September 25, 2013

Pugs Don't Chew

Killer, The Pug
Last Saturday, I was in the kitchen doing the dishes. The lovely wife was on the couch, trying to deal with her nausea from an upped methotrexate dose, and our pug was chewing a bone. I finished the first sinkful and had started scrubbing the pans when my wife called my name and yelled that the dog was choking.

I came in expecting him to just barf it up and figured I’d snatch the soggy bit away before he tried to eat it, again. This happens all the time--he’s a pug and they don’t like to chew.

After a couple of seconds watching him hunkered over, trying to cough it out, and his slinking around the carpet getting faster and more frantic, it quickly became obvious that that wasn't going to happen.

It was stuck.

I grabbed the phone so the wife could call the vet. By then, the dog had really started gasping and hacking, his tongue was changing colors, and ropes of foamy slaver came out of the sides of his mouth.

Not knowing what else to do, I grabbed the pug, pried open his mouth, and reached my fingers down his throat. I could feel the bit of chewbone and tried to move it. That sent him really panicking, panicking enough that he lost control of his bowels, then bit me pretty hard.

The wife relayed a couple of other suggestions from the vet, but none of them or my quick Google search did anything but send the pug into a worst, gasping panic and get me peed on.

So, without any other choice, it was 200 miles per hour to the vet. I don’t know how I didn’t get pulled over. I was covered in fluids, flying down the highway, driving on the shoulder honking my horn, and yelling at slow cars. The lovely wife was so tired from her methotrexate that she could barely function and didn't even have shoes on, but she held the dog and when he stopped breathing a couple of times in the car, but she managed chest compressions, doggie heimlich, and throat massages enough to get him and then keep him breathing.

We got to the vet and they took care of him right away. After just a couple minutes, Mr. Killer was back in our room and just fine.

When we got home, both the wife and I had our freak-out time. As rough as it was for me, I’ve never had something living that I cared about almost die in my arms, I can’t imagine what it was like for my wife.

The lessons I’ve tried to take from it are:
  • An overlooked gift that pets give us is the reminder to be present. Once it was over, the dog wasn’t bothered at all. he drank some water, took a nap until it was time to eat, sniffed around outside for ten minutes, then went back to napping.
  • The lovely wife and I make a good team. That's probably why we've made it 13 years come October.
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