A well-known Tacoma-area dog trainer and instructor didn’t just give a 4-year-old boxer named Sugar an obedience lesson last weekend.
He also brought the dog back to life.
Ron Pace, 54, who owns Canyon Crest K9 Training Center in the Summit/Waller Road area, used a version of CPR to get Sugar breathing again after the dog had a seizure during class Saturday.
The whole thing was caught on video, earning Pace and Sugar’s owner, Tiffany Kauth of Bremerton, several interview requests, a measure of Internet fame and thousands of views on YouTube.
“It’s happening really fast,” said Kauth, 29, by phone Wednesday as Sugar – who’s on medication now and doing fine – took a nap nearby.
Pace said he’s happy the pooch is OK.
He’s dedicated his life to working with dogs and says it was “very traumatic” watching Sugar’s seizure.
The seven-minute, 52-second video picks up after the seizure as Sugar lay limp on the ground.
Pace appears calm and collected. He checks the dog’s airway and tries to help him breathe. He does chest compressions.
Finally, Sugar moves. Eventually, he’s able to stand.
Kauth, who’s visibly upset in the video, said she was terrified her beloved dog was going to die. He was rushed to a veterinarian and has been diagnosed with a heart problem, for which he’s being treated, she said.
She’s grateful to Pace, she said. She and Sugar have worked with him for several years.
“(Sugar) is a big part of my everyday life,” Kauth said. “There would be a big hole if he wasn’t there.”
Pace has been in the dog-training business 34 years and jokes that if he dies and comes back, “I’ll probably be a German shepherd.”
He helped launch the Tacoma Police K9 program and also started a program that trains service dogs to assist people with diabetes.
He said his instincts kicked in when he saw Sugar hit the ground.
He’s a little overwhelmed by the attention he’s received as a result, including an inquiry from a morning show in New York that considered booking him.
“E-mails are coming in every five minutes, Facebook posts. It’s pretty amazing how quickly it can spread nowadays,” Pace said.
“I feel good. We have a dog that’s living, and a great human being who’s doing a marvelous job with her dog. She’ll get to enjoy him a whole lot more.”