North Hudson man saves yellow Lab from chokingJackson is a lucky dog — or an unlucky one — depending on your point of view. Jaime Kanzler brought her yellow Labrador retriever to Woodcrest Park in North Hudson at midday on a Wednesday a couple of weeks ago to run off some energy by chasing a rubber ball.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
Jackson is a lucky dog — or an unlucky one — depending on your point of view.
Jaime Kanzler brought her yellow Labrador retriever to Woodcrest Park in North Hudson at midday on a Wednesday a couple of weeks ago to run off some energy by chasing a rubber ball.
It was the same ball Jackson has retrieved perhaps a couple thousand times in his short life, according to Kanzler’s husband, Zack.
This time, the rambunctious, two-year-old literally inhaled the ball on one of his leaps. He began choking and then collapsed to the ground.
Kanzler, who had her infant son, Graham, with her in a stroller, tried to retrieve the ball from Jackson’s throat, but he clamped his teeth.
She frantically called 911 for assistance, and then began yelling for someone nearby to come and help. As she yelled she performed an impromptu CPR, holding Jackson’s hind legs in the air, hoping gravity would dislodge the ball.
“You’re in panic mode,” she said, recalling the incident last Sunday. “You do whatever you can.”
Wes Snyder was doing yard work at his nearby home on 10th Street North.
He heard Kanzler’s cries, but didn’t think much about it initially. He often hears screams from children playing in Woodcrest Park.
But when Kanzler’s yelling continued, Wes went to investigate. Seeing Jackson laying breathless on the ground, the construction worker rushed to the scene, opened Jackson’s mouth and reached his hand down into the dog’s throat to free the ball.
“It was way down there. You could just see the top of it,” Kanzler related.
Snyder said there was a little hole in the orange ball. He was able to get a finger inside the ball, and slowly work it loose.
A rush of slimy fluid followed the ball out of Jackson’s mouth.
Snyder gave him a whack on the ribs and Jackson resumed breathing.
Shortly after, North Hudson Police Sgt. Mark Volz and St. Croix EMS Chief Eric Christensen arrived.
Christensen said Jackson still wasn’t moving when he got there.
The EMS chief and Volz lifted the dog into a St. Croix EMS paramedic vehicle. Jackson was taken to Hillcrest Animal Hospital in Hudson, where he was treated by Dr. Chris Cole, and is now fully recovered.
Christensen said he responded to the call he heard on the police radio scanner because St. Croix EMS personnel are trained and equipped to do animal rescues. He also has a dog and sympathized with what Jackson’s owner was going through.
St. Croix EMS and the Hudson Fire Department have masks that can be put over an animal’s snout to revive it with oxygen. Christensen said he was prepared to do that for Jackson if he needed it.
Snyder, who works as a cement finisher in the Twin Cities, was reluctant to receive attention for saving Jackson’s life. He just did what anyone would do, he said, adding that “it was one of those weird days.”
He would have been at work, he said, but he was having repairs done to his truck. Instead of being on the job, he outside taking care of some chores, where he heard Kanzler’s cry for help.
“Call him whatever you want. He’s the only reason Jackson’s alive,” Zack Kanzler said of Snyder.
Christensen, too, had praise for Snyder.
“That guy saved the day — saved the dog,” Christensen said. “A lot of people wouldn’t do that. He deserves a lot of thanks.”
Jaime Kanzler is a Hudson native. She and Zack reside in the 10th Street North home where she grew up, having purchased it from her parents, Leigh and Mary Livermore. Leigh and Mary now live in Cameron.
Graham was born April 20. Jaime is on maternity leave from her job as business manager for Ecowater Systems in Woodbury, Minn.
Zack works for Cardinal Glass in Hudson.