Alex Pitcher was recently honoured by a local fire department for helping to save a life.
The 11-year-old New Glasgow boy was presented with a plaque by the New Glasgow Fire Department for his role in rescuing his dog Penny on Sept. 4.
Alex said he jumped from his bed to rescue the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel after he heard his sisters, Abbie and Maddy, screaming that Penny had fallen into the family pool early that morning.
“I jumped out of bed, I don’t think I touched a stair on the way down, and our dog Penny was in the pool so I ran over to the side to grab her out of it so she could breathe. She was making all sorts of weird sounds and I pulled her up. “
Alex said his dad and mom followed shortly afterwards and helped pull Penny out of the pool and then they performed CPR to get her breathing again. She was unconscious for about a minute before she regained consciousness.
Alex’s mother Heather said Penny would have been 12 years old in December and suffered from hip dysplasia, which affected her back legs.
“Unbeknownst to us, she had a brain tumour and more than likely had a seizure causing her to fall into the pool and her back legs didn't’ work so she didn’t have the strength to hold herself up any longer,” said Heather. “When she fell in, Abby saw her touch the bottom. This was the first seizure she ever had.”
Heather said she was familiar with performing CPR on a dog because her mother had a similar situation years ago, and when they adopted Penny, they watched video on how it is done.
“It is the same as you do for a human. You cover the snout and pump to get the water out,” Heather said, adding it took Penny about 15 minutes to recover from the incident after she became alert.
Alex said she was stronger than ever the rest of the day and was rewarded well.
“She was running around and happy, my dad gave her a hamburger,” said Alex.
Unfortunately, Penny took another seizure the following day and passed away.
“But she had one really good day,” Heather said.
She said the New Glasgow Fire Department heard about Penny’s situation and contacted Alex at his school at A.G. Baillie to honour his quick thinking and rescue with a plaque.
“They wanted to make a point with fire prevention week that a life was a life, no matter how big or small and recognize that,” Heather said.