
Early the next morning, Farah rushed Tux to the local animal clinic, where a simple X-ray confirmed her suspicions. The ring was clearly visible deep within the belly of the beast.
The bad news was that the dog had swallowed the ring. The good news was that the digestive process had not yet moved the ring into the dog's intestine.
“What was important was that it didn’t move on,” noted veterinarian Robert Ferran, “because if it had moved on to the intestine, it certainly is a harder thing to try and fetch it.”
There are generally three options when an animal swallows a valuable object, such as a ring. Do nothing and hope that it passes naturally. Extract the ring surgically. Or, use a flexible endoscope to enter the dog's stomach through the mouth and try to grab the ring using the endoscope's pincer. The minimally invasive endoscope has a light source and camera so the doctor can see inside a patient's body.
Doctors at Miami Veterinary Specialists decided to go with the endoscope option, and by the end of the procedure the ring was back on Farah's finger and Tux was perfectly fine.
"I'm never taking it off," she said of her cherished engagement ring. "Showering, gym, everything. It's never coming off."
Tux actually played an important role in matching Farah with her fiancé. Farah met the love of her life when Tux went missing last year. Her now-fiancé made a great first impression when he volunteered to help find the pup.
Images: Screen captures via WSVN.com; French Bulldog by tanakawho, [CC BY 2.0} via Wikimedia Commons.