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I was in my office around lunchtime and my cell phone rang. I saw that it was my neighbor, but she hung up before I could answer.

A moment later, it was her again. I had this spooky feeling something was wrong.

I was right.

When I picked up the phone, I could barely understand her. She sounded panic-stricken: crying, sobbing and hyperventilating. Have you ever gotten one of these calls? I can't say that I have before now, and let me tell you, it hits you in the gut and snaps you to attention very quickly.

In between sobs, I made out, "Owen...choking." (Owen is her puppy).

I started semi-shouting at her, to try to make sure the message got through the hysteria. I told her she could do the Heimlich, gave her brief (not very good) instructions, and she hung up. !!! So now I'm left holding the phone going oh ****...what is going on? Is it working? Is he dying? I really thought for a few minutes there I was going to have to listen to someone lose their dog while I held the phone. Horrible.

When she hung up, since it was around noon, I called our dogsitter to see where she was. I thought if she was close, she could maybe go over and help. She was close, but not that close. I told her my neighbor's dog was choking, and then neighbor called back. I hung up from dogsitter and told her I'd call her back. (So now dogsitter is left holding a phone, wondering if a dog is dying).

Neighbor is still hysterical. I asked if he was breathing: She sobbed that he was. I asked if he was conscious: She sobbed yes, he was. (I should have asked these questions first, but hey, I'm not an EMT, I'm just faking it here). Anyway, I'm feeling much better about the whole thing on learning this, as I was afraid he was lying on the floor with something stuck in his throat, cutting off his air. So I said, "OK! You're fine! Get him in the car and drive to the nearest vet!" Neighbor hangs up again.

During this time, IT has come by my office to fix my email...

Neighbor calls back for the third time, and finally, all seems to be well. She apparently got him out to the car to go to the vet, and when he got in the car he seemed fine. Panting, but breathing normally. She went back inside and found a stick he had apparently coughed up. I don't know if he did so when she did the Heimlich, or on his own. At any rate, crisis averted.

I called dogsitter back and told her everything was fine, and she was relieved as well. She ended up going by and checking on my neighbor while she was at my house, and showed her what to do if that ever happens again.

I called neighbor later on to get more details, and apparently Owen was breathing, but contorting his body and face in a way that was extremely scary. :eek:

I was very flattered that I would be her go-to person for this, but I told her next time to call her vet or the emergency vet...not that I minded, but I think they would probably do a little better job of asking the right questions and giving instruction.

PHEW!
 

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Congrats to everyone! Owen should not do that again.
 

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oh wow, i can't imagine how scary that must have been! hmm...i have been meaning to take these doggy first aid classes but they tend to be expensive, I'll try to take it as...you never know!
 

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How frightening! That's one reason we don't let the boys chew on sticks. There have been so many forum Labs injured from them.
 

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Whoa! You did great, Connie, way to help her out, but geez I would have been super freaked out. I'm glad Owen is fine.
 

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I'm so glad Owen was OK. That happened to Buddy a couple months ago. I can tell you just how hysterical you can get. He inhaled a piece of food when he was eating dinner. I had enough presence of mind to do the heimlich on him. The piece of food finally came up. I was relieved. He wouldn't have made it to the emergency vet. Tell your neighbor I'm glad Owen is OK.
 
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