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OMAHA, Neb. -- A Lincoln man who lost part of his finger Tuesday while trying to save his choking dog said the animal was his top priority, dropping it off at a pet hospital before taking himself to Methodist Hospital.

Bob Larsen said the vet told him the chocolate Lab, Nick, arrived just in time.

"I had about three minutes to spare for the dog's life," Larsen said. "It was that close."

The vet was able to retrieve the ball, which was lodged deep in Nick's throat, and then resuscitate the dog. Meanwhile, Larsen was transferred from Methodists to Nebraska Medical Center.

The vet, Rod Van Horn, said the ball was an acceptable size, calling the choking and biting a "freak accident."

Larsen said he was in Omaha playing catch with the Nick when the ball got caught in the dog's throat.

"I tried to get the ball out of his mouth one more time, and he came down on my finger," Larsen said. "I pulled my finger out and just lost the tip of it."

The dog was coughing and gagging, and never meant to hurt his owner, Van Horn said.
 

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That's one reason my dogs do not even know what a tennis ball is! Glad the dog is o.k.!
 

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How awful!

We use the giant, softball-sized tennis balls.
 

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we only let our boys play with soccer balls. They deflate them with in mins of getting them but they don't care we have flat soccer balls and flat basketballs all over the place but dogs dont care also long as they can run after them.

Poor Nick hope he is gonna be ok.
 

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we only let our boys play with soccer balls. They deflate them with in mins of getting them but they don't care we have flat soccer balls and flat basketballs all over the place but dogs dont care also long as they can run after them.

Poor Nick hope he is gonna be ok.
Bali LOVES soccer balls! We nick named him soccer Bali :)
 

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Not the first Lab owner to give his dog the finger.
 

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