Skip to content

November 25, 2011

Puppy Problems Solved 5: Winnie’s friend Henry learns not to eat stones

by Val Reynolds


Written from Winnie’s point of view

Ooh, was that the doorbell? I’d better go and see who it might be …

If I press my nose up against the glass like this I can almost see through. Looks like two people, and wait, I know that shape – it looks like my best friend Henry, the Labrador!

Ah, Claire, I’m so excited, hurry up and open the door!

Winnie, calm down, I can’t open the door if you’re pressed up against it. Get down girl …


Henry, Henry, Henry. I’m so pleased to see you. Let me chew your ear for a minute, no, I need to jump on you, oh I’m so pleased to see you!

Oh Winnie, you have to calm down, ouch, that hurts!

Blah blah blah, Henry’s a bit poorly, blah blah blah. Be careful Winnie …

Don’t send me to my basket Claire. I just want to see Henry, we usually play this rough, what’s different?

Henry, what’s up, why won’t they let us play like normal?

Oh, Winnie, it’s been awful. I’ve been so ill. Be gentle, I’ve got a poorly side.

Don’t look sad Henry. Sorry if I hurt you, I didn’t know you were ill.

I’ve been very ill – and in so much pain. I had to go the doggy hospital and everything!

Oh no, not the doggy hospital! Oh Henry, what happened?

I’ve been very silly. But you know how I like to eat stones!

Eat stones?! Oh Henry, you’re not still doing that are you?  I thought you’d stopped – remember all that fuss last time?

I know. I just love them – I don’t know why. Anyway, this time I had to go and have an operation at the doggy hospital.  It was awful, I was so scared – and Laura had to leave me there.  She was so upset. I felt awful. They put me to sleep and when I woke up I had such a pain in my side – it was better than the pain in my tummy before the operation, but now I just feel sore and I’m not allowed to go on long walks.  Winnie … they’d cut me open to get the stones out!

Poor Henry, you really should stop eating stones then shouldn’t  you?  Let’s just have a quiet cuddle then. I know you didn’t mean to upset Laura, and I’m sure she understands …

Yes, she’s been very good.  She looks after me so well. I was in such pain, I’m sure I’ll never eat stones again …

I hope so Henry. Really only very small puppies usually eat stones. I know I chewed a couple and Claire always caught me before I could swallow them.

Well, I snuck away from Laura and she didn’t see. She’d have given me a right telling off if she knew. After I ate this one, it was a bit big, I had this terrible pain in my tummy. It was unbelievable!

Do you feel better now?

I do, but I’ve just got to take it easy whilst my stitches heal.

Oh Henry, I’m just glad you’re okay.


I wish I knew the answer to this problem, but I don’t! I can make some suggestions and offer a word of warning, but why dogs do this I really don’t know.

Perhaps they are bored, perhaps they are inquisitive, perhaps scraps of food from a barbecue have fallen on the ground? Whatever the reason, definitely they are being stupid! Unfortunately, they don’t make any connection between the sore tummy (and possible operation) with eating stones. Dogs live in the moment and would only learn if the undoubted agony happened immediately. However puppies will be puppies, so we must do our best to protect them. Some of the smaller pebbles can pass through, depending upon the breed. It might be a good idea to fence off gravelled areas, possibly spray with bitter apple or some such anti-chew preparation.

The word of warning concerns mulch. Please be sure to read the label as some mulch has been flavoured with Cocoa and (as I’m sure you know) chocolate – especially the darker chocolate – can be fatal to dogs. Even if the label states it is safe for dog, it isn’t if cocoa is listed. Greedy dogs can eat huge amounts of this and the consequences can be horrific. Sorry to end on such a glum note, but better safe than sorry.

Pat Thomas bred her first litter in 1971 and has bred Border Collies, Irish Setters, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Papillions, Labradors and, of course, Golden Retrievers.

Although Winnie is not yet in season most of her litter is booked. This is usually the case, although too many of one sex can be a problem. As a Kennel Club Accredited Breeder, Pat has free access to the K.C. website and if she have any puppies not sold, she puts them on there. However, mostly the pups are sold by word of mouth and families returning for a second, third and even a fourth puppy.

Winnie’s Woes Part 7 – Winnie Moves On
Winnie’s Woes Part 6 – Winnie Learns about Children
Winnie’s Woes Part 5 – Winnie’s friend Henry learns not to eat stones
Winnie’s Woes Part 4 – Winnie learns about other dogs
Winnie’s Woes Part 3 – Winnie Eats too much
Winnie’s Woes Part 2 – Winnie eats a shoe
Winnie’s Woes Part 1 – Winnie finds digging is not a popular activity!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: