Think about taking CPR training

Jordan Boyer, Photo Editor

Your outlook on life can change in a split second, and I realized that not too long ago. A couple weeks ago, I visited my parents and some friends in my hometown. It was my dad’s birthday, so we had a nice little celebration with him in my parent’s sports bar/man cave in their garage.

However, prior to the celebration, there was an almost tragic situation. It was a normal Saturday morning and I was sitting in my living room with my mom, Margie, my girlfriend, Megan, my new puppy, Leia, and my mom’s dogs, Sharon and Sophie. I stepped away for a few seconds, and all the sudden, I heard my mom say something along the lines of “She’s choking!”

I ran into the room and I saw my mom holding her dog Sharon, a 5-pound Chihuahua mix, choking and gasping for air. I took her and tried to save the poor animal’s life. I do not know how to perform CPR on a dog (let alone a human), so in a panicked state, I tried to do it. What was probably around 20-30 seconds of resuscitation and sticking my finger down her throat to dislodge the food she was choking on felt like an eternity to me.

The food that was stuck in Sharon’s throat was not moving, and the one thing I cannot forget about this experience is the feeling of Sharon in my arms panicking and trying to grasp onto her last seconds of life. I was convinced that this animal was going to die in my arms. Finally, some stomach acid came out of Sharon’s mouth, which dislodged the stuck food, and she was OK. But, since I was panicking, I thought she was foaming at the mouth and dying, but my girlfriend quickly calmed me down, saying she was fine. I had so much adrenaline going through me because I was panicking, and I almost even vomited from the nerves.

After this experience, I learned what happened to Sharon; she has a majority of her teeth missing due to unfortunate circumstances, and now she must eat wet dog food regularly. She got into some regular dry dog food, took way too much and accidently breathed in some of the food.

Yes, Sharon is just a dog, but I am an avid animal lover and this dog means the world to my mom. Chihuahuas have a bad reputation for being ankle biters, but Sharon is the sweetest thing, and she wouldn’t hurt a fly.

This made me realize that anything can happen, and death can be around every corner. What if my mom or girlfriend were choking? Could I have saved them? I honestly do not know, and it frightens me.

Of course, I have dealt with the death of loved ones in the past, and the emotions you feel are unexplainable. However, this is the first time I ever had a living being’s life literally in my hands. A few seconds longer and she would have been dead, and it would have been my fault for not being able to save her.

Because of this experience, I have realized that it is necessary to receive CPR training, and once I have free time from work and school in the near future, I will definitely take classes and get CPR certified.

Since I myself have a three-month-old puppy, to say the least, I have been a little paranoid about what she eats and what she could get into while I am not looking because of this situation. However, being paranoid about this kind of stuff is unhealthy, so I will get the teaching necessary to save humans and animals.

Thankfully Sharon is fine, and still living a full life, but this situation was a wake up call for me. It would not be a bad idea for you the readers to get CPR certified as well, because you never know what will happen in the future.

Jordan Boyer is a senior history major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].