A Lacombe family is praising the quick thinking of their 11-year-old son for helping to save their young daughter from a dog attack.
Lucia Johnson, 10, was eager to try out the inline skates she got for her birthday. Her parents Meg and Jay said she could go to Terrace Ridge School and back on Monday, as long as her brother Broc went with her on his bicycle.
On the way to the park, two dogs jumped a fence near the school and ran after the children — with the more aggressive dog knocking over Lucia.
“The dog was latching on to her elbow and shoulder. It bit her quite good on the shoulder with deep puncture wounds,” said the father.
The dog began aggressively biting Lucia while she attempted to protect her face and neck.
It was then that Broc told his sister to be as quiet as she could and stay still. When the dogs began to become less aggressive, the boy made a break for home — which lured the dogs away from Lucia, allowing her to escape.
Broc ran home and summoned his father, who immediately ran out the door in his socks.
“When I was running, I didn’t know what I was going to find. I am glad it was as minimal as it was, because a dog can kill someone,” the father said.
He arrived at the scene to find the dogs, but not his daughter, who had managed to make it home.
The young victim was taken to hospital for treatment of her injuries. During that time, the mother contacted bylaw services and the father went back to the scene of the attack to see if he could find the dogs.
“I wasn’t able to find the dogs — I assume the owner got them back home. We didn’t figure out the dog situation until the next day,” he said.
The father said his daughter, who is an animal lover and has always had a positive attitude, is doing alright, but he worries how the incident will affect her.
“I know the nightmares are coming and she hasn’t been able to sleep alone yet. She likes to have someone near her. I know we will have a hard time getting her to walk somewhere on her own again.”
The dad was grateful that his son Broc was there that evening.
“She was crying, saying he saved her life by giving her quick advice and getting the dogs to go the other way. The time she was down there was seconds, but it probably felt like an eternity,” he said.
Officials have identified the dogs with the help of the family. The animals are being detained, and the father reluctantly hopes that they are put down.
“I don’t want that dog to get someone else’s kid. That is a terrifying thought for me,” he said.