Man gives dog kiss of life

2007-12-19 00:00

A DOG is a man’s best friend, and the master does not expect to be bitten while lending a helping hand to a desperate friend.

However, one dog owner endured just this — and then gave his pet the kiss of life when the animal lost consciousness.

Guy Henderson of Athlone, the owner of a two-year-old German Rottweiler named Max, landed in hospital after he was bitten on Monday afternoon while he tried to rescue Max from a snare.

Henderson told The Witness from his hospital bed yesterday that it all began when he took his two dogs for a walk in the veld at World’s View near Hilton.

“It was raining and very slippery and normally when one is out there, dogs will run twice as much as you do, more especially when they are chasing monkeys.”

One of the dogs slipped and “just disappeared”, he said.

He found his dog almost strangled by a cable snare around his neck.

“I panicked, thinking I was going to lose my dog. I tried to lift it up to ease the weight of the snare. I was slipping down most of the time and the dog is heavy, about 50 kg. All the while I wanted to undo the snare by breaking tree branches where it was secured,” he said.

However, the dog, which was in agony, bit his leg, sinking its teeth deep into his flesh. He grabbed its mouth and opened its jaws to free his leg. When he was done, the dog just passed out.

“I thought he was dead and I went up to undo the snare and the dog slipped down.” The dog was unconscious and Henderson, an anaesthetist by profession, gave it mouth to mouth resuscitation.

“His chest started bulging as he was responding to the CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation]. This took a minute and the dog regained consciousness and we had to hobble back to the car,” he said.

Henderson said there have been reports of other snares in the vicinity. These are believed to be placed by people hunting small game.

Back home, Henderson’s wife insisted he should get medical attention. He needed stitches in his leg and will be released from hospital today. He said the dog is fine and he did not even take it to a vet. Henderson has advised other people to be cautious and never lose sight of their dogs in bushy areas.

nathi@witness.co.za

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