Ex-Giant Jeremy Affeldt shares story of how he saved his dog's life

Jeremy Affeldt / Twitter

Ex-Giant Jeremy Affeldt shares story of how he saved his dog's life

Jeremy Affeldt was out in his barn with his son, tending to his 6-month-old goat when he heard his wife, Larisa, screaming his name.

The three-time Giants World Series champion admitted he felt he was taking care of his "honey-do list," so at first, he wanted to be left alone. But he heard his sister-in-law yell "He's dying!"

He's dying?

He asked his son, Walker, if he heard that correctly. Walker confirmed.

Affeldt, a family man, is surrounded by kids, so to hear screams followed by such an alarming term immediately sent him into panic mode.

As he sprinted to his house, he saw his wife lifting up their 5-month-old, 70-pound dog, Kodi.

Kodi, a South African Boerbel, isn’t a small dog by any means.

Larisa was trying to perform the Heimlich maneuver on the pup, who was choking on a turkey neck.

Kodi was on a raw food diet, and being around other dogs, naturally, each one of them has to live in "survival of the fittest" mode. When there's food in front of him, he has to eat it as quickly as he can before the other dogs make an attempt.

"He rolled on to his side, which we thought was kind of strange," Affeldt told NBC Sports Bay Area. "Our other dog was trying to lift up Kodi's head, almost to warn us -- so we knew something was up."

At this point, Larisa had tried her hardest to reach the neck that was lodged in Kodi's trachea, but the grip kept slipping from her hands.

"He was pretty much dead," Affeldt said. "He went limp in my arms. I took my hand, shoved it down as hard as I could and I ripped it out of his throat -- blood went everywhere."

During the interview, Affeldt kept apologizing in hopes the graphic terms wouldn't make someone squeamish. But there was no reason to be polite.

"There's a huge mess outside, I'll tell you that," Affeldt said. 

He then blew into Kodi's mouth despite the dog's tongue hanging out the side.

"He came to," Affeldt said. "He coughed up, I took in a mouthful of fluid, he then shot up, he blinked at me, and then died on me again."

Again, Affeldt gave Kodi mouth-to-mouth. It worked but only for a brief moment. That's when he apologized to his wife saying he was sorry -- sorry that Kodi was gone. But she told Affeldt not to give up.

He noticed the kids were crying, but he was trying to focus. Even comparing it to moments when he was pitching.

"It's weird how I handle pressure -- everything slows down for me in high-pressure situations,” he said. “I could hear [Larisa], but I could focus through it."

He gave Kodi three more breaths through his nose and a big breath in his mouth. All of a sudden, he felt Kodi's cavity swell.

Affeldt didn't think he could save Kodi after the puppy showed no signs of life. He was saying his goodbyes -- quietly, so his kids couldn't hear him. Then Kodi began nuzzling him. Affeldt said he noticed the dog's eyes were huge, probably from fear. That's when he yelled at Larisa to go get some water to clean off Kodi's face that was covered in blood.

The two called ahead to a 24-hour veterinarian, and he asked Larisa to start the truck. He threw Kodi in the back, and they rushed away. Those at the vet already were  waiting for them as the three arrived.

Affeldt joked that the way he was driving probably would have those on the road calling law enforcement on him, but that's a story for another time.

Doctors got Kodi on oxygen, and they were unsure he was going to make it with his lactic acid three times the normal amount. But Kodi made it.

That night, Affeldt tried to wind down by having a bit more scotch than he was used to.

"I was just very thankful," Affeldt added. "It's like after you get done pitching, you think about what you did."

For now, everything is back to normal. Kodi is breathing on his own, but there's something different about him.

Affeldt said Larisa loves dogs -- like, a lot. So her bond with them always has been something special. Don't get him wrong, Affeldt admits he's loved dogs, too, but not like Larisa does. That was until he had this bond with Kodi.

"Larisa said Kodi would greet her and was sweet, but there was a cool moment with us," he said. "I have these guys nights where I meet up with some buddies, and my wife asked if I should bring him out after he was home."

He was a bit unsure because he didn't want to start crying in front of the guys. Still, when Affeldt picked up his dog, Kodi got up on his back legs, and put his front paws around his neck.

The two certainly are close now. That was apparent when Kodi clutched to him and refused to let him go. Larisa said it herself.

"He totally knows you saved him."

Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, more Giants will have different look at plate

Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, more Giants will have different look at plate

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- After 10 days of watching him take batting practice and do catching drills, the Giants fully expect Buster Posey to be in the lineup on March 28 in San Diego. When he digs into the box, you'll see a different look from Posey, now in his 11th big league season. 

Posey is one of a dozen Giants wearing a batting helmet with a flap this spring. Last year, the Giants had just one player on their active roster -- backup catcher Aramis Garcia -- with a flap protecting his jaw. Posey said he plans to use the new helmet during the 2019 season. 

"I thought about changing last year but I didn't want to do it during the season," he said. "It's just about getting more protection."

Not surprisingly, the catchers appear to be leading the way. Garcia started wearing a helmet flap after suffering a facial fracture in 2016 while playing for the San Jose Giants. René Rivera started wearing the bigger helmet last year, not because of concussion issues -- Posey and Garcia both have had concussions behind the plate -- but because of what he was seeing from pitchers. 

"Everyone is throwing harder every year, and a lot of these guys are throwing up in the zone now," he said, mimicking a fastball that moves quickly towards a batter's head. "It's extra protection at the plate."

The catchers aren't the only ones with the new look. Pablo Sandoval had a flap on his helmet during live batting practice sessions earlier this week, along with Cameron Maybin, who wore one last year with the Marlins and Mariners. Others are expected to follow. 

The change for homegrown Giants has a lot to do with a change by Rawlings. The equipment company has a new helmet that is made to withstand a 105 mph fastball, an increase from the old helmet that withstood 100 mph. The r-flap has been redesigned and is not as bulky. 

Brad Grems, the clubhouse coordinator, said Rawlings engineers will be in the clubhouse Friday to show players their new helmets. Rawlings now has flaps that can be screwed onto the helmet in three different positions, allowing for more flexibility and comfort. Garcia said the old flap, while necessary for him, would often press against his face. 

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According to Grems, the new helmet will be a better fit for players' heads. By 2020, Rawlings plans to roll out the new, better-fitting helmet in every clubhouse. By then, you could see a lot more players protecting their jaws with a helmet flap.

MLB rumors: Phillies confident they'll sign Bryce Harper in free agency

MLB rumors: Phillies confident they'll sign Bryce Harper in free agency

We have an update in the latest edition of MLB's daily reality show: "Where on earth will Bryce Harper sign?"

Well, it's kind of an update.

The Philadelphia Phillies, who have long been considered a favorite to sign the 26-year-old superstar, "are confident" they will sign the former Nationals outfielder, Matt Breen of reported Thursday.

After Manny Machado agreed to a record 10-year, $300 million contract with the San Diego Padres, Breen reports that the Phillies have "ramped up their negotiations" in their efforts to land Harper.

The Giants, of course, have been linked to Harper ever since they met with the prized free agent in early February. At one point the Giants were considered the betting favorites for Harper's services.

However, on Wednesday it was reported that they were "not optimistic" about landing the six-time All-Star.

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Although Breen notes in his piece that the Giants appear to be the Phillies' biggest challenger for Harper, it still appears that San Francisco is more likely to be the bridesmaid than the bride in the bid to acquire the 2015 NL MVP.

But, who knows -- in the world of this slow MLB free agency, there will probably be more twists and turns before all is said and done.