Emerald Isle Dog Owners Praise Pet Insurance After Close Call

A dog in Emerald Isle found himself in a life-threatening situation after doing what dogs are known for doing-eating something they shouldn't have. The owners are urging other dog owners to keep their pets safe, and insured, because they never suspected their dog Luke would be in such a serious situation.

One golf ball is all it took to put Luke, an 83-pound black lab, in a situation where he was fighting for his life.

"I didn't know if I was going to see him again so I said goodbye," said 12-year-old George Ricks.

"It was kinda scary because he's a really good dog and he's the best dog I could ask for," said George's twin brother Nelson.

Nelson and George Ricks are 12-year old identical twins. They live in Emerald Isle with their parents and their 7-year old dog Luke. The boys were hitting golf balls at their grandmother's place nearby. Luke fetched one and swallowed it.

After failed attempts to get him to throw up the ball at the house, and then at the vet. The family took Luke to Coastal Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Jacksonville.

"They decided to administer, or do exploratory emergency surgery," said Noelle Ricks.

An hour-long surgery into Luke's stomach followed. Noelle was out of town. All she could do was wait and hope.

"Luke is treated like one of our own children and just to, to get that call that everything's okay, just a huge sense of relief," said Noelle.

Luke pulled through and is at a hunting camp right now with a handler in Piney Grove.

Noelle says looking back, signing on with veterinary pet insurance when Luke was a puppy turned out to be a great decision. She says the surgery would have cost them $1,300 dollars. Instead, it cost them $50. The family says other dog owners in eastern carolina should think about insurance too because dogs are unpredictable.

Luke is up for the Veterinary Pet Insurance company's "Hambone" award. Each month the company picks the pet with the most unusual claim, and at the end of the year the 12 finalists are voted on for a winner. If Luke wins he gets a bag of toys. $10,000 is awarded to the hospital through the Veterinary Care Foundation so the hospital that treated the winning pet can provide treatment to other pets whose owners could not otherwise afford treatment.

You can find the nominees at the link below.