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Mouth-to-Snout Resuscitation

Brief by Central Staff

Pets – August 1999 – Colorado Central Magazine

When a dog saves a man, that’s not a story,

but when a man saves a dog …

We have often read about heroic dogs rescuing people. This time around, there were some heroic people rescuing a dog.

The dog, a six-month-old black Labrador retriever named Baxter, fell into Cottonwood Creek in Buena Vista on the afternoon of June 21.

Several people saw the dog and tried to pull it from the water by its leash, but couldn’t. Instead, they had to cut the leash to keep Baxter from choking, and the dog drifted away.

Enter 13-year-old Brandon Embrey-Relaford, who spotted Baxter and jumped into the water to bring the dog to shore. Labs are great swimmers, but Baxter had apparently taken on a lot of water while suspended by his leash, so the teenager began applying CPR to the dog.

Chaffee County Sheriff’s Deputy Ernie Morgan, who was off-duty, happened by, and applied “mouth to snout” resuscitation while Embrey-Relaford continued CPR.

Within a few minutes, the dog began breathing on its own and its pulse returned. Meanwhile the Buena Vista police, through the dispatcher, contacted Nathrop veterinarian Leslie Harrison, and followed the relayed instructions to remove water from the dog’s lungs.

At last report, Baxter was doing fine, according to his owners, Rick and Brea Runyan. Brandon Embrey-Relaford received a police commendation for bravery. And we’d like to commend Deputy Ernie Morgan for the “mouth-to-snout” resuscitation — a gracious off-duty act that went well beyond the call of duty.