Dog and Grandson Save Grandpa from Choking

If it weren't for the combined actions of Teddy the Cairn terrier and high school student Jerry Bellissima, the teen's grandpa probably wouldn't be around...

 |  Jan 24th 2012  |   0 Contributions


Jerry Bellissima with his grandpa, Tony Del Rosso (Photo: Mat Boyle, <em>Gloucester County News</em>)

If it weren't for the combined actions of Teddy the Cairn terrier and high school student Jerry Bellissima, the teen's grandpa probably wouldn't be around anymore.

Tony Del Rosso was watching football at his New Jersey home when he choked on some cashews while tilted back in his recliner chair. His grandson was nearby, but wouldn't have realized anything was amiss if not for Teddy. It seems Del Rosso choked so quickly that he passed out before he had time (or ability) to cough, much less cry out for help.

But the 5-year-old dog knew something was wrong, and started barking up a storm. Bellissima went over to see what the dog was barking about and saw his grandfather unconscious. He immediately launched into a front-facing form of the Heimlich maneuver, which he learned in elementary school. The cashew(s) were no match for the Heimlich, and after they popped out, Del Rosso began breathing again and regained consciousness.

What a team!

Del Rosso was all praise for his grandson — with whom he is very close — and his dog.

I dont know how he knew to come out, but hes a good dog, Del Rosso told the Gloucester County Times. He has had Teddy for four years, and the two are inseparable.

I had a lot of animals growing up — horses, goats, pigs. If you could have it, I had it, and this dog is probably the smartest animal Ive ever had, Del Rosso said. He understands English, I swear.

He also seems to understand the equal importance of the sound of silence.

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