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Local youth pastor revives neighbor's pet

By Austin King aking@marshallnewsmessenger.com
Aug. 24, 2013 at 10 p.m.

Local youth pastor revives neighbor's pet

When Crossroads Baptist Church Youth Pastor Jeff Stapleton isn't teaching gospel to his young congregation, he might be at home relaxing, or on some rare occasions, saving the life of an animal as he did Wednesday night.

According to Stapleton it was a normal evening late Wednesday. He and his wife had winded down getting ready to sleep when the doorbell rang.

"It was 11 p.m.," Stapleton said. "My wife and I were getting ready to sleep. We heard the doorbell and someone sobbing. We didn't know what to expect."

It was Stapleton's neighbor, who was worried about her 5-year-old chihuahua, Tigger, who was having difficulty breathing after choking on some food.

"Tigger was limp and not responsive," Stapleton said. "I tried doing some stomach compressions on him. I thought it was a lost cause at first. My wife came over and told me that the dog had choked, so I cupped my hands over his nose and blew air into him. He started moving again."

With a bit of fresh breath in his lungs, Tigger survived. Once he caught sight of his owner, Tigger perked into a cheery mood.

"When his owner came out and called his name, he just sort of popped up," Stapleton said.

Performing CPR on a dog may be considered strange. What's more strange is the fact that Stapleton had no experience performing the emergency maneuver, neither on man nor man's best friend.

"I have never done CPR on anyone," he said. "I have no idea how this popped into my head. Maybe it was just instinct or maybe I remembered something I saw on television once. I just knew I had to get air in the dog's lungs."

After Tigger began to move again, the owner and Stapletons let him relax for a good 30 minutes to ensure all was well before taking him home for the night.

"It was one of the most bizarre things I've done," Stapleton said. "But Tigger survived. He's fine now. His owner was so thankful."

Of course, when word gets out that you give CPR to a dog, expect to take a few jabs from your friends and family.

"Some of my friends were playing around and calling me Dr. Dolittle and the Dog Whisperer. I had one of the kids in my youth group text me saying 'I hear you have dog breath.'"

But it's all in good fun. Stapleton was just happy to help.

"My neighbor came over yesterday and said he's acting normal," he said. "He's just fine."

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