Choking accidents at home.

Today's blog is written by my sister who had a horrible incident over the weekend.  When she told me what happened I asked her to write about it.  Sharing life experiences can be beneficial to others; although sometimes a difficult thing to do.  I want to thank her for taking the time and emotion to share this with all of you.  It can happen to anyone and sadly the end is not always a happy one. 



Bonnie's words...

We are lucky to have our sweet angel with us today. 
I don't know how long it was, it could have been seconds, it could have been minutes, I have no idea.  I'm not sure I can even remember every detail.  At times like these you just react.  
Last night our Ruby choked.  Innocently, like any other night, Ruby got a few tidbits after dinner.  This particular tidbit was half of a small roasted potato.  My husband gave it to her and walked away.  I was putting something in a cupboard and luckily my daughter noticed something was wrong.  She immediately told me and there was an urgency in her voice.  I turned and it looked like Ruby had something stuck (like bread on the roof of her mouth).  I looked in her mouth and could see nothing.  My daughter yelled frantically at me, I turned to tell her to calm down, and when I looked back at Ruby she had her lips curled up and was frantically pawing her face and withering her head in a way I'd never seen.  And there was no sound.  I instantly knew it was serious and checked her breath.  I yelled to my husband and instinctively grabbed around Ruby's ribs and squeezed and squeezed.  "You can't die like this" kept playing over and over in my head.  I didn't even notice the potato come out, my husband saw it on the floor.   I checked and she had shallow breath, I checked again and she was breathing normally.  Once I knew she was okay I grabbed her into my arms and burst into tears.  We had very nearly lost our baby, right there in front of us.  Next I grabbed onto my daughter, who was also in tears and was very aware of what might have happened.

 My husband felt guilty for giving her the potato but it could have been any of us.  In hindsight it was a bad size, but I think it was the skin that blocked her throat.  No more potato skins and I will forever watch her eat every bite - choking is silent,

After everything had calmed down and we regained our composure, had many hugs all around, and Ruby was once again chasing after her ball (the whole event barely phased her) I sat and thought of all the things I was grateful for; that my daughter knew instinctively that something was seriously wrong, that I'd reacted in the right way, that I was able to dislodge the food, that Ruby was okay,  that I didn't have to make that dreaded call to my son in Newfoundland to tell him that his baby had passed away,  that we'd all had a reminder of  how much she means to us, that she got a second chance, that our family remained whole.

The weekend could have turned out very differently and I never would have forgiven myself if I hadn't been able to save her. 

Ruby has had countless hugs and kisses today from everyone and is probably getting sick of all this doting, but we are just so grateful to have more time.....12 years is not nearly long enough.
We had our own choking incident with little Jessie, our Jack Russell Terrier.  I had gotten out big pieces of beef, like steak size for the dogs to chew on for dinner.  I handed Jessie one, then Tilley and finally Luke.  Luke and Tilley lay down chewing them like a boneless bone, how it was intended to be done.  But not Jessie, being the pig she was; she attempted to swallow it whole.  She assumed the choking stance, splayed legs as she continue to try to swallow.  Luckily I was right there and grabbed the end that was sticking out of her mouth and pulled it out.  Shaking my head with the realization that she had tried to swallow the whole thing, we did not do that again.  From that point on the poodles got theirs and I held onto one end of Jessie's until it was swallow size.
Not all dogs chew, many just swallow down so if you have a swallower you must take great care to only offer non choke sized pieces of food. 

 CPR FOR DOGS - Cornell University
Also never leave your dog alone with food.  Not a cookie, bone, breakfast, dinner, nothing.  I am always around when Elsa is eating anything, even meals. You don't have to sit and stare at them but definitely be in the same room watching. Luke demanded full attention when eating, otherwise he couldn't eat.  
Accidents happen in life; sharing these accidents may help to it happening to other dogs.  Thank you so  much for sharing Bonnie and I am so happy that you were there for Ruby. 
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