In Florida, strangers and firefighters teamed up to resuscitate a Labrador drowning on the beach.
Regina Pugh took her two dogs, Xena and Calusa, to the Davis Islands Dog Beach on Sunday, July 12.
Pugh tossed the dogs’ toy into the water for the third time and Xena, her Labrador Retriever, rushed into the bay to retrieve it, as she usually did.
The Labrador Retriever had been diagnosed with hip dysplasia when she was young, so Pugh takes her to the beach to let the dog swim to build strength.
It was such a fun moment until something went wrong – Xena wasn’t fetching the toy, she was drowning.
“I thought, ‘Is she showing me a new trick?’ Then I realized something was going on,” Pugh said. “I didn’t expect the drowning to happen so fast.”
She immediately sprang into action to get her dog and brought her ashore. Bystanders and other dog owners rushed to help in any way they could.
Three different people did chest compressions, each taking turns, while Pugh began mouth-to-mouth.
At the same time, Fire Capt. Timothy Hayes and a crew from Fire Station 17 of the Tampa Fire Rescue were driving by in their fire truck. Somebody called their attention and told them about a dog that had stopped breathing.
Firetrucks don’t normally carry canine equipment, neither do they regularly train for dog CPR. Despite this,Hayes and his crew grabbed their oxygen kit designed for humans.
When the fire crew reached the Labrador, they put the human oxygen mask on her face. After three or four minutes of oxygen, Xena regained consciousness and was ready to get up and move, Hayes said.
“Did we make a difference? I’m not the one to tell you,’’ Hayes said. “We did what we could do. I think the majority of the credit goes to those bystanders there who pulled the dog out of the water and started CPR.”
One beachgoer recorded the efforts to save the dog and posted it on YouTube.
“It surprises me as well that we don’t get more attention for lives saved, but when a dog gets saved, it seems like everybody wants to know about it and hear about it,” Hayes said.
A vet said the pooch may have experienced a seizure or had a neurological episode, Pugh said. Because the medical problem began in the water, her lungs got filled with water and she stopped breathing, Pugh said.
“The most important thing is that I want to express gratitude and thankfulness for the people who helped me,’’ Pugh said. “People jumped right in, got on their hands and knees, and did whatever they could do. They were perfect strangers willing to do whatever they could to help me. It’s wonderful my dog survived. It’s wonderful to see the support of the people there and how helpful and generous they were.”
Thank you, Mr. Firefighters for saving so many lives – both of humans and animals! You guys are heroes!
Source: The Tampa Tribune