Sometimes man is dog’s best friend.
That was certainly the case on Easter for Julius, a 10-year-old Maltese who lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his owner Lindsay Torres.
WABC News reports Torres fed Julius an Easter dog treat that got stuck in the 5-pound dog’s throat.
“He was just sitting there chewing the bone and the next thing you know, he was kind of just gasping for air,” Torres said.
A trained nurse, Torres figured she could help her little pet. She began delivering some blows to the dog’s back but couldn’t dislodge the treat.
Panicked, she and her husband borrowed a car from the concierge of their building and drove to a nearby emergency vet clinic.
It was closed, so they tried to drive into Manhattan where they knew of another emergency vet hospital that was open. But they quickly found themselves stuck in traffic in the Holland Tunnel. The traffic wasn’t moving at all and Julius was still gasping for air so, Torres said, she jumped out of the car with the dog and ran to get help.
That’s when she encountered Port Authority Police Officer Tom Feuker and asked for a ride.
“And she was just saying, ‘help, help, we need help!’ And when she got to us we realized that the dog was choking,” Feuker told WABC, recalling the incident.
The officer first tried dislodging the treat himself but failed, so he let Torres and Julius into his patrol car and drove them both to North Jersey Veterinarian Emergency Medical Service.
“It definitely made it faster,” Torres told the New York Daily News. “He knew the easiest way to go and they were actually blocking off some roads (on the route). At that point, every second counted.”
They made it to the vet hospital and staff members there were able to dislodge the treat. One vet told Torres that Julius probably wouldn’t have lasted much longer in his condition.
The dog was released and is recovering well.
Given the close call, Torres said she is thankful for Feuker’s help.
“Without him, I don’t know if Julius would be here,” she told the Daily News. “I’m very grateful for him taking the situation as seriously as he did.”
Feuker, who has only been on the job for 15 months, has been hailed a hero by his colleagues.
“A lot of the guys were just barking at me when I got back, you know, calling me a hero but I didn't see it as that,” Feuker told WABC. “I was just driving the dog to the hospital.”
Photo Credit: New York Daily News courtesy of Lindsay Torres