In the Christmas classic movie “Christmas Vacation,” a curious cat bites into an extension cord and Clark Griswold lost a pet and a Christmas tree.
Charles Short wasn’t replaying “Christmas Vacation,” but his pet Schnauzer, Snowflake, came close to giving a repeat performance of the classic scene and learned the doggie hard way that a cat isn’t the only animal curiosity can kill.
“She’s always full of energy and Monday night, it seemed she was extremely restless,” Short said, remembering the moments leading up to the near-tragedy in the den of his Dogwood Drive home. “I heard her give a little bark, sort of a yelp, a couple of times and then she didn’t come to me when I called her.”
Short, a retired welder and heavy equipment operator, can move about only with the aid of a battery-powered wheelchair. He was relaxing in his recliner when Snowflake didn’t respond to his calls, so Short reached for his flashlight and looked around the room. His search was brief.
“I saw her lying in the corner, so I got into my wheelchair. Her little body was so limp when I picked her up,” he said. “I saw where she had bitten into the extension cord to my battery charger and I figured she had been shocked. She had no heart beat and she wasn’t breathing.”
Short began rubbing Snowflake’s chest “…trying to massage her heart, but that didn’t seem to be working. I started gently blowing into her nose and mouth and progressed to giving her mouth-to-mouth while still massaging her chest. It’s all I could think of to do.”
After what seemed an eternity, Short said he felt a slight resistance in Snowflake’s neck.
“It was sort of like she was trying to raise her head, so I stopped for a second or two to see if she was responding. She took a deep breath and I felt like she was going to be all right. It didn’t take long for her to start moving around the house,” he said.
By morning, Snowflake was showing no ill effects of her near calamity. She and her mother, Rachael (named for one victim of the Columbine School shootings) and sister, Schatze were going about their daily routines.
“I don’t think she’s going to be so anxious to get around electrical cords,” Short said. “She’s been staying away from them so far.”