They have become some of the most harrowing survival stories told. They are the stories in the running for the Veterinary Pet Insurance's Hambone Award honoring the "Most Unusual Claim of the Year."
The 11 nominees this year include a mixed-breed dog that survived a brawl with a buck, a cat that went through a full 35-minute washing machine cycle and lived to purr about it and a 48-pound pooch who was treated for alcohol poisoning after feasting on 24 uncooked bread dough rolls.
The company chooses the nominees each year, but the public decides on who wins. Voting is only open through Friday, October 11.
The VPI Hambone Award is named in honor of a VPI-insured dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire Thanksgiving ham while waiting for someone to rescue him. The dog was eventually found, with a licked-clean ham bone and a mild case of hypothermia.
The honorable title was first awarded in 2009 to Lulu, a hungry English bulldog who swallowed 15 baby pacifiers, a bottle cap and a piece of a basketball. The VPI Hambone Award and these unusual pet insurance claims have since helped educate the public about the unexpected mishaps that can affect household pets.
Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. /DVM Insurance Agency (VPI) has been insuring pets since 1982 and has more than 500,000 insured pets nationwide.
The 2013 nominees are as follows:
-July 2012 – Chance the Labrador retriever (Clovis. Calif.). Curious canine, Chance went for a closer view of his neighbor's livestock and was broadsided by an exuberant goat and sent crashing into the pen's fencing.
-August 2012 – Ariel the Himalayan cat (San Rafael, Calif.). Ariel's small dimensions likely cost her one of her nine lives when she was trapped underneath her owners' garage door.
-September 2012 – Ryder the Labrador retriever (Wilmington, Del.). Rambunctious Ryder enjoyed his dog chew so much; he accidentally swallowed the object, sending him to the veterinarian to treat diarrhea and colitis.
-November 2012 – Dingo the mixed-breed dog (Denver, Colo.). 48-pound Dingo dined on two dozen uncooked bread dough rolls, causing yeast-related alcohol poisoning and landing him in the emergency animal hospital.
-December 2012 – Natasha the Siberian Forest cat (Oakland, Calif.). Natasha was treated for shock and hypothermia after her owner's roommate accidentally completed a wash cycle with the curious cat inside the machine.
-January 2013 – Macie the Labrador retriever (El Cajon, Calif.). Macie was out on a bike ride with her owner's son when the leash got caught on the front tire of the bicycle causing it to run over and fracture the pup's rear left leg.
-February 2013 – Mocha the Bernese mountain dog (Barnegat, N.J.). When her owner stopped short in a parking lot, Mocha was thrust forward from the passenger seat, cracking the car windshield.
-March 2013 – Winnie the mixed-breed dog (Barnstable, Mass.). 'Winnie the pooch' munched on a two-pound bag of frozen onion rings which led to a turbulent tummy and a trip to the veterinarian for potential onion poisoning.
-April 2013 – McQuire the mixed-breed dog (Boulder, Colo.). Seemingly unafraid, McQuire went toe-to-toe with a 15-point buck. The deer dustup ended with the daring dog getting knocked to the ground and rolled over three times.
-May 2013 – Pippa the Siamese cat (Irvine, Calif.). Pippa was rushed to the emergency animal hospital to treat the lacerations suffered when she got pinned behind her owners' refrigerator.
-June 2013 – Luke the Labrador retriever (Emerald Isle, N.C.). Luke was taken to the emergency animal hospital for surgery to remove a golf ball that he accidentally swallowed while 'retrieving' it in his backyard.
To cast your vote, visit vpihamboneaward.com.
Editor’s Note: Photo of Dingo, a rescued mixed breed that was treated after eating two dozen uncooked bread dough rolls from the Hambone website.
What is the most serious accident or mishap your pet has survived. Tell us about it in the comments section.