October 27, 2009

I Wag for Wag'N
Guest Post By Kamran Smith

Last Saturday (Oct 24, 09), I took Ines' Pet Saver (extensive Pet First Aid) class and came away with my brain stuffed with new knowledge. STUFFED!
And one doesn't usually describe a first aid class as "delightful," but watching Ines interact with MayDay and Gypsy, her two dogs, was a hoot. Ines uses both dogs to demonstrate how you can find a dog's femoral pulse, how to make and apply a muzzle, and how to bandage wounds. The look of martyrdom on Gypy's face as she was bandaged up was priceless! The patient sighs, the sad eyes, the dull look that brightened when Ines mentioned "chicken!" All this lead to the eager munching of the promised chicken treat and then back to her bed before Mamma Ines once again asked her to come upfront for another demo.
More sighing, more fake "sad" looks, and the whole cycle started again. The humor aside, it's always heartwarming to see well-loved, well-trained dogs like Gypsy and MayDay.

I loved that fact that the class included plush doggies that we could perform CPR and rescue breathing on. While it was funny to see Ines handing out toy dogs to the class, those cute critters were incredibly useful. For the first time, I was able to "perform" breathing and CPR on both a small and large dog ... and learn how to position the dog, how it would feel to do the chest presses, etc. That was invaluable experience. I also appreciated that Ines and Vet Tech advocate approaching a prone dog from the rear, rather than bopping right up to the front end and hence, the face and big, sharp teeth.

Also, Ines taught a lot about keeping ourselves safe when performing first aid -- how to position our arms to leave one free to push a snapping dog's face away if necessary, for example.

There was so much information in the class. Toward its end, I was tired and wanted to yell, "STOP!" But I'm so glad I didn't, being that it would not only be socially odd to do so, but also because I did actually retain all that information and nothing was excessive or not
important. Ines pointed out that if we scanned through the first aid book when we got home, we could increase our retention rate. She was absolutely right! And of course, practice, as she emphasized is important to, so I guess it's in the cards for me to get a plush dog.
(Oddly enough, Ines does NOT loan out Gypsy and MayDay, despite our pleas.)

Take the class ... you'll be glad you did and it will start you thinking about not only pet first aid, but also, pet care and disaster preparation. And, of course, you too, now have an excuse to get
yourself a plush dog!

To Read More of Kamran's Posts check out her Blog
(Pet)Sit and Chat: Petsitting and Life

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