It was the worst screaming Lori Beiswenger said she’d ever heard. To her horror, she realized it was coming from Hope, her 9-year-old Terrier mix. A 7-and-a-half foot alligator had Hope in its jaws and was dragging her into a pond at the Point O’ Woods Golf Course in Inverness, Fla., which Beiswenger owns.
“I said, ‘God, no, this can’t be happening,’ and it was the scariest feeling in the world,” Beiswenger told WTSP.
She may have been feeling scared, but when no one immediately responded to her cries for help, the 52-year-old potential Dog Mom of the Year winner fearlessly jumped into the pond and grabbed the gator’s tail.
“I pulled him back and he started thrashing and rolling her some more,” Beiswenger told WFTS.
But she wasn’t about to give up Hope. “I just kept pulling it, saying, ‘You’re not getting her, you’re not going out there,’ because I knew what he had in mind,” she told WTSP.
After three good pulls on its tail, the alligator released Hope. Beiswenger could see her dog’s nose poking out of the water, but the gator disappeared.
Beiswenger continued screaming for help. Jody Daniels, a golf course volunteer, showed up and, using a shovel, removed Hope from the pond.
“I thought it was dead because all I could see was the whites of its eyes,” Daniels told WFTS.
But Hope was alive and, after that ordeal, she was even able to take off running.
“When he pulled her out, she started running up the bank, and the gator did, too,” Beiswenger told WTSP.
Daniels hit the alligator’s head with the shovel. Beiswenger told WFTS the alligator was later trapped and killed by a private company. (Too bad it couldn’t have been relocated to a safer location.)
As for Hope, she suffered a severed artery and other injuries, but is recuperating after three hours of surgery. “It’s really a miracle that she survived it,” Beiswenger told WTSP.
Like a cat, Hope seems to have multiple lives. Beiswenger rescued her just before she was to be euthanized. Hope also survived being struck by a car.
Beiswenger told WTSP rescuing Hope was the “dumbest, bravest” thing she’s ever done.
“I love this dog. I wasn’t going to lose her,” Beiswenger said.
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