Many people claim to be dog lovers, but very few would selflessly throw themselves in harm’s way in order to save someone else’s four-legged companion.
Yet when one Florida man realized his friend’s dog, who he had been dog-sitting, was about to be eaten by an alligator in a golf course lake, he didn’t hesitate to jump in the murky, alligator-infested water and pull the dog to safety.
Donald C. Copps had been watching his friend’s dog named Carbon while he was away on vacation, and had brought Carbon to a local golf course in his Naples community to chase around some golf balls. After exhausting himself, Carbon decided to jump into a lake to cool off.
The black Labrador didn’t realize their were alligators in the water, and as he was swimming back towards the shore, a 7-foot alligator was trailing closely behind. Copps realized what was about to happen, and bravely jumped in the water as the alligator bit down on Carbon’s leg to try and distract the animal.
“By the time I gathered my senses, the dog was out of the water and I’m in it up to my chest, just feet from the gator,” Copps said. “He was crying, yelping.” Thankfully, Copps managed to slowly back out of the water unharmed and Carbon only had a few scratches and puncture wounds. “I put him on a golf cart, went home to change my wet clothes and took him to an ER. He was spooked. We all were.”
“The dog was really lucky,” said Dr. Lon Miyahira, the veterinarian who treated Carbon. “When I hear alligator bite or attack, I expect worse. It’s hard to recommend jumping into the water, but it’s probably why the dog was not badly injured… For whatever reason, alligators seem to have a fondness for dogs and will go after them,” Miyahira said.
“I think most people would freeze,” said Yuliya Vail, who was with Copps at the golf course that day. “He jumped in. I thought it was heroic of him. That gator could’ve drowned Carbon. We could have watched him die.”
What would you do if your dog was about to be eaten by an alligator? Let us know what you think in the comments below and please SHARE this with friends on Facebook.
[Featured image: Luke Franke/Naples Daily News]