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Woman, dog injured in vicious attack at Hamilton Marsh
From inside the cone on her head comes a low moan, prompting Danielle Bluestone to tear up.
Her dog, Sasha, a seven-year-old Golden retriever, is in rough shape, with patches of fur shaved to reveal the ugly bite marks and stitches she received Tuesday morning at Hamilton Marsh.
The bites came courtesy of a Rottweiler and a terrier cross who leapt onto the dog as Bluestone walked Sasha along with cousin Jane Dalton and her dog on the forest trails just past 11 a.m.
“We were just a couple of minutes in, near the parking lot,” Bluestone said. “Sasha was walking a couple of feet ahead of me when all of a sudden, these two dogs came out of nowhere.”
One of the dogs, a large brown Rottweiler, latched onto Sasha’s neck while the second animal attacked her hindquarters.
“As soon as the brown one latched onto her I jumped on the two of them and tried to drag them off,” Bluestone said. “I pulled its lips, but no sooner had I got its teeth off her when it would clamp on again somewhere else. The other dog was on her haunches and I was trying to fight them both off.”
As she battled to save her dog, which she was sure would be killed in short order, Bluestone was bitten repeatedly on her hands, but that didn’t stop her.
“I could see they were killers,” she said. “They went right for the neck. I sank my teeth into its head above its right eye and bit as hard as I could until it let go and then I screamed, ‘please God almighty, don’t let them kill my dog!”’
The white terrier cross meanwhile, found itself at the business end of Bluestone’s fists.
“I was punching it again and again in the face and it wouldn’t let go, it wouldn’t get off her,” she said. “I don’t know how I got it off.”
Her cousin, Dalton, saw the whole thing.
“The dogs were relentless, they kept on attaching,” she said. “There were moments when Danielle successfully separated them from Sasha and yelled at the owner to get the dogs out of the area and away from Sasha. However, the owner was also unsuccessful in removing the dogs any distance. At which point, the two dogs lunged again at Sasha.
The battle, she said, went on in this fashion for five to 10 minutes.
“I found a large stick and handed it to my cousin,” she said. “Using a large stick and more physical fighting between my cousin and the dogs, once again they were separated. At this point, somehow the owner got more control of the dogs and with the stick in hand and yelling at the woman to get going, Danielle managed to get off the ground and follow the woman and the dogs to the car park.”
In the parking lot, Bluestone demanded to know the owner’s name and phone number, but had no luck in that regard. However, she did manage to jot down the licence plate number of her car.
“I was screaming at her,” Bluestone said. “She turned around and asked if I was alright and said she was sorry, then she jumped into her gray Matrix and sped off. I screamed after her that I had her licence plate number.”
With the car receding into the distance, Bluestone raced back to her stricken pet.
“I ran back down the trail as fast as I could,” she said. “Sasha was lying there all traumatized and I had blood pouring out of me.”
After phoning the police, Bluestone and Dalton took Sasha home and then took her to the Coombs Veterinary Clinic, where the dog was X-rayed, shaved and stitched up — garnering Bluestone with a $500 bill.
Now, Bluestone wants a formal apology from the other dog owner, her vet bill paid and the two attacking dogs destroyed.
“I’m not a malicious person,” Bluestone said. “These two vicious dogs should absolutely be destroyed after what they did to my dog and what they did to me.”
Regional District of Nanaimo animal control officer Cheryl Zanchetta said destroying the dogs is unlikely, as she said they appear to have no prior record of attacks. However, she stressed she is in the very early stages of her investigation and no determinations have yet been made.
“We are waiting to get all the statements and confirmation from the vet,” she said. “I know Mrs. Bluestone is unable to write a statement right now but once her hands are feeling better she can type out a statement. I spoke to the other lady and she is going to get me a statement as well. You have to take everything into account. There are so many different factors. It’s never black and white.”
Noting she is unable to type a statement because her hands are badly bitten, Bluestone, who suffers from Hepatitis C, said she isn’t about to back down.
“If those dogs had gone after my cousin’s little Havanese they would have broken its back just like that,” the Hilliers resdent said. “I know one thing. I won’t be walking my dog at Hamilton Marsh again.”