He ate 100 rocks, then pooped them out sequentially: That digestive feat makes Harley the pug winner of this year’s Hambone Award, given annually to the pet responsible for the most unusual animal insurance claim.
Harley beat out 12 other finalists who included Chico the Chihuahua, grabbed by a hungry owl who tried to take Chico aloft; and Eddy the cat, who landed on a hot wood stove while chasing a fly. All 12 competitors survived their injuries.
The public’s votes, cast on the website of the contest’s sponsor, Veterinary Pet Insurance, determined the winners. The company, which sells pet health insurance, bestowed the awards earlier today.
Second place went to Chico. Third went to Stella Artois, a Labrador retriever who dived into a dumpster and emerged with an empty tin can of green beans attached to her jaw.
The Hambone Award gets its name from a dog who, while trapped in a refrigerator, ate an entire Thanksgiving ham. Past winners have included Lulu, a hungry bulldog who swallowed 15 pacifiers, a bottle cap and part of a basketball; and Ellie, a Labrador retriever who ate a beehive.
Harley’s owner, Lori Laverdiere, says on VPI’s website that when the pug began emitting rocks she took him to the vet. “I wasn’t aware of how many rocks Harley had ingested until I saw the X-ray. We’re not talking about one or two rocks. Harley’s stomach was half full and his intestines were jampacked.”
The rocks, however, were small; and Harley, with the help of medicine, was able to pass them, thus avoiding surgery.