Dog owner Shannon Morgan devised an ingenious way of hiding her Valentine’s Day chocolates from her mischievous Cockapoo puppy called Belle.
Shannon slid the large Nestle Dairy Box under her sofa into a place she knew that 11-month-old Belle couldn’t get access.
There was only one problem: adorable Belle was one step ahead of her and somehow managed to tunnel under the sofa while Shannon was out briefly.
Super-clever Belle used her paws and nose to gently bring the box back out – then managed to remove the packaging and rip the lid open.
Then she set about demolishing one-by-one the upper tray of the Dairy Box’s contents, wolfing down around 250g of the ten assorted flavours.
And Shannon came home last Valentine’s night to the sight of little Belle sat at the scene of the crime giving her puppy dog eyes and what looked like a sneaky smile.
Shannon, aware of how toxic even small amounts of chocolate can be for dogs, immediately raised the alarm with pet emergency service Vets Now.
And within a few minutes Belle was admitted to Vets Now’s out-of-hours clinic in Newport, Gwent.
The team gave Belle medicine to make her sick which successfully removed a life-threateningly large amount of liquid chocolate without the need further treatment.
An hour or so later, a slightly subdued Belle was well enough again to go back with Shannon to her home in Caerphilly and was back to her normal perky stuff a couple of days later.
Now Shannon is urging other dog owners to be super-alert to the possibility of chocolate mishaps around Valentine’s Day.
Shannon said: “This was our first experience of a dog medical emergency – and, while everyone at Vets Now was incredibly kind and caring, I wouldn’t want anyone else to suffer the stress and anxiety we went through.
“I appreciate it all seems quite funny now – but it wasn’t at the time, and I was genuinely worried we could lose Belle, quite apart from the fact that rushing my dog into emergency care was just about the last thing I wanted to be doing for Valentine’s Day – or any other day for that matter.
“The chocolates were my Valentine’s present from my partner Jake, and I didn’t want to leave them anywhere where Belle could possibly get at them while I popped out.
“So, I thought wedging the box well under sofa was the best hiding spot – based on the fact that every time Belle’s ball goes under there she cries because she can’t get it.
“But I guess dogs are like humans and can get driven mad by the smell of chocolate – and because of that she has somehow managed to prod, push and slide out the box using her paws and then she’s used her nose to nudge it along.
“You have to hand it to Belle – she’s very clever and very persistent!
“I was only out for about half an hour, but she ate the entire top tray of chocolates and was probably about to start on the bottom tray too.
“This Valentine’s I’ll be making sure that any chocolate I get is put on top of the kitchen cupboards and locked away where Belle will never get hold of it.
“And I’d definitely advise other dog owners to do the same – put the chocolate under lock and key!
“We’ve had Belle since she was eight weeks old, and we named her after the Disney princess. She’s a huge part of my life, she gets on brilliantly with our cats Percy and Peppa and I just can’t imagine life without her.”
Owain Davies lead out of hours vet at Vets Now emergency clinic in Newport said “Shannon was absolutely right to call us straightaway – and it’s really important that she did because we were able to treat Belle before she’d begun to digest the chocolate. Time really does matter in any toxicity case.
“People might think it’s strange that a treat for humans like chocolate could be so dangerous for dogs – but it’s all due to a chemical in chocolate called theobromine which is harmless for us humans but toxic for canines. So please do seek veterinary help straightaway if your dog eats any.”