Patch walks with a limp, Sydney wears a cone-shaped plastic collar and Sam wants to run free but shouldn’t, not until the scars heal. These dogs are lucky to be alive. They were attacked recently by a rogue pit bull.
They are heroes.
So is their owner, Frances Turk. She lives on 10 acres near Milton, in a handsome house her father built. We were sitting on the porch the other day while the wounded dogs soaked up the heat of the healing sun.
Frances said, “There had been a strange dog hanging around all morning. I had a guy working in the barn. I asked if it was his dog. He said no.
“I had to take my dogs for a walk before I went to work. I had Sam on a leash, and Sydney and Patch were off leash.” Off leash? She has 10 acres of bushes, trees and trails. “I came out the door and the dog just came around the corner and sniffed Sam; within seconds it started to attack.” The rest is a bloody blur.
“I tried to get my dogs in the house. I tried to bring Sam in, which was dumb because the pit bull was still attached.” If it had gotten loose …
Somehow she hauled all the dogs back outside. “The dogs were in a frenzy. The pit bull left Sam and grabbed Patch, pulled him down and got him by the face and neck and was shaking him. I was freaking out.”
She pointed to some garden tools. “I grabbed a shovel and started whaling away on the head of that dog. I put everything I had into it. That didn’t work, so I put the shovel between Patch’s head and the pit bull’s mouth and pushed down until it let go.
“I was trying to get Patch back in the house when I heard Sydney yelping. The pit bull had just ripped her hind end. The guy from the barn came over then, carrying a two-by-four. He got my two dogs in the barn, and the pit bull went after him so he jumped into the back of his truck.”
Frances stood facing the bloody-mouthed pit bull, armed with nothing but her courage and a shovel.
She wasn’t aware of it at the time, but she’d been bitten on the leg; she has a large bruise just above the knee.
“The pit bull chased me here. I got inside and called 9-1-1. The cops came 20 minutes later. They told me to wait in the house until Animal Control showed up. The pit bull stayed on the porch. I think it was confused.”
She learned later that it was a young dog, in her first heat.
“My dad pulled up then. He managed to get a chain on the dog and he pulled it away so I could get my dogs to the vet.” She drove quickly and carefully.
Patch nearly had his leg broken, and is recovering from puncture wounds. Sydney had her ear ripped up and her hind end torn apart and she almost lost her tail.
Brave Sam, who kept himself between Frances and the pit bull, has a six-inch gash in his side, just below the rib cage where the belly is soft.
The pit bull awaits a grim fate in the pound.
Later that evening, Frances drove around asking questions of her neighbours. No one knows who owns the pit bull. No one admits to owning it.
But Frances now owes $1,200 to the vet who saved her pets. It is a bill she ought not to have to pay. If you know anything, speak up now.