a real mother

A Very Close Call

In my lifetime with dogs, I have never, ever had anything like this happen.  It still freaks me out and I can’t believe it happened.

It was a near tragedy.  All because of this:


The real culprit in this case was the family size bag.
Now what could a Cheetos bag possibly have to do with this?
The answer is lots.
It was a Saturday night this summer.  Younger Boy was on a sleepover and we were hanging out watching movies with Older Boy.  Around midnight, we went outside to look at the stars.  I specifically picked up anything Leo could get ahold of, including the empty family-size Cheetos bag Older Boy had finished during the movie and put it up where I thought the pup couldn’t get it.
Turns out I was wrong.
We weren’t outside more than ten minutes.  When we came in, I thought it was one of those “Ha ha ha, look at the puppy, isn’t he cute?” moments. “Look, he fell asleep in the bag of Cheetos,” I told the boys as they came in. But a sense of dread crept over me as I realized he hadn’t jumped up the second he heard us come back in the house.
Leo didn’t move.
I pulled the Cheetos bag off his snout.
Leo didn’t move.  Because Leo wasn’t breathing.
We start poking and prodding him, screaming his name.
Leo didn’t budge.
The Husband went into his medical emergency mode from years of training.  In fourteen years of dental/orthodontic practice, he has never (thankfully) had to use any of his life saving skills that he is required to practice and renew every year.  Until now.
He started chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth on the puppy, which of course doesn’t work because a human can’t form a seal given the shape of the dog’s mouth.  In a fit of quick thinking, he sealed Leo’s snout with his hand and did mouth-to-nose.
All I can do is unhelpfully stand there screaming and crying.  After several minutes without success, The Husband sadly looked up at me and said, “He’s gone. I’m sorry.”
There is a relatively new 24-hour vet place about five minutes from our house.  I’m screaming we have to try.  We have to take him.  The Husband gently informed me that we should go, but it is to take his body there.  He picked up Leo, whose lifeless body hung limply over his arms like a wet towel.  I’m still shrieking we have to move faster.
The Husband gently placed him in the back of the Subaru and we exceed the speed limit en route.  Older Boy in the back seat said, “Mom, I think I hear something.”  It’s hard to imagine he could hear anything over my howling.  I choked back the sobs and tell him to not to get his hopes up.
After we arrived, The Husband walked to the entrance slowly because we all know this is going to be a sad, sad final walk. There was no need to move quickly because the dog was dead.  When I lifted the hatchback, however, I experienced one of the most shocking moments of my life.
Leo was alive.
He’s lying there, looking dazed and confused, shaking his head.  Of course, I screamed, “He’s alive, he’s alive!” The Husband comes running, picked him up and whisked the slighty stunned puppy into the back room of the vet office.  I hope they will administer drugs to me.  We tried to fill out paperwork but are shaking too badly to hold a pen.  At that point, we also noticed that none of us are wearing shoes.
A kind woman escorted us to a waiting area. About four minutes later, the vet brought Leo in on a leash who seemed to bear no ill-effects of the near tragic experience.  “This dog was looking at the light,” the vet said, looking about as shocked as us.  “All his vital signs are good, but let’s watch him for the next hour or so to be sure.”  So we sat in the vet room, shoeless and shivering in the air-conditioning, waiting and watching.
Leo was fine.
He sniffed around the room until he grew bored.  Then he sat at the door and looked at us with an expression that said, “I’m ready to go now, what are you people waiting for?”  When the vet came back in, he told The Husband that his quick thinking saved Leo’s life.
A call from our regular vet on Monday morning confirmed The Husband’s herioc status.  “Do you know the odds of reviving a dog that has stopped breathing?” she said.  “It’s very small.  Your quick thinking saved his life.”  Not only do I have my dog back, I also have a hero.
I’m one lucky woman.  One who will never, ever have Cheetos in her house again.
Remember kids, junk food really can kill.