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Cautionary tale

We spent some time recently at Green Mist, looking after Elodie, while Tanya was in town with Rio and Orlando. All was going swimingly. We were spending some time in the bathroom, brushing the teeth of various soft toys. I had noticed a 2p coin on the floor, and wondered vaguely why Rio hadn’t snaffled it to help fill his purse. I learned afterwards it belonged to Elodie, who played with it regularly, and considered it an old friend. When she first popped it into her mouth I wasn’t too alarmed, as I knew she had a tendency to ‘park’ objects there. I also thought if I drew attention to it and asked her to remove it she might take exception to being told what to do and clamp her mouth firmly shut. Of course, there were numerous clever ways I could have enticed her to deliver the coin up to me; but I concluded there was little danger.

Looking online, I’ve discovered since that choking on coins is rarely fatal; but I didn’t know that when she turned first red, then various shades of blue, while gagging violently and looking at me beseechingly. After a split second of cursing the fates that this should be happening to me, I flipped her upside down and pumelled her on the back. She vomited a torrent of foul smelling gunk; but no coin was visible and she was still gagging while slowly turning vermillion. I lurched through the house seeking Michelle, who has a steadier head than me in such circumstances. Various nightmare scenarios were playing themselves out in my racing brain as I held her aloft, pumelled some more on her back, and gazed in mystification at more vomit on the ground. Still no coin. At that point, Michelle thrust her fingers down Elodie’s throat, and either that, or some more pumelling, or another spasm from the gag reflex, must have caused the coin to become dislodged, because suddenly we both saw it lying on the ground, and Elodie had stopped choking and was letting out a refrshing bawl.

She recovered pretty quickly. It took me far longer. I felt drained. Lying on the trampoline, with her bouncing around me, I reached out a palsied hand, to grip the metal frame and drag myself back to terra firma, when I got an almighty static shock. That almost finished me off.

  1. Ack! What a hideous tale. I shall keep an increasingly vigilant eye out for that one. Iona’s recent ENT job largely entailed taking xrays of children to find how far swallowed small change had got through their bodies. That and using special instruments to remove bits of foil from nostrils.

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