It’s a situation that’s a nightmare for any dog owner: a 3-year-old German Shepherd dog named Jett was enjoying a game of fetch in his backyard in Crimora, Virginia, when things went horribly wrong.
Jett caught the ball in his mouth, but it became lodged in his throat. The dog gasped for air—and it was clear that he would soon choke to death.
His owner, Teresa Perkins, and her family couldn’t dislodge the ball, and had no choice but to try to get him to the hospital.
She got him in the car and raced to get him help in time… but when she hit heavy traffic, the situation looked dire.
“My dog was pretty much dead,” Teresa told the Staunton News Leader. “He was laying in the car, not moving. I had heard him breathe, like gasping, but then he quit. I was frantically crying and praying.”
Miraculously, her prayers were answered, as some unlikely heroes stopped to help. Helplessly honking for help in the traffic, Teresa got the attention of some construction workers, who helped her out.
One of the workers, Cavaja Holt, was able to reach in to the dog’s mouth and dislodge the ball. However, the dog wasn’t breathing… so he gave him mouth-to-mouth CPR.
“Today is the first time I’ve ever stuck my hand down a strange dogs throat for any reason,” Cavaja wrote on Facebook. “Not only that but [it’s] the first time I’ve ever gave any living animal mouth-to-mouth.”
It worked: Jett began breathing again. Teresa thanked the men and continued on to the hospital, and realized the dog would’ve certainly died without their help.
“He would have been dead,” she told the News Leader. “If I had driven 10 more minutes, he wouldn’t have made it.”
In the emergency situation, Teresa and Cavaja parted ways without exchanging contact info, but both Cavaja and Teresa’s daughter Bliss Nuckols both made Facebook posts trying to find the other. Luckily, the strangers were able to get back in touch and reunite: Cavaja was relieved to hear Jett had survived, and got a photo with the lucky dog.
“The man is truly a hero,” Perkins said. “I am so thankful for him.”
She added that Jett is doing fine and made a full recovery… but she’ll never let him near a ball again.
We’re so glad this dog is alive and well thanks to this kind stranger! Share this inspiring story!