Canaduck forward a story about a dog that saved its owner from choking:
Toby, a 2-year-old golden retriever, saw his owner choking on a piece of fruit and began jumping up and down on the woman’s chest. The dog’s owner believes the dog was trying to perform the Heimlich maneuver and saved her life.
Debbie Parkhurst, 45, of Calvert [Maryland] told the Cecil Whig she was eating an apple at her home Friday when a piece lodged in her throat. She attempted to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre on herself but it didn’t work. After she began beating on her chest, she said Toby noticed and got involved.
“The next think I know, Toby’s up on his hind feet and he’s got his front paws on my shoulders,” she recalled. “He pushed me to the ground, and once I was on my back, he began jumping up and down on my chest.”
That’s when the apple dislodged and Toby started licking her face to keep her from passing out, she said. “I literally have pawprint-shaped bruises on my chest. I’m still a little hoarse, but otherwise, I’m OK,” Parkhurst said.
“The doctor said I probably wouldn’t be here without Toby,” said Parkhurst, a jewelry artist. “I keep looking at him and saying ‘You’re amazing.'”
Though I’m a fervent believer in animal intelligence, this story takes things a little too far. This is an example of over-anthropomorphizing animal motives. No matter how smart a dog is, it doesn’t have a concept of the Heimlich maneuver. It has no way to know its owner is choking. This is a nice story, and Parkhurst and Toby share a fine rapport, but I think it’s quite a stretch to say that Toby was intentionally saving his owner’s life.
Thanks, Canaduck for sending this along. I appreciate it! If you see a story about animals or animal intelligence, drop me a line! (Eventually I’ll make it obvious how to contact me — for now you’ll probably have to resort to the comment form or clever Google work.)
(Lynn sent the same story from a different source!)