A Citrus County dog is very lucky to be alive after her fearless owner wrestled an alligator in the water to save the pooch.
The bond between Lori Beiswenger and her 9-year-old dog Hope is stronger than ever now. Lori went toe-to-toe with a seven-foot alligator to save Hope's life.
"I wasn't thinking," Lori said. "It was the dumbest, bravest thing I have ever done, but I wasn't going to let her go."
Lori and her husband own Point O' Woods Golf Course in Inverness. Almost two weeks ago, Hope and Lori were doing some work by a pond when things got ugly fast.
"It was the worst scream I have ever heard from her," Lori said. "I just ran over and I saw them rolling around on the bank. All I could see was teeth. Gator teeth and her teeth."
Hope was being attacked by the gator and she was losing the fight. The alligator pulled her into the water.
That's when Lori went in after them. Neck deep, she grabbed the gator's tail and tried three times to pull it back on land.
The seven-foot alligator came out of a pond and grabbed Lori Beiswenger's 9-year-old dog Hope.
"I just kept pulling in saying, 'You are not going out there,' because I know what he had in mind," Lori said. "Kept pulling him back."
It worked. The alligator finally let go and a friend of Lori's helped Hope get back on land. Lori says it was a nightmare and she gets choked up when she remembers it.
"I wasn't going to lose her and I'm so thankful," Lori said.
Some golfers spotted another alligator in the same pond, so Lori and Hope are going to steer clear for sure.
"She is quite the wonder dog," Lori said.
This is the third brush with death Hope has had. As a puppy she was almost put down before Lori adopted her and she got hit by a car when she was two.