Your pet can save your life!
November 2, 2007 9:34am CST
When Debbie Parkhurst choked on a piece of apple at her Maryland home, her dog jumped in, landing hard on her chest and forcing the morsel to pop out of her throat. When the Keesling family of Indiana was about to be overcome by carbon monoxide, their cat clawed at wife Cathy's hair until she woke up and called for help. For their nick-of-time acts, Toby, a 2 1/2-year-old golden retriever, and Winnie, a gray-eyed American shorthair, were named Dog and Cat of the Year by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Neither Parkhurst nor Keesling could explain their pets' timely heroics, though Parkhurst suggested her pooch's Heimlich maneuver might have been guided by divine intervention. Both pets were themselves rescued in infancy — Toby as a 4-week-old puppy tossed into a garbage bin to die, and Winnie as a week-old orphan hiding under a barn, so helpless that Keesling's husband, Eric, had to feed her milk with an eyedropper. As the Keeslings recalled it, a gas-driven pump being used to remove flood waters from their basement in New Castle, Ind., last March malfunctioned, spreading carbon monoxide through the house. By the time Winnie moved into rescue mode, the couple's 14-year-old son, Michael, was already unconscious. State police and sheriff's officers responding to her 911 call said the family was only minutes from death, judging by the amount of poisonous gas in the house. Debbie Parkhurst's husband, Kevin, was at his job at a Wilmington, Del., chemical firm when she took a midday break from making jewelery and bit into an apple. It just goes to show you how animals are amazing. They never cease to surprize me! I guess maybe I should be a bit nicer to my cat ;). Does anyone else have any surprizing animal stories they would like to share?