A PENSIONER is living in fear after being knocked unconscious during a vicious and sustained attack by an American bulldog in Blyth last week.
Sheila Beattie was thrown to the ground after the out-of-control dog launched itself at her to get at her three-year-old cavalier King Charles spaniel Mitzy.
And the 67-year-old’s injuries could have been much worse if passer-by Michelle Pink had not intervened.
Michelle, an American bulldog owner and breeder herself, wrestled the animal to the ground before resuscitating a seemingly-lifeless Mitzy.
The attack has left Sheila afraid to leave her Humford Green home in Blyth in case she comes across the bulldog that attacked her again.
The pensioner’s ordeal began while she was out with Mitzy near the town’s Asda last Thursday.
“I was just walking with my dog on the leash, and we passed a little girl of about ten with what I now know was an American bulldog,” she said.
“I wasn’t happy the way it was looking at Mitzy. I just had an awful feeling.
“I said to the girl ‘keep hold of that dog’ as she was really struggling.
“I crossed to the other side of the grass, and suddenly I was on the ground. I can’t remember much after that, only that I was face down in the grass.”
Sheila is full of praise for hero Michelle, crediting her with saving Mitzy’s life.
Michelle was cycling from her home in Lynemouth to Blyth for a dentist’s appointment when she saw the bulldog set upon the pair.
The 27-year-old then leapt into action, using her expert knowledge of the breed to stop the attack.
She said: “I’m very familiar with the breed. I’ve been showing them for years, and I’ve even had UK champions.
“This dog wasn’t just running, it was charging.
“You could tell what it was going to do, and I thought ‘that dog is going to attack’.
“The lady went to pick up her dog, and the dog just took her to the floor, and she didn’t get back up.
“The dog was on top of her, grabbing the King Charles and slinging it around.
“The lady still had her dog on the lead and was being dragged along the grass.
“I ran over its head with my bike tyre, but it didn’t make any difference, so I grabbed hold of its ear and tail and pulled it into a U-shape so it couldn’t shake the small dog any further.
“I jumped onto the dog’s back and head, and it went to the ground, but it still wouldn’t let go, so I punched it in the nose until it popped. It sounds horrible, but it forced it to open its mouth for air and let go of the other dog.
“I then wrapped my legs around its body and my arms around its neck. It was a 40 to 60kg dog, and I was screaming. It was the most horrific thing. Nobody would help.
“Mitzy lay lifeless on the grass, and this dog was still trying to get its prize. I’m quite clued up on that breed, and that’s a nasty, nasty dog.”
A friend of Michelle’s eventually managed to persuade two workmen to move their lawnmowers between the bulldog and Mitzy.
The bulldog’s owner then turned up and took his pet away without so much as a single word of apology while Michelle tended to Mitzy.
The spaniel had horrific wounds to its neck, as well as a ripped ear, and it had stopped breathing.
Michelle said: “Her tongue had started to go purple, and she wasn’t breathing.
“I started massaging her chest and blew air down her nose until I heard a gasp, and she was breathing again.”
Mitzy was taken to a vet afterwards and had eight stitches around the back of her neck.
Both Sheila and Michelle were injured in the attack.
Sheila suffered concussion and a lump on her leg, extensive bruising and a black eye, and Michelle was bitten on the knee and left with a fractured knuckle.
Sheila has been left terrified by the attack.
“What if the next time it’s not a dog and it’s a little child? It’s a killer dog, and I don’t know how far it will go,” she said.
A police spokesperson said: “At 1.55pm on Thursday, September 1, police responded to a report of a woman and a dog being attacked in Blyth.
“The woman received slight injuries and was left shaken.
“Police inquiries are ongoing.”