CALVERT, Md. - 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.
"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 wouldnt be here without Toby," said Parkhurst, a jewelry artist. "I keep looking at him and saying 'Youre amazing.'"