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We all know that puppies love to chew, bite and nibble. The hope is that it’s not followed by swallow! Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened with Sir Deacon Zhivago.

Deacon, a then 3-month-old German Shepherd, was “very rowdy and adventurous—constantly exploring and curious of anything new,” according to his owner, Chris Schewe of Fort Wright, KY. In mid-July, Chris noticed that his normally rowdy puppy was not acting very rowdy.

Where’s Boo Boo?

As many puppies do, Deacon had a favorite toy. Deacon’s favorite toy was a lime green, stuffed animal affectionately referred to as “Boo Boo.” On the evening of July 16, Chris noticed that the beloved toy was missing. Not thinking anything of it, Chris carried on the rest of the evening as usual. Early the next morning, Chris woke to Deacon retching and gagging as if he was “trying to get something out of his throat.” Deacon refused to eat his breakfast and then vomited once later in the day. Assuming that Deacon had eaten something that upset his stomach, Chris decided to wait until the next morning in hopes it would resolve on its own.

The Incident

The following day, Deacon’s symptoms persisted, and according to Chris, the puppy also became “lethargic and listless.” Chris noticed that Deacon’s abdomen was becoming distended which prompted him to quickly get Deacon to the vet.

After a thorough examination, the veterinarian determined that Deacon may have an intestinal blockage and strongly recommended emergency exploratory surgery. Chris immediately gave consent to the surgery and off Deacon went.

The Outcome

Deacon’s surgery went well, and the blockage was successfully removed—only to reveal where Boo Boo had gone. Boo Boo had been the cause of Deacon’s upset stomach and other symptoms, and removing the obstruction brought Deacon back to his normal rambunctious self.

Deacon bounced back quickly from the incident and, Chris reports that three months later, he is “back to his old self.” Deacon has put on 15 pounds since the ordeal and is as “happy and healthy as if it never happened.”

The Coverage

Chris had actually forgotten that he activated his 30-Day Certificate of Pet Insurance that was included with his AKC registration until he received the hefty vet bill. When it came time to write the check, he was very grateful he took the one extra step to activate. “When I remembered I had coverage, I felt much better,” Chris said.

Peace of Mind

Chris felt like the insurance coverage was so helpful that he decided to enroll in a full-term policy after the 30-Day certificate expired. Chris hopes that he never has to use the insurance policy again, but now that he knows what can happen, just having it gives him a sense of security.

“I felt like there could be a myriad of other issues that could arise,” he said.

The other reason Chris decided to enroll with AKC Pet Insurance is “how efficient the [claim] experience had been…I emailed the claim and PetPartners took care of the rest.”

Thanks to His Breeder…

In part, Chris has his breeder to thank for having the insurance coverage. Deacon’s breeder encouraged Chris to register Deacon with the AKC.

“I always walk them through the process of registering the new puppies with AKC,” said Jane Farano, an AKC German Shepherd breeder based in Ryland Heights, KY. “I feel that the puppies don’t have the same value as they do as a registered puppy.”

She also makes a point to include the 30-Day Certificate activation forms in her puppy packets. The forms are not only a good reminder to activate the insurance policy, they are also a good reminder to register with the AKC. The forms give step-by-step instructions on how to activate the insurance. It’s a very easy, two-step process. The first step is register with the AKC. The second step is activate your AKC Pet Insurance 30-Day Certificate by phone or online.

You, as the breeder, can not only provide your buyers with a quality puppy, you can also provide them with peace of mind.

Read past articles in the series Real Pets, Real Problems, Real Protection to hear more real-life stories of dogs who benefited from the AKC Pet Insurance 30-Day Certificate. Learn more about the AKC Pet Insurance 30-Day Certificate and their Breeder Support Program.

We want to hear from you!

If you’re a breeder who has had a puppy who has benefited from the AKC Pet Insurance Certificate, we want to hear from you! You can email the AKC Pet Insurance Breeder Support Specialist and briefly tell us your story and your overall experience using the Certificate of Pet Insurance.

30 days of pet health insurance through AKC Pet Insurance* for newly registered puppies. Details about this special benefit will be sent to you shortly after registration.

*The AKC Pet Insurance Certificate is administered by PetPartners, Inc. and is underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company, 6100 4th Ave S., Seattle WA 98108, or Independence American Insurance Company. Activation is required. Not available in all states and only available to U.S. residents. Eligibility restrictions apply. Visit or call 1-866-725-2747 for more information or to review terms and conditions.