Thursday, August 19, 2010

A Terrible Way to Start the Day!

It was bound to happen. I should have known it was only a matter of time. But I've felt that we were a bit invincible and it couldn't possibly happen to us. I was wrong and it almost cost Rudi her life. What could I possibly be talking about? Well, let me tell you...It all started with our pear tree. For several reasons we won't be able to enjoy them this year so I've been letting the dogs eat them as they find them on the ground. They are really small this year, a little smaller than a tennis ball and the skins are very rough. But each morning a couple of the dogs go to the tree and find the pears that have fallen off. This morning was no different. When we were done with our walk I saw that Rudi had found another one and was carrying it around in her mouth. I never let the dogs bring the pears inside but today I went ahead and let Rudi bring it in with her to eat. Sheba and Josh immediately noticed that she had one and were quick to try and get their share of it. Rudi was prancing around making all her noises and was doing what I can only describe as showing off that she had something that the others wanted and something that she knew wasn't allowed inside.

I don't know how it happened all I know is that I heard this noise in the living room and saw that Rudi was struggling to breathe and I immediately knew that she had swallowed the pear! I don't know how many times I grabbed her to try and help her, but she kept getting away from me. I couldn't really see the whole pear when I opened her mouth but I could see enough of it to know that it was beyond reach of just grabbing it and pulling it out. Another problem was that she kept locking her teeth as she kept trying to swallow it. I can't begin to tell you the panic I was feeling. In my head I did the quick math and knew that with the morning traffic it could take me at least 25 minutes to get to the vet. I could see that her gums were already starting to turn pale and I felt that she probably wouldn't make it if I made the trip. I knew that I had to find a way to remove the pear.

I do know how to do the Heimlich maneuver on a person and I know that can be done on a dog, but I don't know exactly how to do it. So I straddled Rudi and put my hand on the outside of her neck. I could feel the pear and so I tried to work it back up her throat. I felt it move and come back up part way, but at that moment Rudi forced herself away from me. I grabbed her again and got her down onto the floor; I think I was practically laying on top of her to keep her from getting away from me. Her teeth were clamped shut and I wished that Carl had been there to open her mouth. I don't know if I have ever felt so panicked, scared and as alone and in such despair as I did at that moment. I pleaded with God to please help me to know what to do, to please not let my precious Rudi die because of something I had so foolishly thought would never happen. I remember the dogs standing there watching and I recall saying something to them about how afraid I was, that I didn't know what to do because Rudi wasn't letting me try to get the pear out.

No sooner had I said all of that than all those feelings were gone and there a sense of calm that came over me and Rudi became very quiet and still. Laying on the floor I again tried to push the pear back up her throat. SLOWLY but surely it rose up her throat. Rudi let me open her mouth, so with that hand I held it open and with the other I held the pear and I was able to grab it and remove it from her throat!! We both laid there on the floor for several minutes as I cried and said prayers of thanks--Rudi also laid there quietly, panting and trying to swallow. When I stood up the dogs came to me and gave me what I felt like was a "congratulations" because they all started barking, and some of them were licking Rudi's face--It felt like a real celebration! Actually come to think of it, it was.

There was blood on the pear and I worried that something in Rudi's throat could be torn so I took her to the vet. It took me 30 minutes to get there. The vet checked Rudi out and feels that she is okay, but she's been given some antibiotics just in case. He told me that I'd saved Rudi's life. He also told me that this happens most frequently with tennis balls. Most people he said take them to try and get help and the dog sometimes dies on the way. I am very humbled and thankful beyond what any words can say that today that didn't happen.


  1. OMG, KIM! How horrible! I had been writing to you and this was going on. (Hanging head) So glad that Rudi is ok! I understand all too much about being alone when problems arise. You going to cut down that pear tree? Or shake them all off and rake them up? Who would have thought a pear could lead to such disaster? I am going to get all the dogs small balls and trash them after I send this out!

  2. What a terribly frightening story. So glad things turned out okay!!

  3. Oh Kim bless your brave heart! I was shaking reading this as I have been in panicky situations before with animals and it is a nightmare when you are alone and have to pull it together and think faster than the speed of light!
    Thank God you were able to help poor Rudi with your quick action.
    Hugs to you both!
    Tina xo

  4. Good Lord, I had to pour a Scotch just to get through reading that one. Too bad your not hear or I would pour you one as well. You need a vacation!

  5. I'm so glad that Rudi is okay. You, my dear, are an excellent story teller.

  6. Oh, you had me at the edge of my seat, and Kim, I know exactly the feelings you were going through as this happened to our lab Bud a few months ago-but he choked on a bone. He did the exact same thing with locking his jaws, and not letting me pull it, as his gums were going pale...You did good. I think instinctively they try to help themselves until they realize they have to let us help.
    And actually, i had no idea about the tennis balls, and I am ashamed to say all our dogs have a tennis ball, at least one. I will throw them all away tonight. I can't even imagine trying to remove a stuck tennis ball out of their throats...

  7. Wow, Rudi is one lucky girl. Glad your prayers were answered. No more pears for the dogs, only apple sauce (or pear sauce) from now on kids.

    Isn't it amazing how the other dogs reacted. They are so smart, each and every one.

  8. After reading this post I immediately got up and found Rowdy's ball and put it up. You may have saved two dog's lives today!

  9. How frightening! I would have been crying and crying during and not just after. I'm so glad the dogs gave you a high-five!!

    Here's Dog Heimlich instructions!

  10. Oh my gosh! We are so glad that you were able to get the pear out. We are sending up prayers of thanks too!

    Emma Rose and the Duchess

  11. Oh, Kim, you are one fortunate lady!! I am so careful with balls especially since the inside of an adult Scottie's mouth is the same size as an adult German Shepherd, but I had never thought about the pears and apples - I will be more careful from now on!! Thank God you were home.


  12. I am so pleased you were there to save Rudi, and made the right decsions not to try to drive in busy traffic. Your post has just made my mum look into a book to read how to do the Heimlich and rescue breathing on a dog, as like you she knows how to treat humans, but had forgotten where to put her hands on animals.

    I'm guessing pears will be off the menu now for your dogs.

    Love and woofs,

  13. Oh KIm,
    I am so glad,so glad.And so relieved and Thankful. I was reading with bated breath!
    I can imagine the terror you must have felt.
    So glad to see those pictures of Rudi smiling.

  14. You've just been through every dog familys nightmare. Well done for handling the whole situation so calmly - you must be mega stressed. Now I know why I look at Wilf so closely when he eats peaches in the orchard.

  15. I forgot to ask, How is Tanner now? Is he the same, which is good news actually! He sounds like a forgetful ,pondering great grand dad. Very endearing and yes, a little sad, i agree. But he is so lucky to have someone like you to be with him in his senior years.
    He would surely say Thanks if he could. i am sure he already says that in so many other ways...
    Btw, My prince does make the bed, Thank GOD for that!!*wink**

  16. God blessed you and Rudi. I'm so glad that beautiful dog is ok, and so glad that you reached out for the only help that you could, and found it.

    I wonder if Rudi will find it difficult to swallow for a few days? As I've said before, I don' know anything about dogs, but horses get food caught also, we call it choke. You have to be careful to feed non-irritating food for a while, to lessen the chance of scarring.

    But, your vet would have told you about that, if it's something you needed to watch out for.

  17. Oh my gosh!! I am so glad to hear that she is ok! What a scary experience! Awesome job on thinking fast and saving her!

  18. Kim, So very thankful that the Lord calmed your heart and guided your actions to help save your beloved Rudi. How incredibly scary this must have been and such a good reminder to each of us. I imagine there are lots of different fruits and nuts in yards that could get stuck in a dogs throat.
    Hugs to you all.
    Noreen & Reggie-dog

  19. I'm just about in tears! I thank GOD that she's okay. Now..I will have to watch to see if my dogs go after MY pears!

  20. wow Kim, that is quite the did save her life! if you would have driven her to the vet she likely would have died on the god you were there! i am very proud of you for staying with it and not freaking out in your sheer panic! and so glad she is ok! wow!
    my first two goldens were playing one day outside and one of their jaws was caught in the collar of the other, struggling ensued, one was being choked, one was frantically trying to get free, but in doing so was making it much thankful we were both here to cut the collar! i've NEVER put another collar on my dogs! (only on walks)
    i've also seen a similar incident like you had,except it was a ball, smaller than a tennis ball, so he could just barely get enough air around it..but had to be sedated to remove it...
    good job girl...whew!!

  21. Woof! Woof! Oh! My what a morning you had ... that is scary. I just can't believe HOW can he swallow a whole pear? I am glad he is fine. Have a good evening. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  22. Kim; That is all of ours worst nightmare.
    Thank God you were able to sustain the calm that you needed in such a crisis situation.

    Sheila & Bob

  23. Kim
    you were so corageous to not give up! how could such a little innocent pear cause all that horror!
    we are so happy that you were able to get the pear out.
    Luckily big things do not fit to easily in my mouth- like tennis balls. well that do, but i could never swallow it, i don't think

  24. My heart is pounding and my hands are shaking as I am trying to type these words. God Bless you and Rudi! I can't imagine the terror that must have went through you! I am so thrilled that the both of you are ok and you got through it together! Thank God you didn't just hop in the car and head to the vets as most people would have done. Just the other day my friend asked if I was interested in a CPR class for dogs, I am definitely thinking I will take her up on it! You just never know what things can go seriously wrong! Congrats on saving her life and lets hope it never has to happen again! :)

  25. You are a hero! Again! What a brave, resourceful, quick-thinking woman you are - you win my vote for the best person to have close-by in an emergency. Yay Kim! Yay Rudi!

  26. Bravo Kim!! A lot of people freeze in situations like that, and I know its really scary. I didn't have a dog do that, but while I was much younger and in 4-H, I had a dairy goat choke on a small apple, and I DID give her the Heimlich maneuver. I was in a panic too and didn't really think it through enough to wonder if it would work. It worked the same way as a human. The little partially chewed apple just flew out. Maybe next time you visit your vet, you might ask him about Heimlich for dogs.

    I'm so glad Rudi is okay. :)

    I'm still shaking a little and all I did was read this.

  27. We are thankful that it ended well. We have apple trees in our back yard and we eat apples all day long. Now we know not to run with one in our mouth. Our dad will keep a closer eye on us when we are down in the orchard.

    Mogley G. Retriever

  28. I think our only word is WOW

    Khyra and Khousin Merdie
    PeeEssWoo: Mom says thanks fur sharing this so others know to watch out fur things like this and try to do what YOU did!

  29. God answered your prayer that day! You were taking care of one of His creatures and He helped you out. I am so glad you called on Him for the outcoume might have been different. Whew! What a story, Kim. I bet you were weak for a while after that.


  30. WOW ! That's incredible - well done !
    It must have been so frightening for the both of you. Glad all ended well xx

  31. Oh my goodness Kim,what a terrible ordeal for you and for poor Rudi!
    I don't know if I could have done what you did,but then again you get the courage from somewhere when a crisis happens like that.
    We had one of those heart stopping moments with our first goldie.We were just about to get off a train on to the platform..I had Bonny on the lead infront of me..and as she stepped off on to the station platform,her back legs slipped through the gap.If it hadn't been for the quick actons of a man standing nearby waiting to board the train,who rushed over and hauled her up,well it doesn't bear thinking about does it? I don't think I've ever screamed as loud as I did that day! Give Rudi a extra big hug from me.

    Bellaboo :o)

  32. Oh Kim ~ I had tears in my eyes reading this. Thank goodness that Rudi is OK and you were able to get the pear out. How quickly things can happen. Poor pup! Glad everything is OK and that the Dr gave her medicine just in case.

    Sending big hugs!
    xo Catherine

  33. Oh Kim - thank God that Rudi is okay and that you were granted the strength to know how to handle the situation! I'll be keeping an eye out on Neeli now - we too have a pear tree and she loves to pull them off and munch.

    Here's hoping for a quiet weekend,
    Nadine, Apples & Neeli

  34. I cannot imagine that sense of helplessness when the time is so critical. I KNOW I would have done the same thing...asked God to guide me to success... I'm completely satisfied He guided you to save Rudi from an early death.

    Hope today starts better!

    Glad all are safe and sound.

  35. It is so scary when that happens! You did wonderful! You should feel very proud of yourself!


  36. Whew Kim!
    I can just imagine the must be exhausted today! Well done for persisting. That situation is both dangerous for you and the dog.
    ...I once saw a woman who had tried (and succeeded) to pull out a tennis ball from a GR's throat. Well she had major hand surgery afterwards and it took months to recover, but as they say...we'll do anything for our dogs!
    I think you deserve a doughnut! :)
    Sending lotsaluv and a big ((HUG)))

  37. I had Shepherd named Maggie and she swallowed a tennis ball once. I didn't know how to do it on a dog either but that didn't stop me from trying and like you I was praying all the time. You get so panicky!! It worked the ball just popped right out!! The heimlich worked!! I didn't get rid of her balls. She loved them so much!! But she never swallowed one again. She carried them further in front of her mouth after that. She learned!
    XXOO, Bambi & Fern

  38. I forgot to tell you about the tomatoes. We are growing tomatoes and have lots of them!! So they go in the food but also I make a sauce with them. I put tomatoes in a food processor and processe until smooth. I put basil, chives parslery and thyme with sea salt in too and that gos on the pot with all the rest and cooked.
    It is like make tomatoe sauce for people. Right now everything has tomatoe sauce on it!! lol

  39. So so glad you were there at the right time. So so glad you are both ok. I am sure it must have been frightening for the both of you but you won. Yay!

  40. Good heavens, I just read that post with my heart in mouth. How does so much heart-stopping stuff happen to you? I don't know how you managed to keep your cool, I'm sure I wouldn't have, thank heavens though for a happy ending. I'm sure I'm going to be paranoid about dogs and balls now.

  41. Oh Kim,what an awful thing to happen to you and Rudi,I bet you were very scared. So pleased she is OK. sue x

  42. Oh Kim,what an awful thing to happen to you and Rudi,I bet you were very scared. So pleased she is OK. sue x

  43. Wow I'm so thankful that Rudi has a quick thinker like you around to get that pear out. I sometimes sneak a tennis ball in the house but the two-leggeds somehow always manage to get it out of my clenched mouth. Guess I'd better be more careful from now on!

  44. YES Kim I think we are cut from the same cloth!!!!!!! I will feed anything that comes looking for food!! Deer, possum, fox, stray cats anything!! Someone asked me one day, would you feed a bear?? I don't think so but nowing me I might!! I love the animals way more than people, well most people!!! I am happy spending my time with them doing for them being with them!!!
    Thanks for your visit!!
    XXOO, Bambi ^ Fern

  45. Congratulations Indeed! You kept your head in a very frightening situation and saved Rudi's life. You are amazing!

  46. Kim,
    I was reading this half in shock.
    OMG!! I would never have thought of a dog even dying because of a tennis ball, but a pear.
    You are a super woman and your quick thinking saved her life.
    I'm sure after your adrenaline rush was over you properly felt pretty wiped out.
    What a beautiful looking lab!!
    I'm so glad everything worked out well.

  47. kim thanks for joining my blog, i was hoping you would! you are a lot like defying death under my label is the last post. i think there are 8. everything that happened to you happened exactly like me! i was shocked! only i was saving a deer from drowning, but the fear, the prayers, the calm, etc...same identical thing! i put you on my fave's so i can keep up with you easier...thanks again!


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