Holiday 2023

Maeve and the marrow bone

When a lovable lab chewed her way into a crisis, everyone was shocked by the result

Longtime Lab lovers Tim P. and his family set out in search of a new pup to brighten up their day. The pooch that captured their hearts was shy, sweet and a little mischievous—as shown by her surprising snacking incident.

An instant connection

Tim and his family brought home their first Labrador retriever back in 2004. Since then, the connection they felt with the breed was undeniable.

“They've been a family dog, great with kids,” Tim says. “They like exercise but not too much exercise, pretty easygoing—they've been a good dog for us.”

After a couple of years without a dog in the house, Tim decided it was time to introduce a new Lab puppy to the family. When they met Maeve, it was an easy decision to make.

“We drove out and saw Maeve and said ‘Okay, let's do it,’ and so we loaded her in the car and drove home with her,” Tim remembers.

Despite being somewhat shy by nature, Maeve quickly felt comfortable around her new fur-ever family.

He adds, “She jumped on the seat and fell asleep, and that was it.”

Settling in—with sofa snuggles

From the get-go, Maeve was the perfect fit for the family. She was easygoing about everything in life, including long car rides. In only a few short years, she traveled from Minneapolis to Chicago, then Florida and back to Madison, Wisconsin with no issues.

However, Maeve hasn’t always followed the house rules, especially when those guidelines prohibit her from sofa snuggles—or, as the family discovered, more unconventional lounging options.

Tim says, “Our first two Labs, we were strict about the dogs on the furniture. [With] Maeve, we tried to be that way—but she was just a 75- or 80-pound lapdog. She just wanted to be with us, so she would always jump on the furniture. But she was funny in that, too. It wasn’t just like jumping on the couch or a chair. She’d jump on the coffee table and sleep [there].”

Maeve the Labrador retriever lounges on a footrest

As Labs go, Maeve was a little unconventional at times. However, little did her family know, her most unexpected move was still yet to come.

More than she could chew

Tim and Maeve were going about their morning routine as normal. Maeve was on the floor chewing on a marrow bone while Tim read the news to start the day. Then, the unexpected happened.

“It was like those traditional marrow bones—those big ones—and she would chew on those for a little while,” Tim says. “She’d chew on it as long as I let her, but I usually didn’t let her go for too long. Then, I’d take it away, and we’d go out for a walk.”

At first, nothing seemed too far out of the ordinary. Tim noticed that Maeve had fallen asleep with the bone in her mouth—unconventional but not strange enough to cause worry. He knew the bone was big enough that it didn’t present a choking hazard.

“I said, ‘Wow. She really likes that bone. Likes it so much she’s fallen asleep with it in her mouth,’” he recalls.

However, there was more to the story than just that—while Tim got ready for the day, Maeve had cleaned the marrow out of the hefty bone. As she plumbed the depths of the bone in search of more marrow, her lower jaw got stuck.

He continues, “I looked more closely, and I was like, ‘Wow. The bone’s not in her mouth. It’s around her mouth.’”

A bone to pick

Once Tim realized what happened, he tried to carefully remove the bone. Soon, he realized it was pretty well stuck. He didn’t want to harm Maeve by pulling too hard and couldn’t be certain that she hadn’t injured her teeth or gums underneath the bone. They hopped in the car and headed to the emergency veterinarian for assistance. Through it all, Maeve sat quietly and patiently.

“She never cried, never whimpered,” he remembers.

Upon arrival, the clinical team set to work solving the unique puzzle that Maeve had created. They weighed their options for removing the bone safely and painlessly without harming her jaw or teeth.

Tim says, “They said, ‘Okay. We’re going to sedate her. We’re not going to have to do surgery—we think we can just kind of twist a little bit and get it off,’ and that’s what they did. They didn’t cut it. They could just turn it and pull it off in a certain way, and again no other injuries.”

He adds, “It was just kind of stuck—didn’t crack a tooth or anything like that.… She was a little groggy from some anesthetic, but that’s it. Soon, she was back to being an 80-pound lap dog.”

Member Tim P. sits on a bench with Labrador retriever Maeve in his lap

Protection when it mattered most

Originally, Tim got coverage to help with routine wellness costs. He says, “When I did the math in my head I was like, ‘Wow. Look at what it covers. This may be a pretty good idea.’”

But when pet insurance helped cover the vet bill for Maeve’s surprising un-stucking expense, he realized the importance of financial support in a sticky health situation as well.

He continues, “When you go through calculations of the cost of health care for your dog over the course of a year, it makes more sense to look at insurance. We’ve had Nationwide pet insurance for all three of our dogs, including Maeve. When I meet [people] and they have a puppy, I say ‘Do you ever think about getting health insurance for your dog?’ And they say, ‘What?’ and I’m like ‘Listen, I’m telling you—I thought the same thing. Think about it, okay?’”

Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet
Add-a-pet

Take advantage of your multi-pet discount when you add a pet to your policy. When covering two or three pets, you can receive a 5% discount. When covering four or more pets, you'll save 10% on your base premium. Visit the member portal to add a pet. 

Enroll a new pet

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