Rarely is a regurgitated turkey gizzard the centerpiece of a charming story.

When you add such characters as the overeager Pomeranian and the intrepid schoolgirl, the tale is more easily swallowed.

Ten-year-old Tori Grimm’s family was cooking Thanksgiving dinner two weeks ago in their New Albany home. Five-year-old Gizmo peeked with interest over the dog gate in the doorway, until Tori’s grandmother tossed him a piece of turkey.

“He’s not used to getting scraps, so he just ate it whole. He just fell over and started gasping,” Tori recalled.

The family is still struck by how fast it happened, how instantly Gizmo was affected and unable to breathe. But luckily, Tori moved quickly, too.

“Everybody was yelling different stuff” — frantic suggestions for saving Gizmo, such as sticking a hand down his throat — “so I just gave him the Heimlich maneuver,” Tori said.

The Community Montessori fifth-grader learned the technique last spring in a seminar at school.

Tori wrapped her arms around the stricken dog’s trunk and applied pressure with her hands, three times in 30 seconds, until Gizmo coughed up the food and resumed breathing.

No discriminating diner, Gizmo reacted predictably.

“He just started chewing,” Tori said.

Tori’s experience impressed her teacher, Heather Wathen, who recalled Tori attended the Heimlich seminar after research into the subject sparked her interest.

“I think it’s awesome,” Wathen said. “She came in and told me, and I was just very proud that she knew enough to even try the Heimlich maneuver on her animal.”

Gizmo isn’t Tori’s only animal, though. He’s one of three dogs, dwarfing a Chihuahua and a Yorkshire terrier as well as the four cats and a rat.

Tori said she’s interested in becoming a veterinarian, having volunteered at the Floyd County Humane Society two years ago. She taught puppies to sit.

Gizmo has recovered from his misadventure, barking and wheezing himself into a frenzy Wednesday when two strangers from the newspaper visited his turf.

He’s overweight and has trouble breathing, but grandmother Margaret Tyler reported he seems to have learned a lesson.

“When I hand him his food now, he takes it a little slow,” Tyler said, chiding herself: “No more real food again, Nana broke the rules!”

Tyler, a diabetic, said she’s taught Tori basic medical techniques that could help her in an emergency.

But as for CPR, Tori said, “I don’t know it that well.” That’s bound to change, since her mother, Jill, is certified in the life-saving procedure.

Tori has set the bar high for herself and others looking to practically apply knowledge from Montessori seminars. But if a bizarre emergency calls for someone to skateboard and milk a goat, she’ll be ready.