It's been a week since David Hock saved Misty, a 10-week-old Rottweiler-mix puppy, from near death.
Some might say the North Collins village police officer went beyond the call of duty when he gave the limp, lifeless puppy mouth-to-mouth -- or, in this case, mouth-to-snout -- resuscitation.
"I couldn't help but do anything I could," Hock said. "I'm a dog handler anyway. I love dogs."
Hock owns four dogs and handles canine security at the Erie County Fair. He's also been an emergency medical technician for 22 years and has done mouth-to-mouth and cardiopulmonary resuscitation on countless humans, but this was his first patient of the four-legged variety.
Michele Clark of North Collins said the crisis started at about 6:15 p.m. last Saturday at the home where she is house-sitting for a friend.
She put the friend's dog, Astro, out on the leash, and let her puppy, Misty, go out with the older dog as she had the previous two days. She walked in the house for just a moment, then heard her pup barking and went out to get her.
Clark discovered Misty had fallen down a well near the house. The opening was about 6 inches in diameter. After falling 8 to 10 feet, the 12-pound puppy landed in water in an opening that was about three feet in diameter.
Clark called 911, and North Collins firefighters and Hock arrived.
"She was in there at least for 20 minutes," Clark said. "I thought, she's dead. There's no way we're going to get her out in time."
Misty was swimming and barking in the well as rescuers tried to lasso her with the other dog's leash. As she got tired and cold, she started to slip beneath the water, and her yelps were less frequent.
"I was screaming to her the whole time," Clark recalled.
As the puppy floated to the surface, firefighters were able to lasso her leg and pull her up. When they got her out of the hole she was limp and glassy-eyed.
"The puppy definitely wasn't breathing," Hock said.
Clark's nephew, Andy Ricotta, had brought the puppy home to her about five weeks ago. Her sons, Ryan, 9, and Jason, 5, watched the drama unfold from a window in the house.
Hock pushed on her stomach to remove any water and started breathing into her nose.
"I can't believe he's doing that," Clark recalls thinking.
He worked on the dog three to four minutes before Misty started to moan.
"I was surprised. I didn't think I had a chance," Hock said.
"That was pretty quick thinking. It probably saved her life," said Dr. Susan Spring
er, a veterinarian at the Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center.
The puppy was wrapped in towels, and Dog Control Officer Carol Lauber drove Clark and the dog to the medical center. Clark said Misty's lips and saliva were crystallized, her gums were blue and her temperature was so low it didn't register on the thermometer.
Misty, suffering from hypothermia and low blood sugar, was warmed up and given intravenous fluids. By midnight, she was wagging her tail, and by noon the following morning, she was on her way home.
Springer said she took over the case Sunday morning.
"As soon as she warmed up and her blood sugar went up, she was a healthy puppy," Springer said.
Hock said he couldn't do anything but help the dog.
"I've got one at home that looked identical to the puppy," he said.