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Everyday Hero: Dr. Phil Olson

May 3, 2014


Nobody wakes up thinking, “Today is the day I will choke to death on a stolen Girl-Scout cookie.” I’m sure Corndog didn’t.  But choke on a stolen girl-scout cookie he did.  As the life drained from his long brown and white body, he managed to stagger out of the kitchen towards the living room, where Dr. Phil Olson was relaxing, having retired from a long and happy career as a gastro-intestinal specialist.  As Corndog collapsed, Phil (with no thought to his own safety) sprang from retirement and into action. Operating on instinct, born from many years of dealing with tracheal blockages, Dr. Phil grabbed Corndog by the back legs, turned him upside down and performed a flawless and lifesaving Heimlich maneuver. Witnesses described the scene as nothing short of miraculous, saying:

“I have never seen anyone perform a Heimlich on a Dachsund mix. I mean the body is just so long!” (Dan Olson)


“When I saw Corndog collapse I didn’t know what to do.  I was paralyzed. But Phil moved so fast, we hardly knew what was happening until it was over.” (Tonja Honsey)

When interviewed, Phil said modestly: “I just did what any decent person would have done.”

Maybe so.  But would any decent person have known how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver on a dachsund? I think not.

Although he denies having any veterinary training whatsover, the family reports that this is the not the first animal intervention for Phil.  The astute reader may recall it was Dr. Phil who performed gentle chest compressions on our dead bunny (Little Rascal), bringing him back to life so that we might say our goodbyes, before laying him to warm on the radiator (from which he fell and died again).

To make the story even more poignant, it is widely known that Phil Olson doesn’t even like dogs, or any animal for that matter.  In fact, he once conveniently”lost” a beloved family pet (Ralph), on a suspiciously long drive with Ralph out into the countryside.

Surely it is no coincidence that, just today, as I rolled a 50 pound bag of dogfood out the doors of Costco, the receipt checker queried in a thick German accent: “Vat kind of beautiful dog do you have.”

I had to reply honestly, “I don’t know. But he is a beauty.”

We smiled at each other and he left me with: “Vell, geef your dog a hug today from me.”

Little did I know, it was almost his last.

Moral of the story, hug your dog today.  And brush up on your veterinary first aid skills.  You never know when you might be the one to save a life.

*Our thanks to Dan Olson who wrested the Girl Scout cookie away from Corndog when he went for it a second time after it was dislodged from his throat.







2 Comments leave one →
  1. Cari permalink
    May 3, 2014 11:56 am

    In his honor, we are having corndogs for lunch.

  2. Julie Childs permalink
    May 3, 2014 1:26 pm

    Might be the funniest one you’ve ever writeen .Janice will absolutely love it.

    Sent from my iPad


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