It happened in Stanton, a Michigan town of 1,400 people. Gracie, an 11-year-old Shih Tzu, was ready to get dressed up at the Country Pets Grooming Salon, a sort of exclusive pet spa. This time, however, something didn’t go as usual. The dog was immersed in the bathtub when, suddenly, he started whining and flapping his paws.
“I saw her dead – said the owner of the center, still in shock, Kristen Hansen, a groomer – I had followed an in-depth training course in the dog grooming school and, ironically, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for dogs was part of those lessons Sure, you wish you never had to use training, especially to save a dog’s life, but this was a matter of life and death and I automatically jumped into the action. Gracie would be gone forever.”
The phases of the rescue were agitated but, at the same time, decisive. “After the third, maybe the fourth act of breathing hard into her mouth – says Kristen – the air went through her body and her tail started to move, a liberating gesture. Gracie was breathing again, then we ran to the vet. There they found a fluid effusion around the heart that needed urgent and aggressive surgery. Gracie slowly recovered and went home.”
“When the vet told me that it was thanks to my quick action and training that I was able to save Gracie’s life it was an amazing and very rewarding moment. A miracle, perhaps. It was the best feeling ever,” he said. But how do you mouth-to-mouth a dog or other pet when you need to? Training says you put your hands in a circle around the the dog’s mouth and blow hard into the nose, to complete the action with a series of constant chest compressions.