DENVER - July 24, 2013
All dogs know how to swim, right? Isn't that what everyone says? It's instinctive, they say; if a dog falls into a pool of water he'll be able to swim and get out, no problem.
Well, I'm here to tell you it's simply not true. Dogs can, and do, drown in the blink of an eye.
We receive word that an 11-week old Canine Companions puppy named Thompson accidentally fell into a swimming pool on Monday. He was in the water for less than a minute. His puppy raiser pulled him out and rushed him to the veterinarian. The vet and staff tried to save him, but in the end the damage was too great. His puppy raiser said, "In the end it wasn't the water that Thompson inhaled but the edema that developed in his lungs that could not be resolved. Despite the Herculean and heroic efforts of the veterinary staff, we felt that the most humane thing for Thompson was to let him go. So we did."
She continued, "At a terrible, terrible expense I have learned a lot about drowning that I didn't know before .... While it still did not result in an positive outcome for Thompson, early medical intervention is crucial. His only chance of survival was due to the quick response of his medical team. If your dog has a near drowning event, even if he seems fine, he needs to be seen immediately. Although I knew Thompson needed medical care as soon as he came out of the water, the vet said that many times a pet can look okay but still have respiratory issues that sometimes can result in what is called a "dry drowning" and die several hours after the event."
The hearts of all in our CCI family are heavy, knowing this puppy raiser, her co-raiser and their families are utterly shattered. They are dedicated CCI supporters, experienced and attentive puppy raisers, kind and caring individuals, and yet an inexplicably ghastly accident happened.
Marianne says it's a lesson for all humans to be vigilant with dogs of any size and age around water. I know she's going to watch me even more carefully the next time I'm around a pool, and you know what? I'm good with that. I'm not an Olympic swimmer by any means. A little extra vigilance is A-OK with me.
The puppy raiser said, "In the end, I hope that this never happens to another puppy raiser; I certainly never thought it would happen to me. I pride myself on being hyper-vigilant but the simple fact is that a stupid moment of distraction cost us, the Canine Companions program and possibly a waiting grad, the joy of Thompson. For that I will always be deeply sorry."
Please send Thompson's devastated puppy raisers some love and light as they mourn. And do me a special favor: watch your pets (cats too!) extra, extra carefully around water.
Chow for now --