Tuesday, May 3, 2011

From Dumpster to Doctor

This dog doesn't do tricks. He does tracheas.

When Debbie Parkhurst, 45, got a chunk of apple lodged in her windpipe on Friday, her dog "Toby" came to the rescue. The 2-year-old Golden Retriever pushed Ms. Parkhurst onto the floor and issued abdominal thrusts (jumping up and down on her chest) until the obstruction was expelled from her airway. Toby's actions, hailed as a canine version of the Heimlich maneuver, saved her life.

"The doctor said I probably wouldn’t be here without Toby," says Ms. Parkhurst. "It was lodged pretty tight because I couldn’t breathe. I tried to do the thing where you lean over a chair and give yourself the Heimlich, but it didn’t work.
"The next thing I know, Toby’s up on his hind feet and he’s got his front paws on my shoulders. He pushed me to the ground, and once I was on my back, he began jumping up and down on my chest.

"As soon as I started breathing, he stopped and began licking my face, as if to keep me from passing out."

A friend arrived in time to witness the canine CPR and drove Ms. Parkhurst to the doctor.
"I literally have pawprint-shaped bruises on my chest,” says Ms. Parkhurst. “I’m still a little hoarse, but otherwise, I’m OK.
"I keep looking at him and saying ‘You’re amazing.' "

From Dumpster to Doctor

Who would have guessed that this medical miracle mutt was once just a cast-away cur? Toby, as it turns out, was rescued from a dumpster by Ms. Parkhurst in 2005.
She admits that the pooch never seemed to be med-school material. "Of all the dogs in the world," she says, "I never would have expected this goofy one here to know the Heimlich.”
But oddly, the dog's rescue procedure was performed exactly the way it is suggested by the American Red Cross: "a series of five back blows and five abdominal thrusts." 2
(The licking part was just improvisation.)

Toby's veterinarian, Dr. Douglas Foreman, is equally baffled at the dog's expert response. "Toby isn’t what you would call the most trained of dogs," Dr. Foreman says. "I have no idea where he learned it from."

"Wonder dog is all golden"
Cecil Whig. 27 Mar 2007