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Thursday 8 December 2016

Puppy saved with kiss of life

Published 16/02/2011 | 12:19

John Greene from Greystones, Co Wicklow, with his eight-week-old Jack Russell puppy named Nutty. Photo: PA
John Greene from Greystones, Co Wicklow, with his eight-week-old Jack Russell puppy named Nutty. Photo: PA
The puppy fell into the pond in John Greene's garden and almost drowned. Photo: PA
John saved the puppy from dying by giving it the kiss of life. Photo: PA

A dog breeder saved his eight-week-old puppy with mouth-to-mouth after it almost drowned in a garden pond.

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Quick-thinking John Greene gave motionless Jack Russell Nutty heart massage and the kiss of life in a frantic 10-minute rescue bid.

The 42-year-old Irishman was alerted to the exhausted animal sinking to the bottom of the pond when chickens he keeps in his backyard kicked up a commotion.

"Nutty was out rambling around the garden. I'd gone upstairs in my house, looked out through the window and saw there was a disturbance," he said.

"I could see the puppy sinking slowly to the bottom of the pond. The poor fella was exhausted, he must have been in the water for 15 to 20 minutes.

"I'd say with all the plunging and doing his damnedest to get out, with all the commotion the chickens knew there was something wrong.

"The little fella just couldn't climb out. He was sinking, motionless, not breathing and almost blue."

The dog lover ran outside his home in Greystones, Co Wicklow, pulled the freezing pup from the water and began heart massage and mouth-to-snout after feeling a very faint heartbeat every few seconds.

"I'd heard of horse whisperers but never dog breathers," he said.

Mr Greene thinks the puppy was mimicking his mother Holly drinking from the pond when he slipped in.

He checked lifeless Nutty's mouth and saw his gums and lips had turned blue.

"I don't know a lot about CPR but I covered his nose and breathed for him and then lifted him up to see if any water would come up. It was an automatic reaction," he said.

"I just tried it over and over - I pressed on his chest, ruffled him up, shaking him around a little bit, then some fluid came out and then I heard a little yelp, and another.

"I thought I was bringing back a puppy that was brain damaged."

Mr Greene, who bred the pup himself, wrapped Nutty in a towel and used a hot water bottle to keep him warm and awake before taking him to a vet for a full check-up.

"I told the vet the story and he said 'I can see what you have done' because he could see the nip and scratch marks on my face," he said.

A week later, Nutty is fighting fit and enjoying the back garden as much as ever - although with mental scars taking longer to heal the pond remains off limits.

"We're keeping him, he's not going anywhere now," Mr Greene said.

"He keeps his distance from the water. He fairly inquires, but he always backs off."

Mr Greene also recalled another dog saving exploit from his childhood.

He said he had watched as a 10-year-old when his father's springer spaniel buried her first litter of pups alive. The family rescued them and saved them by warming them slowly under a cooker grill.

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