Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Dog Who Chewed Off His Owner's Toe

This is a true story about a dog named Kiko, who is a cute, sort of scruffy-looking, brown-and-white terrier type of dog.  Kiko lives with his human mom and dad, Rosee and Jerry Douthett, in Michigan.  And one day last August, Kiko saved his dad's life by eating his toe.

Here's how it happened.  Kiko's dad's big toe was really sore and icky-looking and smelly, but he didn't want to go see a doctor, so he mostly ignored it.  Then Kiko's mom, who is a nurse, saw the toe, and she told her husband he should really go to the doctor, but he still didn't go.

Then one night Kiko's mom and dad went out drinking, and Kiko's dad had several margaritas and several beers.  So when he got home, he passed out and slept all night.  Then when he woke up, he started screaming because there was all this blood on his foot, and when he washed it off, he saw that his big toe was gone!  And Kiko had been lying beside him on the bed, right by where the toe used to be.

Kiko's mom took Kiko's dad to the hospital, and the doctors found out that Kiko's dad had a bone infection in his toe that was caused by his having Type 2 diabetes, which he didn't know he had.  So the doctors cut off the rest of his toe and told him he was lucky that Kiko had let him know about the problem.


And that's how Kiko became a hero.  He had to be quarantined for a while to make sure he didn't have rabies, which he didn't.  And Kiko was very smart to do what he did because he only ate the infected part of his dad's toe, so he knew that part was bad and shouldn't be there.  A lot of dogs can tell when their diabetic humans have a blood sugar problem.  And when this happens, they can let the person know by whining or barking or licking.  Some dogs are specially trained to do this, but other dogs do it without even having to be trained.

Of course, as all of us dogs know, rotting flesh smells really great, so I think that is why Kiko got interested in nibbling on his dad's toe.  And since his dad's blood sugar was high, the toe probably tasted quite yummy.  Kiko's dad was so drunk that he didn't really notice his toe was being gnawed on.  Also his toe might have been numb because of the diabetes and the infection.

Anyway, now Kiko's dad knows that he has diabetes, and he is taking better care of himself.  For one thing, he has stopped drinking.  And just to be on the safe side, he wears shoes to bed every night.

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