The dog and I have gotten into a good routine. I am the one who gets him up in the mornings, feeds him, and gives him some exercise before the girls get up.
In the afternoons, Riley and I get a little fun in before the girls come home if they ride the bus. We all play with him after when we get home if I pick the girls up. Overall, it seems to work for us.
This afternoon’s version of fetch was going just as predictable as always: I chuck the ball out, he runs blazingly fast to get it, brings it back with tail wagging, slobbers it up a bit and then drops it at my feet waiting for me to repeat. I’ll vary it up a bit – long fly ball, low bouncer, one huge bounce at close range for him to jump and get on the fly, or the very popular chuck-it-as-far-as-I-can-without-blowing-out-my-shoulder toss. Things were great until one of the low bouncers bounced perfectly just as he moved in for a catch and….put the ball far back down his throat.
I am sure in “real-time” it lasted about 3 seconds, but in “Oh my gosh! Emergency!-time” it seemed to last much, much longer. And in that span of time a whole slew of things went through my brain:
Oh my gosh! (did I already say that?) He might choke! I don’t know what to do if he can’t get the ball out of his throat. Is there such a thing as a doggie Heimlich maneuver? I’ve done the regular Heimlich before…that time on Madeline, when she choked on what was a tiny piece of steak when it went into her mouth but turned into a giant mass of steak in her throat and I got it out but only after I had called 911 when the first couple of attempts didn’t seem to work and then the ambulance came because, although I told them Maddie was fine they heard Zoe screaming “SHE’S GONNA DIE!!!” in the background and thought they should come over to see what was really happening. But that was a kid and this is a dog so what do I do? Do I have Riley stand on back paws so I can get a better thrust on his diaphragm? Do dogs have diaphragms that work like ours? I know their stomaches don’t work like ours. I know of labs who have eaten whole socks before and pooped them out perfectly intact. Could Riley just poop out a chuck it ball? And would he want to play with it again? Gross. The girls would never pick that ball up. What if he passes out? Do I have to do mouth to mouth? Mouth to nose? Um, I am not sure I am ready for that. Who do I call? Is there a vet 911? That’s a great idea….maybe I can create a pet 911. It’d be something like 738 so it’d spell P-E-T so people could remember it in a panic like now and they’d call and find out what to do when their dog chokes on a ball or poops out a sock or eats a Lego. Maybe that’s how I’d make my millions because writing a blog and taking care of mules really isn’t going to be profitable for me…Oh, wait, I think he got it out on his own…whew. Good boy, Riley. Good dog! Here, let me toss it again for you.
Yes, that’s pretty much what went through my head in those 3 seconds. Frightening, I know. It did point out to me that I don’t really know what the heck I am doing when it comes to dogs and medical issues.
It also pointed out that I have a mind that probably gives the Country Boy and my little City Girls whiplash at times with the speed at which it spins.
I’ll apologize to them this evening for that.
Right after I tell them about million-dollar pet 911 idea.