A British woman is breathing a sigh of relief after veterinarians were able to save her precocious pooch after he swallowed a foot of Christmas lights.
Sharon Fay of Southampton, England, had to rush her 7-year-old crossbreed rescue dog Charlie to the city's People's Dispensary for Sick Animals PetAid hospital when she noticed that he had eaten something that certainly wasn't his dog chow.
"She heard him doing something behind sofa, but he was OK. Then, in the garden, she noticed some wires in the feces," Lisa Nickless, spokeswoman for PDSA, a U.K. charity for sick and injured animals, told ABCNews.com. "They took an X-ray, and realized, 'Oh dear, this is much worse!'"
The X-ray showed a "large mass of wires" in Charlie's stomach. The dog, whom Fay actually calls the "light of her life," was rushed into surgery with PDSA senior veterinary surgeon Sophie Bell.
"I hadn't even noticed that the lights had been chewed at this stage, but it quickly became clear what had happened," Fey said.
Bell soon was able to extract the life-threatening lights.
"It would have been fatal," Nickless said. "It was lifesaving surgery. That amount of mass wasn't going to pass through naturally. If [he couldn't] go to the bathroom, he would have been sick."
Nickless said that they also found a shoelace - proving Charlie to be a repeat offender.
Bell said that over her years as a veterinarian she has seen animals chew up many items, including socks and rubber ducks, but this was her first case of Christmas lights.
"Charlie was very, very lucky. He was also fortunate that the glass didn't cut his mouth or throat. And he could have been electrocuted if he'd bitten through the wire when the lights were switched on." Bell said. "With the Christmas season upon us, I'd advise owners to keep any edible items out of reach of inquisitive pets to avoid them from becoming ill over the festive season."