Posted by: Lea | October 3, 2012

Perry’s Mission

Wow, a lot has happened since my last blog post two days ago. I decided to create Perry’s Mission to get the word out to everyone that rope toys are not safe for our dogs and puppies. It was a rope toy that killed my beloved puggle puppy, Perry, on his first birthday. Last post, I didn’t want to talk about what happened, but readers deserve to know a little more about how deadly these toys can be.

I bought an innocent looking toy at PetSmart one day about four weeks ago thinking that Perry would love it! It was Halloween themed, and he and our other dog could play tug of war. How I wish I could go back and change that day. Perry was able to destroy the toy in a matter of an hour. He didn’t just pull strings out of it, he untied the knots, and he tore up the tennis ball on the middle of the rope. I found several long strings in bunches on our back porch and in the back yard. I’m still finding it. That’s how much there was.

The toy that killed Perry

One day about three weeks ago, I noticed that Perry wasn’t feeling so well. He stopped eating, and he just wanted to lay around. One Saturday, I took him to Banfield Pet Hospital, which wasn’t his normal vet, but they were open on the weekends. His temperature was normal, and the gave me some recommendations for some bland food and Pepcid. I offered him the different food and still nothing. If anything, he even looked worse. That Monday morning, we took Perry to our regular vet. They ran some tests, and they found that his white blood cell count was through the roof, but we still didn’t know why. He had us keep Perry home that night and told us to call the next morning if things looked worse. By Tuesday morning, he still wasn’t eating, and I knew something was really wrong. We called the next morning, and they ordered us to go get him an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed a blockage which meant surgery.

He went into surgery that afternoon. We were told it would be a 30 minute to an hour long surgery. But then he called us on speakerphone during the surgery. The vet told my husband to prepare us for the worst because it didn’t look good. It was horrible waiting. The surgery took almost three hours. Then we got the phone call that said he made it through the surgery and he was awake. Things were good.

We were able to take Perry home the next morning with strict care instructions. He was doing well. He was starting to eat. He was starting to howl and bark again. We started to see signs of the old Perry again. But last Thursday, I noticed he wasn’t eating again. We took him in that day to get his staples removed, and they did a CBC, and the blood tests all came back normal, with the exception of low red blood cell counts. We thought maybe he just overdid it, and he needed to rest. Friday, he was even more lethargic. I took him back in, and they did another CBC count. His results looked even better.

By Saturday, he still hadn’t eaten. He was moving very gingerly. I knew something was really wrong. I rushed him to the emergency vet clinic. They looked at his gray gums and his overall demeanor, and they immediately took him back to get his vitals and to place him on oxygen. I never saw him again. I met with the vet who told me his belly was full of fluid and bacteria. They were transferring him over for emergency exploratory surgery.

We met with the surgeon who gave him a 50/50 shot of making it through the surgery. He had thrown up a big ball of black string before the surgery, even though he had already had a bunch of string removed in the first surgery. That’s how much was in that little body. We left to go home and wait it out. The surgeon called us at 11:40 pm Saturday night, and she said that he had made it through the surgery, but the recovery would be long. Then at 12:30 the next morning, the phone rang again. We knew it was bad. Perry had a cardiac arrest. They were trying to revive him, but they warned us that even if they could get the heart started, he would more than likely arrest again. They needed our permission to stop trying, which we gave him. Perry died on his 1st birthday.

The past few days have been surreal. Many people may think “he’s just a dog”, but he was so much more than that. I have gone through bouts of sadness, anger, guilt, depression. I am smiling more than I am crying now, but the pain is great. Perry died because of something that I gave him- something that should have been preventable.

I don’t want ANYONE else to ever have to go through what we have been going through. So I created Perry’s Mission to get the word out about the dangers of these toys. I have found others who have gone through the same thing because of a rope toy. I have started a Facebook page to post about my findings and the results of my dealings with PetSmart over the sale of this toy ( I am being interviewed today by WOAI Channel 4 so others can be spared. I have worked with PetSmart’s Corporate office on getting reimbursed for the thousands of dollars of vet bills AND more importantly, to get this particular toy off of the shelf. I’m only 3 days into Perry’s Mission, and the support has been amazing.

Please tell others about Perry’s Mission and his story. Please continue to get the word out about rope toys and other dangerous pet products. Please like our Facebook page.

And thank you for taking the time to read about Perry. He was so special to us, and he was taken way before his time.

Our beloved, Perry



  1. Very well said. I’m very proud of you for taking this on. Love you.

  2. So sorry for your loss. A similar thing happened to our dog years ago and it’s devastating. Our dog unraveled a rope rug by our back door. It’s hard to think the rope toys and other items that appear safe can do harm.

  3. I’m so sorry I know how hard it is to loose a pet:(( so glad that you are sharing your story and getting out this very important info:)) keep up the good work in Perry’s memory:)

  4. I am very sorry for your loss. We were never given 100% confirmation as to how our Sarah died 5+ years ago now. The doctor sent us home on Friday with castor oil. By Monday she was definately not improving and they kept her overnight for observation (no mention of surgery) and she died overnight. They did an autopsy and found a bunch of rope in her stomach. The thought was a combination of the string and that she ate a poisonous plant were the downfall. I refuse to give our current dog any rope toys of any kind.
    Thank you for taking on this challenge.

  5. I am so sorry for you loss. R.I.P Perry.
    Thank you for sharing your story. Hopefully it will alert people to the dangers of rope toys.

  6. This is heartbreaking to read. I am so sorry for your loss, poor poor perry 😥 I think it’s brilliant what you are doing in memory of perry, get that toy off the shelves! So many dogs could be at risk, so tragic that your pup had to be the one to discover the danger. My thoughts and best wishes are with you at this tough time. Keep spreading the news! I would have never realised the issue if you hadnt blogged about it!

  7. He was not just a dog he was Perry, a member of your family! I lost my Pumbaa last year after 14 yrs with me I still miss him. May you find some peace in knowing that he had a great home the best home he could have had! Even though he was just with you for a year, there are dogs out there that never have what he had in your home- a loving family!

  8. I am so very sorry for your loss! I applaud everything you’re doing in his honor. Wishing I could give you a hug in person. Sending love and hugs to you and your family. xo

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