A RATHMINES woman has told of the terrifying dog attack that could have killed her little Maltese terrier, Reggie.
Genevieve Dwyer and her friend Carol Rogers, of Dora Creek, were on the circular walking trail at Myuna Bay just after 5pm on Sunday, April 29, when two unleashed dogs bounded across a pedestrian bridge towards them.
Ms Rogers picked up her Jack Russell terrier-cross but the large German Shepherd-cross quickly took hold of Reggie in its mouth, and tossed him about.
Ms Dwyer and her seven-year-old Maltese terrier are this week recovering from the ordeal.
The attacking dog's owner, a middle-aged man wearing glasses and with mousy hair, ran away but when confronted by Ms Rogers said he would pay for any injuries inflicted on the Maltese terrier by his dog, Ms Dwyer said.
"But when I took my dog to my car and returned he was gone," she said.
She immediately took Reggie to the Newcastle Animal Emergency Centre at Broadmeadow where he underwent a two-hour operation and was placed in intensive care.
But the tough little animal, though originally very distressed, was limping around and in recovery mode at Ms Dwyer's home on Thursday when the Lakes Mail visited.
"Surgery was required to explore the deep wounds and it was feared he may have had spinal cord damage, but thankfully that wasn't the case," Ms Dwyer said.
Ms Dwyer is not as concerned about the $5300 vet's bill as she is the damage the larger dog might inflict on other dogs, or even small children.
"That is what worries me," said Ms Dwyer, who is a paediatric physiotherapy lecturer at Sydney University.
"Reggie is priceless to me and I became very fond of him when recovering from a horse riding accident about five years ago," she said.
Ms Dwyer has reported the incident to police.
¦ Rangers from Lake Macquarie City Council are also investigating the attack.