They’re pretty smart, so at least one of them is bound to be on top of this if it ever comes up.
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 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 maneuver 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.
Isn’t this a totally sweet story? The things animals do for the love of their owners never ceases to amaze me.
But a tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiny part of me is wondering something else, and this never would have crossed my mind if it weren’t for a stupid game my friend Mailon…
…invented called “What REALLY happened.” The game actually came about after I enthusiastically recounted to him what I believed to be a bittersweet moment of how I rescued an elderly man last summer who had fallen back into some hedges and no one stopped to aid him.
It was sweltering outside that day, over a hundred degrees, and the elderly man was lying face up, helpless, in the sun. I was walking my dogs and noticed him as I rounded the corner. I called out to him, asking him if he needed help. I didn’t wait for an answer, just ran to my house (two houses away), shoved the dogs inside without taking their leashes off, and ran back to the man. I pulled him up out of the bushes and helped lead him to a place in the shade to sit (he could barely walk, easily in his late eighties, maybe early nineties, so it took nearly ten minutes to go just a few steps). I ran back across the street to my house and got him a tall glass of ice water…
…then waited with him until the arrival of his wife, who had been around the corner at the DMV. (I sent a neighbor to go try to find her.)
He and I sat and talked about all manner of things. I told him I was a writer. He told me he was a writer, too. He asked me who I had voted for in the last election. I don’t always like to discuss politics, as it can be immediately polarizing. Still, I said it: “John Kerry.” He replied, “I knew it!!! That explains why you helped me!!!” His wife pulled up with the neighbor about fifteen minutes later, extra grateful to me as she helped her husband into the car. As the man and his wife drove away, his tearful eyes met mine and stayed on me until the car was nearly out of sight. I still can’t figure out how he was able to walk from the DMV around the corner, as painstaking as it was for him to take even a step. Just telling the story again to my friend Mailon almost made me cry.
After a long pause, Mailon, very deadpan, says, “Now I’m going to tell you what REALLY happened.”
He then took my lovely tale and the tone suddenly went from sunny and good to something dark, bleak, and sinister.
He launched into a bitter jeremiad of how the old man had been trying to flee his wife after decade upon agonizing decade of misery, and had, at long last, managed to make his escape while she waited in line at the DMV. His plan was to hurl his weak, decrepit body back into the bushes so that he could die a quick death under the blazing sun. Then along comes my black ass, foiling everything, and, even worse, delivering him back to the wretched harpy he’d been fleeing. The old man couldn’t stop staring at me as he rode off, once again in the custody of his enslaver, thinking, “I hope that black bitch burns in hell!!!”
It was a real eye-opener for me. What if that was what really happened? It was downright mind-boggling to consider. I’d been so proud of myself for being there in a time of need for my fellow man, even having told the story as an example of how God sometimes uses us as angels in the lives of others without us realizing it at the time. Silly me. As a result of Mailon’s startling-yet-hilarious take, we started playing this game with a bunch of other incidents.
Well, in the spirit of “What REALLY happened,” here’s my take on what might have occurred with the woman and her dog. Keep in mind this is told from the dog’s perspective as he watches his owner eat an apple:
Damn, that looks good. She likes those, but won’t ever let me taste them. All I get is that damn dry stuff. I guess I’m lucky. She could be giving me some of that wet shit that’s been killing all my friends. Listen to how it crackles when she bites it!!! Yum!!! And juice is dripping all down her bony neck…gimme some of that, you selfish bitch!!! It’s not gonna kill me. I’m a dog!!! I drink out of the toilet!!!
Ooops, what’s that?? Oh, so now she’s taunting me. Okay, I get it. Your stupid little people food is so good, it’s making you fall back and stagger. Woo-hoo, you’re in control. I guess it makes you feel like a big person by teasing a helpless animal with your stupid people food.
Stop it…stop the thrashing!!! C’mon now, either quit it, or gimme a piece!!! I can’t take it!!! Why is she taunting me with all the histrionics?!! (ed., dogs in my world are highly-advanced and use words like “histrionics“) I want some of whatever the hell that is!!! Give it to me!!!
(Stands on his hind legs, pushing against her, trying to get a piece…)
Gimme!!! Gimme!!! Gimme!!!
(Knocks her down, then jumps on her chest, still begging…)
Gimme!!! Gimme!!! Gimme!!!
(A piece of apple flies out…)
(Catches the piece of apple mid-flight and scarfs it, then proceeds to lick the juice off his master’s face.)
Meh. It was alright. The crunchy stuff she gives me is better.
Thank you!!! Thank you!!!
My next show’s at midnight. Tip your waitress!
Feel free to offer up YOUR version of “What REALLY Happened.” Heck, we could keep this going all day.