Mango Lassie

It all started centuries ago when pilgrims, their dogs and the bounty of their harvest was shared with the Indians, their dogs and their bounty. Now Thanksgiving has turned into a great big holiday that all canines look forward to. The amount of leftovers inevitably leads to a lot of scraps being shared, and rightfully so. Unfortunately for Mango, her owner shared a little too much and a little too quickly. That's not a fart mask, is it?

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. – Thanksgiving was a hard holiday at the Stapleton home in Lake Oswego, hardest of all on Mango, the family’s 2-pound teacup poodle.

She got the stuffing knocked out of her.

Was Mango a stuffed animal? Not so my friend.

Joe, an anesthesiologist and pain-management specialist, said he didn’t realize any dogs were in the kitchen as he busily prepared a Thanksgiving feast for that afternoon’s family gathering.

As Joe stuffed the bird, it swiveled on the kitchen counter, knocking a heavy pot of stuffing – bam! – to the kitchen floor. He reached to retrieve the pot, and there lay Mango.

“Oh, no!” Roxanne remembered hearing him cry. “She’s dead.”

At the Pearly Gates, Mango was asked, “How did you die?”

“Oh, I had the stuffing knocked on top of me,” she replied.

“You mean you had the stuffing knocked out of you.”

“No, it was on me.”

To which St. Peter said, “Well…that’s no way to go, even for a fru fru dog like you. I will send you back.”

Joe scooped up the pocket-sized pooch and pressed his ear to her chest. He didn’t hear a heartbeat.

He’d performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on plenty of humans, he said, but never had tried it on a dog.

He held Mango in his left hand and started chest compressions with his right. When he breathed into her nostrils, Joe said, he could feel the dog’s lungs inflate.

(When asked if giving mouth-to-snout resuscitation was icky, Joe replied: “Most dog owners are used to kissing their dogs. It’s not much different.”)

Joe doesn’t find it icky, but what about Mango’s thoughts. If she’s anything like me, she hates mouth to snout resuscitation. Why? Because it means one of us is dying, and most importantly that may be me!!

As Joe kept the CPR going, Roxanne got directions to the Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Tualatin.

Still, Mango didn’t breathe. Her eyes, Joe said, looked lifeless.

He breathed faster into her nose.

A minute before they arrived at the veterinary hospital, after 20 minutes of CPR, Mango took a breath and licked Joe’s cheek.

My thought is that he must still have had some gravy on his face.

X-rays revealed no skull fractures…The Stapletons stayed awhile, then rushed home. They had more than 20 people coming for dinner.

What? They nearly kill their precious dog and then don’t see the need to sit by her side as she teeters on the brink of extinction? Humans, I’ll never understand them.

By the next morning…she couldn’t walk, but she lapped up food and water.

Mango returned home that night. Steadily, she grew stronger. By last week, Joe said, “You’d be hard-pressed to know there was anything wrong with her.”

After reading this story, I know there’s nothing wrong with Mango. I can’t say the same about the good Dr. Joe.


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