Man Saves Dog from Choking to Death on Spare Rib

Peter Lawson/Rex

updated 06/07/2010 AT 5:31 PM ET

originally published 06/08/2010 AT 7:45 AM ET

It’s any pet owner’s worst nightmare: Your dog starts choking right in front of you, helplessly gasping for air. But instead of falling paralyzed with fear, Chris Mallett sprang to action when it happened to his pup recently – and thanks to his quick thinking, she’s still alive today.

Mallett’s 7-year-old bulldog Stella had stolen a spare rib during a family barbecue in Essex, Britain, last week. After finishing her snack, she somehow ended up inhaling the bone – and obstructing her airway, reports.

Mallett, a former Army aid, noticed Stella struggling for air. He pried the pup’s jaw open and was able to retrieve the 5-in. bone, but because she’d been deprived of oxygen, Stella soon fell unconscious. So Mallett performed rescue breathing, first blowing into the dog’s snout before performing mouth-to-mouth. He also rubbed her belly, encouraging her to breathe.

After a few harrowing moments, Stella thankfully came to. “She lifted up her head and looked like she’d had 15 beers, but eventually she got up,” Mallett tells Following some recovery time, Stella was up and running again – and will hopefully steer clear of spare ribs!

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