Lake County, Florida – 66-year-old Steve Gustafson didn’t expect to become a hero last week when he was doing a bit of yard work, but after an alligator grabbed his dog “Bounce” and ran for the water, Gustafson jumped into action to save the West Highland Terrier’s life.
According to Fox News “Gustafson, 66, was trimming branches on an oak tree when he heard his 13-pound West Highland Terrier, named Bounce, let out a “yelp.””
“She let out a really high pitched, what I call ‘yelp,’ and I looked up and the gator had her in his mouth and was taking her far out,” he told FoxNews.com. “I knew if I needed to react, it had to be quick.”
The scenario played out almost like something out of an Indiana Jones movie at that point, with Gustafson jumping onto the back of the alligator and grabbing it’s back left leg and putting its tail underneath his right arm.
All three plunged underwater at that point, yet Gustafson says he was able to get his footing in the three feet of water and push back towards the shore. The alligator let go of Bounce at that point and snapped down on Gustafson’s right hand.
The unrelenting grandfather was able to force the alligator’s head under the water, and with his grip still firmly on its leg, he now had the attacker pinned. He called out for Bounce to come back to the shore, but after breathing in water and being fatigued, the dog was too exhausted to make it.
Gustafson had only once option, to the let the alligator go, and when he did it quickly retreated and he was able to grab Bounce and make his way safely back to shore with his canine friend in his arms.
According to Fox News “As for Bounce, Gustafson says he plans on keeping a closer eye on her when she is roaming the backyard from now on.”