This is a rescue dog! We found Wiley at a no-kill animal shelter called the Hillside SPCA in Pottsville, PA. He joined our family in July of 2011. Rescue dogs make the best pets; I would know. My family has had pound puppies my whole life and I am a better person because of it. This is a place we can share our stories and spread the word: get a rescue pet!
Today's post was supposed to be about what we did yesterday. My husband and I decided to take Wiley to visit my parents for the first time. This would be, to our knowledge, Wiley's longest car ride to date (45 minutes), his first time in someone else's home, and his first time around two unleashed dogs. I was planning on taking lots of pictures and praying that everything would go smoothly. I am not going to tell you how that went for him right now. I will eventually tell you all about it. Today I am going to tell you why yesterday was an absolutely terrifying day, and how grateful I am that things ended well.
My parents live in the anthracite coal region of Pennsylvania, and yesterday their town was having their annual Anthracite Heritage Festival. Part of the festival activities is a historical tour of the cemetery. My father, brother, sister-in-law, and niece Olivia all participate in these tours. Olivia is pictured in costume above with Wiley. They assume the personas of people buried in the old cemetery and tell their story, in costume. This is a picture of my brother, sister-in-law, and niece Sadie from last year's festival.
Yesterday, while Hubs, Wiley, and I were visiting, Sadie, now two years old, was feeling a little under the weather.
My mom, her Nana, took her on a train ride as part of the festival. She was tired and not interested in eating. By the time we got there her nap time was getting closer, and she mostly just wanted to snuggle with her Nana and Pappy.
When she saw Wiley she expressed an interest in petting him, and he was great considering this was the first toddler he had ever encountered. The petting was a one and done thing though, so it happened so fast I missed the picture and only got the before and after!
Shortly after this, Sadie went inside and was snuggling with my dad on the recliner before he had to go back and give his second cemetery tour. And that's when things got really scary. They were eating popcorn Sadie had been given on the train ride, when Sadie turned blue and began to spasm. Praise God my husband had just walked in the room. I was still outside with the dogs, unaware that anything was going on.
Hubs is certified in infant and child first aid and CPR because he works with children. He turned and tilted her and did back blows, at which point she began gasping and moaning. In the meantime my father had called for an ambulance, and they were only six blocks away. This was yet another blessing from God. They were at the house before my dad had even finished the phone call. They did a finger swipe and pulled the popcorn the rest of the way out.
Despite the fact that she was now breathing, she was still very lethargic and not herself. The EMTs (who were outstanding) made the decision to take her to the Geisinger Hospital, a huge and well-equipped place to deal with any kind of crisis. My mom and Sadie's mom rode in the ambulance with her, and my brother followed in the car. Keep in mind they were still in their Victorian costumes from the cemetery tours.
My husband, Olivia, my Dad, and I stayed behind. I was really angry with myself for bringing the dog because I was worried he would hinder anything we might have to do. In the end I'm so glad we had him. Olivia was so upset to see her baby sister put into an ambulance, just like we all were. But while we adults had some coping mechanisms, Olivia didn't. I cannot tell you how many times she hugged Wiley and cried into his soft fur. Of course I don't have any pictures because it wasn't the time to be taking them, but you can see in this shot how much she loves him and he loves her.
As they got to the hospital, about 20 minutes away in the ambulance, we got the good news that Sadie was perking up. They were concerned that maybe the whole experience was more than just choking but rather a seizure since she hadn't been acting like herself all day. After some tests and examinations the doctors discovered she had an ear infection and was now running a fever. They determined this was the reason for her behavior all day, and to everyone's relief the worst had passed, God willing. We still have to pray she doesn't develop any kind of infection.
To see a little girl who is always so full of personality and life blue and still is horrifying. The doctors said the back blows and finger swipe saved her life, so if you don't know infant and child first aid and CPR you need to learn it.
What a different outcome yesterday could have had. Thank God everyone was in the right place at the right time to save this precious girl. I know this isn't about a rescue dog, per se, but it sure is about a rescue, and one I thought was worth sharing.