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Dog’s Stomping ‘Chest Compressions’ Help Save Rescuer’s Life

Dog’s Stomping ‘Chest Compressions’ Help Save Rescuer’s Life

 

Written by Betty Schueler of Maryland

One day, while out and about with a friend, we found ourselves near our local animal shelter. On a whim, I suggested we stop in and see the animals.

There were dozens of animals at the shelter ranging from little bitty guinea pigs to huge mastiff-sized dogs. One dog, in particular, caught my eye. He was a bony little terrier mix who looked like he hadn’t had a good meal in weeks. He had just come in a few days before as a stray.

An hour later I walked out with Ranger — my fierce little bed companion. They warned me that he was a biter, if provoked, and they had mixed feelings about offering him up for adoption. Their warnings didn’t worry me at all.

Working on the Urge to Bite

With a favorite toy.

Animals that have been rescued often act out in response to the anxiety they feel. Shelters are, by nature, a traumatizing place for an animal to stay. I was pretty sure that I could get Ranger to calm down and become a trustworthy little dog.

We hadn’t been home more than a few minutes when he bit his first person. The guy totally deserved it as he sneaked up on Ranger and grabbed his tail. Ranger didn’t do any harm with the bite, but it warned me I had my work cut out for me.

Over the next few weeks, I let Ranger settle in and get used to our routine. He seemed to know what he was there for as he immediately claimed a place beside me in bed.

In an effort to let everyone know he owned that spot, he would growl at anyone who came near it. Since my husband slept beside me, and Ranger had claimed the area between us, I had to make him realize that we shared things in our household.

It wasn’t long before Ranger settled in and he declared a truce with my husband. Soon he was allowing anyone to get on the bed with us –even the grandchildren. By instituting some reasonable rules for the kids about how they should act around him, we eventually got to the point where we could trust Ranger around them (not that we ever left them alone together).

We taught Ranger to let us remove food he was eating, the proper way to greet people, how to walk on leash and all the other lessons a well-mannered dog should know. It was a long process but it turned out to be well worth our while.

I Began Having Blackout Spells

A year or so after we got Ranger, I began having spells. With only a little warning, the world would go black and I would either fall to the floor or, if in bed, I would wake up and minutes would have gone by.

I knew it was my heart, but a long string of tests were unable to reveal a problem. I tried to explain to my cardiologist what was happening but it didn’t make any sense to him. All I could tell him was that I would black out, and when I came to, I often had a sore chest. The next day, I would often have little bruises on my chest.

Ranger returns the favor many times over as he performs his own form of chest compressions to save Betty's life.

We tried a portable heart monitor a couple of times with no results. By now, I had broken a number of bones in my body from falling, and the situation was dire.

So my cardiologist tried one more time with the heart monitor. The results were mind boggling. I was going into heart arrest over and over. Sometimes for minutes at a time. That solved part of the mystery, but it didn’t explain the pain in my chest or the bruises.

One night, while waiting for the surgery, I had another spell but this time, when I came to, I found Ranger on my chest. All of a sudden I realized where the bruises had been coming from: Ranger was jumping up and down on me when my heart delayed restarting.

Ranger would repeat this act several times before I was finally able to clear my body of blood thinners and get my pacemaker. I had saved Ranger’s life, and he, in return, had saved mine — many times over.

Sometimes, when I try to be helpful, it seems my efforts are all in vain. When that happens, I wonder why I even bother to try. Then, I remember Ranger and I know I have to keep trying because sometimes miracles can occur.  One last photo of Ranger here.

Brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase

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210 comments

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5:41AM PDT on Oct 31, 2013

Never underestimate the intelligence of other animals...

7:21PM PDT on Oct 11, 2013

Our Jack saved me 4 times...so far. He notices that my blood sugar is dropping even before I do now (Diabetic Unawareness), & he starts messing with me until I do something about it. It takes a while for me to get the message, but he has definitely saved my life 4 times already.

7:12PM PDT on Oct 11, 2013

My Keeshond/Samoyed mix, Baby, did something similar for me.

I got (Juvenile) Type 1 Diabetes when I was 53 and would frequently have spells where my blood sugar would go very high or drop so low that I would become unconscious. Once I passed out while I was walking at home, fell to the floor unconscious and knocked out my front teeth.

For some reason I woke up enough to realize that It was an emergency and managed to drag myself near a phone, grabbed the cord and pulled it to the floor. I called 911 and when they said "what is your emergency?" I said, "I'm in a coma." They probably thought that was impossible, which it would be, but they sent the ambulance and the EMTs gave me glucose to bring my blood sugar up and stabilized me. I asked them not to take me to the hospital and just let me rest.

The next day when I was taking a bath I noticed that I had dog scratches all over my back. That's when I realized that my "Baby" had made me wake up by scratching me and saved me from going into a Diabetic Coma, never to recover.

"Baby" was my hero!

8:40AM PDT on Aug 28, 2013

wonderful)

4:14PM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE

11:06AM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

Adorable little fellow, great story!

10:20AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

Wonderful story!

2:24PM PST on Jan 29, 2013

Wow, Ranger seems smarter than me!!! He's awesome, the people who abandoned him are truly missing out on one smart pup. Thank you for loving Ranger!

11:08AM PDT on Oct 2, 2012

Amazing story! What a wonderful dog to save you as you saved him. Of course, that's what our rescues do.

2:47PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

One darn amazing, caring, compassionate and thankful dog. Give him an extra hug for me.

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