A Phoenix, Arizona pool repairman is also a hero to a tiny prairie dog, after saving its life using CPR. The rescue effort was even caught on camera.
Rick Gruber was installing a pool heater when he heard splashing and saw a prairie dog struggling to stay afloat. Gruber quickly went to his truck to retrieve a PVC pipe to reach the animal through the pool fence, but by the time he returned the prairie dog was under water and not moving. The pool man wrote in the video posted to YouTube, “I decided to try to save him if I could. I started pushing on his belly and chest to see if I could get him to breathe. After a couple compressions he moved.”
Mr. Gruber spoke to KTVK 3 TV and said, "He just looked like he needed help and I figured he hadn't been in there for very long. So I figured I could try to pull him out and see if I could bring him back to life because there was still a chance. He had only been in there for maybe a minute." Gruber placed the rodent over the PVC pipe in hopes that it would spit out the water it had ingested. "I just thought, well I've taken CPR classes before and for a person, you'd have to beat on their chest and for something this small, I didn't want to crush it. So, I just gently pushed on his rib cage and then squeezed his sides thinking, ‘At some point I'm going to find his lungs.’" The rescuer was right and said that after a few minutes the rodent hiccuped and started breathing. The animal can be seen in the video making small movements and breathing. After about an hour the prairie dog opens its eyes, props itself up, and eventually scampers off into the desert.
At the end of the video Gruber is heard offering the tiny creature some advice, saying, “Glad you’re feeling better. I hope you don’t get eaten by a snake or anything now. Stay out of that pool.”
Then on the YouTube post, Gruber commented giving viewers even better advice, writing, “I did what any human should do when someone is in need of help. I just hope that maybe people will stop to appreciate the small things that make the planet go around too and not forget we are all riding the same spinning ball. Let's keep it going and ride it out together without hate and drama.”
- prairie dog