At 14 weeks of age, Zooka normally sleeps through the night.

So it was unusual when we had to get up at 3:30 am to take him out. Then he threw up bile. Nothing solid. Then we took him out again since he was restless.

Normally, he gets up with us around 6:30 am or so. He was restless from 3:30 until we got up. Still restless. Could tell he was not comfortable. He wanted to lie down and rest but could not settle down.

We could tell it was not just being a puppy who wanted to be doing something. We could tell he wasn't feeling well but hoped it would pass. Fed him breakfast. Threw it up an hour later. Still not comfortable.

We knew we needed to get him in to the vet and checked out. Of course, it was a Saturday and the vet was all booked up.

So we had to go to the local Veterinary ER.

X-rays showed that he had a good-sized rock lodged in his intestines. It was unlikely that it would be able to pass through.

Puppies this age like to put everything in their mouths. Some like to try to eat a lot of it. Unfortunately, Zooka is one of those who includes rocks in his “edible” category.

We pick our battles. We don't mind some chewing on sticks or pine cones or grass or what-have-you. But rocks are most definitely NOT on that list. Rocks are a definite No when it comes to eating! But anyone with puppies can tell you how quickly they can swallow something down before you have a chance to see what that was.

Surgery that afternoon was done to remove the rock. Sewed him back up and put close to 30 staples in to close him back up. But the surgery went well.

The next day we were able to take him home.

He is on two weeks of rest and recover. The instructions say “no running jumping or playing.” For a 14 week old puppy. Right.

We are feeding several smaller meals per day and giving him his medications to help his healing and recovery process. We put a cone on him when we cannot be directly supervising. We also keep a shirt (we are using a Thundershirt) on him to help protect his staples.

We are using lots of training sessions, lots of puzzle toys, lots of things to chew on. Every way we can think of to burn off puppy energy without letting him run jump or “play” too wildly.

All trips outside right now are just to go potty and are all on leash.

In two weeks, hopefully he will be able to go back to his normal puppy play, running and jumping. Back to his play dates. Back to his swimming lesssons. Back to our field trips to meet new people, see new places and see a variety of animals.

But for now, things will need to be low key. Despite what Zooka tries to tell you.