How Prepared Are You Really?

This past weekend I had probably the single most inspiring, motivational experience of my life. I took part in Dogsafe’s Canine CPR/First Aid course part 1 and it is truly unbelievable how much I took away from this class.

As a health care professional who has to undertake constant continuing education credits to uphold my license, I absolutely dread any CPR classes because they are generally so boring and mind numbingly dull that it’s difficult to sit through an entire day with the mundane teachers that generally teach these classes.

This course (although I may be slightly biased), was so far from “the norm” of these types of classes that I would do it again in a heartbeat. Not only was Michelle Sevigny (creator of Dogsafe) hilarious, intelligent, and easy to listen to, her teaching tactics made the information actually SINK IN. Two days later, I find myself saying, “Okay canine CPR—A, B, C, D—Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Deadly Bleeding.” She didn’t bombard us with 10 hours of reading from a text book, and she actually showed us on her live dog, Monty (whom may be my new favourite Rottweiler). The day was filled with laughter, and 95% hands-on work. We all had stuffed dogs to learn how to bandage wounds, fasten a make-shift muzzle (from a neck tie), and of course preform CPR. Michelle had medical-grade dummy dogs who’s lugs swelled when we blew in air, and pumps so we could feel their pulse.

The course was amazing, but I think I actually took more away from viewing the relationship between Michelle and Monty. When she demonstrated on him she said to him, “Over,” and he would lie down and plop himself on his side and allow Michelle to manipulate and inspect every inch of his body with full trust. You can literally see the trust flowing in between them, it was almost like they were in their own magical bubble.

I went home determined to develop my relationship with my weasel. We have always been extremely close, like mother to child, but he never allows his spine to touch the floor and he never allows himself to lie on his back. I don’t know if this is just because of the length of his spine or if he just feels too vulnerable. Either way, I busted out the clicker and dug out some Dig It! Delights and away we went. We worked until he would hold the position for 2 seconds and I actually got him to spread his hind legs so if someone wanted to inspect that area he wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. Once we’ve fully master this (on both sides), we’ll try some practice bandaging. It really surprised me that there were some areas that he didn’t want me to touch. I was counting his breaths and when I went to count his heart rate he didn’t like me feeling for his pulse. I can’t imagine a stranger ever finding him and having to try and help him—I don’t think it would happen. Since the Dogsafe course, “Preparedness” has a whole new meaning for me.


Monty Giving Karin some kisses and loves.



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