AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – A dog owner helped save her pet’s life after taking a course on emergency care techniques.

Ashlee Montessi of Agawam had a good feeling about attending the dog lifesaving class taught by Long Island EMT Tom Rinelli a few weeks ago at the Southwick Fire department. The very next day her pet suffered a life-threatening experience.

The very next morning, her nearly 10-year-old dog named Meela, nearly choked on a baby teether she had swallowed. Faced with a crisis, Ashlee kept calm and showed complete faith in Tom Rinelli’s instructions.

Ashley told 22News, “the thing I said was, ‘I can do this’, that’s exactly what I thought. And, I recalled all that quickly registered in your mind, ‘let her do it herself, dogs know how to get it out.'”

Southwick Fire Chief Russ Anderson, who himself owns two dogs, is so pleased that the dog safety seminar had such positive results. He’s making Tom Rinelli’s animal CPR training an annual event at the Southwick Fire Department. A course has already been taken by his 30 emergency responders.

For more information, visit PawsNClaws911 online.

Anderson explained, “it’s something you don’t think about until you’re faced with it. Many times we go to the scene of a fire where people weren’t home. The dogs didn’t get out, and it helps our first responders, gives a second chance for those animals, it’s a great win and a win for everybody.”

Thanks to her owner’s instant recall of what she had learned from an expert the previous day, Meela is alive today. The next important event in her life: her tenth birthday celebration her owner is planning in July.