Out of all the skills you can learn, CPR has to be one of the most valuable. Usually, when a person’s heart stops in a non-hospital environment, that’s it.
The individual’s life has come to a close. But CPR can extend someone’s story if a trained person is on site when the cardiac incident occurs.
Of course, it doesn’t have to a person, does it? Well, to judge from the recent spate of animals who’ve learned to mimic CPR movements, perhaps not.
Dogs, in particular, have learned the ins and outs of CPR. In 2017, “Italy’s Got Talent” star Lusy Imbergerova made headlines when she showed off her dog’s life-saving chops.
According to the Daily Express, her pooch Deril performed with her at Crufts, a British canine event. Their act involved military marching, pushups, and sit ups.
Deril also performed chest compressions and mouth to, er, muzzle resuscitation. “What did we just witness?” a Crufts official wrote on the event’s Facebook page.
The Municipal Police of Madrid performed a similar stunt last June with a police pooch named Poncho. When the plucky dog’s trainer “collapsed,” it checked his breath and proceeded to perform leaping chest compressions.
“A ‘heroic’ performance of our # Compañerosde4Patas Poncho, who did not hesitate for a moment to ‘save the life’ of the agent,” News Corp Australia reported that the Municipal Police said. The statement went on to quote John Billings, who wrote, “The dog is the only being in the world that will love you more than he loves himself.”
Emma Massingale of Devon, England, might disagree with that statement. According to Horse & Hound, she taught a pair of Shetland ponies to perform CPR on a “fallen” rider.
A Facebook video that has amassed over 88,000 views as of Friday morning shows their skills. Dubbed “The Cutest Life Savers!” it opens with Massingale’s fiancé Jeremy tumbling over.
As a clipboard-bearing pair of hands checks off the various standardized CPR steps, the shaggy ponies spring into action. They check the rider’s breath, apply faux chest compressions and pretend to assist with respiration.
The film obviously isn’t intended to be taken seriously. It starts with a hip-hop inspired beat before the ponies come trotting to the rescue.
As a siren wails, they arrive on the scene with flashing lights on their saddles. Emergency medical bags are slung by their sides.
“I’m not saying a pony can do actual CPR,” Massingale told The Daily Mail. “But I just wanted to show how intelligent they are in a light-hearted fun way that captures people’s attention and imagination.
“I just wanted to show people that ponies and horses can be just as clever and useful as dogs. They can be trained to do incredible things in the same ways that service dogs can and they can carry out all sorts of useful jobs which people might not have considered before.”
Color me convinced, and here’s to hoping Massingale’s video does one more thing: May it convince plenty of people to get or renew their CPR certification.
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