The Strudwick File: A Halloween Horror Story

I have a Halloween horror story for you that involves a pufferfish pumpkin and my Strudwick. 

As you may remember from last year, we like to make this pumpkin as a family that has candy corn attached to it. You can put it the candy corns flat or you can make them stick out. It looks really cool, and the kids love doing it.

Last year we had a disaster where Strudwick got up on the kitchen table and started eating the pumpkin because – like a bunch of dumbasses – we left it there unfinished. Fortunately, we caught him in the act and got him away from our pufferfish pumpkin before too much damage was done (you can take a trip down memory lane here).

Fast forward to last week. We’re working on another pufferfish pumpkin. It’s coming along, but we had to take a break because it takes a few days to complete. In an attempt to learn from our mistakes, we put it away in the bar area of our house that Strud does not have access to. It’s protected by a sliding door that he can’t open unless we’re negligent and leave it open. So, the pumpkin was protected – or so we thought.

At the end of last week, Strud started getting sick. He threw up after his breakfast. I gave him a sensitive stomach dinner and he threw that up too. The next morning, he threw up again. That’s when I knew he needed to go to the vet. 

The only appointment they had was during the show, so my assistant Abby offered to take him. They told us they thought Strudwick had a stomach obstruction. They did X-rays, then they had to did an ultrasound. All I could see was dollar signs in my eyeballs as the cash register kept going up, but I love my dog so we got all the tests. 

What they determined was there was some massive amount of foreign material in his belly and he needed to go to the animal hospital either for surgery or an endoscopy. I was still on the air with all of you, so Abby took him to the animal hospital. They decided an endoscopy might be enough and they’d get back to me.

Well, $7,000 later, they got some stuff out of his stomach but they actually think he passed whatever was the obstruction while he was there. So, what was it? Originally, I thought it was decorative cabbage or that dried fall corn that you put in front of your house at this time of year to make it look fall-y and harvest-y. I got rid of all of it, so we wouldn’t have another $7,000 stomach obstruction. Abby even took pictures of me while we were removing it.

But we found out later that’s not what it was at all. Sorry to be graphic, but what came out of Strud’s stomach looked like little glue circles and some red wax. No one knew what that was. We thought the red wax was from the outside of a Babybel cheese. Maybe he got one of those and that was bothering him. No. 

When we went to work on the pufferfish pumpkin again, guess what we saw? Little remnants of glue circles without their candy corns and huge swaths of the pumpkin that had already been completed now naked without their glue or their candy corn. What’s more? He also ate the red wax Halloween lips that were serving as the lips of the puffer fish pumpkin. That’s what the red wax was.

As it turns out, that stuff is not easily easily digested, at least not by a dog. So, now Strudwick has a shaved belly and shaved paw from where they gave him his IV. He’s back on the eating trail again. We also learned that he managed to get in and out of that kitchen in a way that nobody understood he could, so that’s a good red warning for the rest of us. 

I’m happy to report to you that we did finally finish the pufferfish pumpkin last night. I can safely say it is the most expensive puffer fish pumpkin in all of Connecticut. So, I hope you enjoy it. I hope my kids enjoy it. I hope all the kids who come by trick-or-treating tonight enjoy it, too.

Happy Halloween!

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