Dog groomers are tasked with pampering your pooch and making them look clean and well groomed. They’re rarely asked to perform a medical intervention to save a life that hangs in the balance.
But emergencies can strike when they are least expected. Nobody learned that quite the way Juliana Harms and her dog Pia did last week.
Juliana Harms and her 15-year-old corgi, Pia, live in Normal, Illinois.
Pia needed a bath and a haircut, so her owner took her to Belly Rubs Dog Grooming.
Harms and Pia have been together for a number of years. But the senior citizen pup didn’t have the easiest start to life.
Pia was adopted out of a rescue and has been living the good life with Harms ever since. But at the ripe old age of 15, she’s had a few medical run-ins lately.
“It was her first grooming in a while because she was dealing with liver issues and I didn’t want to have to take her out of the house. She was doing well so I thought it would be a good day,” Harms told The Pantagraph.
Harms dropped her dog off to the attentive care of the dog groomers and went on her way.
Shortly after Harms left the shop, groomers at Belly Rubs noticed Pia acting strangely.
“Pia was laying on her side which was weird. We’re all used to how the dogs act and we knew something was wrong,” Kerry King, owner of Belly Rubs told The Pantagraph.
Suddenly Pia went limp. She stopped moving, stopped breathing, and her heart stopped beating.
The unexpected medical emergency likely would have ended tragically if it weren’t for the veterinary aspirations of one of the groomers at the salon.
“You give CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation] to a dog just like you would to a human,” Emily Bauman told the Pantagraph.
“You do mouth-to-mouth by blowing air into their lungs through their nostrils. Then you do chest compressions as you would a human to get that heart rate back.”
Harms hadn’t gone far before she received a call from the groomer. She came rushing back inside to check on her dog the second she heard the news. She hadn’t even reached her car before she had to come running back inside the grooming salon.
“I was just yards away in my car when they called and said very calmly that they thought Pia had a seizure and they were resuscitating her. I came running back to the building,” Harms said.
Thanks to Bauman’s heroics, Pia survived!
Pia eventually made it to her feet, though she was wobbly, nervous, and shaking. Harms took her to the veterinarian who later gave her the all clear and sent her home.
When she’s not working as a groomer at Belly Rubs, Bauman is a zoology student at Illinois State University and volunteers at a local animal hospital. The frightening incident reaffirmed her desire to become a veterinarian, she said.
The next day, Harms brought the entire staff of Belly Rubs lunch and homemade cookies.
“They took care of her,” Harms said. “I was really thankful, impressed, and grateful.”