Max on the mend after skewer scare

RECOVERING: Max the golden retriever ate two chicken skewers and needed surgery.

IF you see tinsel danglingout your cat’s rear end this Christmas, and there are some wordsyou never expect totype,don’t yank it out.

The string can slice their insides,saysNewcastle Animal Referral & Emergency Centre boss Wendy Fisher, like “cheese wire”. And cats eat tinsel because they’re attracted to its shininess.

“Another one we seea lot of is chocolatetoxicity indogs,” says Dr Fisher.

“People might have chocolate in their presents that they’re unaware of. Then theygo outand the doghelps itself.”

The clinic’s vetsrecently treateda dog that swallowed a Christmas decoration with five pins, and last week they savedMax the golden retriever from Maryland (pictured).

“Max took theopportunity, during the chaos of a family gettogether, toingesttwoskewers of freshly-cooked chicken,” says Dr Fisher.

“One skewer was successfully removed by endoscope by Dr Frances Ng, but the second skewer had been chewed into fivepieces and required surgery by Dr Michelle Chambers.”

It’s not just chocolate orsharp, pointystuff that owners have to worry about; apparently something as seemingly benign as raisins can bedangerous.Leftoverham andturkey fatare yet moreseasonal hazards for pets. At least they’re spared the office Christmas parties.

Spare us the shark PR We only tolerate nature, and sharks, so far.

MAYBE ‘tistheseasontaking its toll, but Topics detectstraces ofhumbug inthe Optus-poweredClever Buoy shark detector (Herald, December 14).

It’s not the buoy itself. For all we knowbuoys,lifeguards and the Optus network arejust the ticketto get touristsback on beaches andboardsthissummer. It’s thepromovideo for the gadget thatputs usin nomood to entrustlife or limb.

“Australia has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world!” it declares.

“That’s why 85 per cent of us live on the coast!”

Er, no. That might have somethingto do with most ofthe continentbeing an arid unlivablepetridish of drought and salinity, orthe fact settlers took until 1813 tofindpassage throughthe Blue Mountains, or… OK, we’ll stop.

If we’rehonest about why we demandthings like shark detectors,Topics suspects Fairfax’s Malcolm Knox iscloseto the mark:“we can allow some of the harsher realities into our sporting bubble, but we don’t want that many.

For surfers, the desire to connect with nature is conditional: a limited, Japanese-garden idea of a natural world that is beautiful and driven by the elements and all that, but not with man-eating creatures, thanks very much”.

That, honestly, is an idea we can live with.

More first world problems The McDonald’s clowns confused some.

HOT on the heels of the Macca’s sweet and souroutrage (Topics, December 14), Ray, of Merewether, raisesanother First World Problem with the golden arches. There’s asynergy to that.

“Do they still have those kids’ parties where someonedresses up as a clown, but then just acts like a normal person?” asks Ray.

“Waste of everyone’s time.”

Sounds like Ray had aroughMacca’s party.

Meanwhile, our own year six farewell islookingincreasingly plainin hindsight, festooned as it was withstreamers, Fantaand the odd Will Smith banger. There were certainly no limos (Topics, December 14). And limos aren’teven the cutting edge, we’re told.

“The cool kids get helicopters now,” advisesa reader.

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