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Villages grandfather saves dog from jaws of gator
Orlando Sentinel ^ | September 18, 2012 | Erica Rodriguez

Posted on 09/19/2012 9:42:57 AM PDT by DeFault User

A stunned Steve Gustafson thought only of saving his "best friend" from the jaws of a 7-foot alligator carrying away his terrier...

Gustafson, a resident of The Villages retirement community northwest of Orlando, recalled Tuesday he was trimming his oak tree while the gator lurked in a quiet pond nearby. Bounce, a butterfly-chasing West Highland Terrier, was at the water's edge when Gustafson heard a blood-curdling yelp. Terrified, he looked out and watched the gator swimming away with Bounce's shoulder and collar in his grasp.

"I just knew that my best friend was going to be dead," he said. "And I took off."

Gustafson scrambled screaming to the water's edge and took a running leap. After a frenzied struggle with the gator, the 66-year-old grandfather and retired corporate lawyer told wildlife authorities that he successfully rescued Bounce — and both dog and master escaped serious injury in the frightening encounter Friday.

"For whatever reason, I don't know, I just yelled, 'you're not going to get her!' and just leaped on the gator…just like you do some silly belly flop in a pool," the Iowa native said. "The only difference was I landed on top of a gator."

Within seconds he said he wrangled the reptile's head to the bottom of the pond while grabbing its back leg. The 130-pound gator spun trying to submerge them all in 3 feet of water, but Gustafson regained his balance and shoved the gator toward the shore, a move that freed the diminutive Bounce, who weighs 13 pounds. The pooch slowly paddled for safety as Gustafson tossed the startled gator back into the pond, but not before it snapped at his right hand.

Shaken, soaked and bruised, Gustafson snatched Bounce and dashed to the shore with the wounded 9-year-old dog in his arms.

(Excerpt) Read more at articles.orlandosentinel.com ...


TOPICS: Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: dog; gator; pet
I love my dog, but I don't know if I would jump on a gator to save him. Mr. Gustafson must clank when he walks 'cause his are made of steel.
1 posted on 09/19/2012 9:43:01 AM PDT by DeFault User
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To: DeFault User

2 posted on 09/19/2012 9:46:58 AM PDT by dfwgator (I'm voting for Ryan and that other guy.)
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To: DeFault User

Gators should be hunted mercilessly.

They’re good for only three thing.

Shoes, belts, and luggage.


3 posted on 09/19/2012 9:47:13 AM PDT by Emperor Palpatine ("On the ascent of Olympus, what's a botched bar or two?" -Artur Schnabel)
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To: DeFault User

leave it to those native Iowans..


4 posted on 09/19/2012 9:47:57 AM PDT by brivette
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To: DeFault User

"....I spent all summer throwing a ball that far...and this day, the old guys hearing is good"

5 posted on 09/19/2012 9:48:45 AM PDT by Doogle ((USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: DeFault User
Most dogs, even 13 pound dogs, would leap after a gator if it had their master.

Its an understandable move for the master to reciprocate such devotion.

6 posted on 09/19/2012 9:48:56 AM PDT by Wyrd bi ful ard
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To: DeFault User

LOVE this story! It sure put a grin on my face.


7 posted on 09/19/2012 9:49:21 AM PDT by Irenic (The pencil sharpener and Elmer's glue is put away-- we've lost the red wheel barrow)
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To: Emperor Palpatine

Actually, they are not bad eating either. I tried it once in a Brazilian restaurant that had all types of meat.


8 posted on 09/19/2012 9:50:37 AM PDT by DeFault User
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To: Emperor Palpatine

And purses - really expensive purses.


9 posted on 09/19/2012 9:52:50 AM PDT by Aria ( 2008 wasn't an election - it was a coup d'etat.)
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To: DeFault User

10 posted on 09/19/2012 9:53:44 AM PDT by Daffynition (Our forefathers would be shooting by now.)
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To: DeFault User

I trim my tree with a chain saw.
Chain saws work really well when fighting gators.


11 posted on 09/19/2012 9:55:17 AM PDT by Venturer
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To: DeFault User

turtleman

12 posted on 09/19/2012 9:57:23 AM PDT by Foolsgold (L I B Lacking in Brains)
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To: DeFault User

This happens all the time at the Villages. You are told to keep an eye on your pet and don’t have a pet that runs free like a cat because there is a good chance they will get eaten.


13 posted on 09/19/2012 9:57:41 AM PDT by Opinionated Blowhard ("When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.")
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To: Joe 6-pack

Doggie ping, Joe!


14 posted on 09/19/2012 10:00:18 AM PDT by whinecountry (Semper Ubi Sub Ubi)
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To: Emperor Palpatine

It’s a fact I love reptiles but gators and crocs?

You’re right on.

[I hear they’re good eatin’, too]


15 posted on 09/19/2012 10:02:02 AM PDT by Salamander (Can't sleep, the clowns will eat me)
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To: DeFault User; Altariel

The odds are extremely high that my death will involve saving an animal.

I’m kinda stupid that way.


16 posted on 09/19/2012 10:03:34 AM PDT by Salamander (Can't sleep, the clowns will eat me)
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To: Foolsgold

That’s some liiiive action!


17 posted on 09/19/2012 10:03:34 AM PDT by Irenic (The pencil sharpener and Elmer's glue is put away-- we've lost the red wheel barrow)
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To: Foolsgold

That’s live action! Ih ih ih ih ih ih.....


18 posted on 09/19/2012 10:04:51 AM PDT by goseminoles
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To: AnAmericanMother; Titan Magroyne; Badeye; SandRat; arbooz; potlatch; afraidfortherepublic; ...
WOOOF!

Computer Hope

The Doggie Ping list is for FReepers who would like to be notified of threads relating to all things canid. If you would like to join the Doggie Ping Pack (or be unleashed from it), FReemail me.

19 posted on 09/19/2012 10:07:47 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: DeFault User

Nothing will save these Dogs from the Gators.

20 posted on 09/19/2012 10:07:48 AM PDT by dfwgator (I'm voting for Ryan and that other guy.)
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To: DeFault User

He needs to carry a big stick and open that gator’s mouth wide.


21 posted on 09/19/2012 10:14:55 AM PDT by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: DeFault User
I just yelled, 'you're not going to get her!' and just leaped on the gator…just like you do some silly belly flop in a pool," the Iowa native said. "The only difference was I landed on top of a gator."

Iowa native. That gator never had a chance.

22 posted on 09/19/2012 10:16:22 AM PDT by GBA
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To: Emperor Palpatine

“They’re good for only three thing.”

“Shoes, belts, and luggage.”

It appears you have not yet been introduced to fried gator tail. Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm!!!!


23 posted on 09/19/2012 10:17:45 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Opinionated Blowhard

The basic rule of safety regarding gators is that you keep more the TWICE the distance from the water’s edge of the maximum lenght of a possible reesident alligator. IOW, if there’s a 7 foot gator in he pond...and others had to have seen it before...then keep infants, pets, and others, 15 feet from the water’s edge..


24 posted on 09/19/2012 10:22:19 AM PDT by ken5050
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To: DeFault User

It is important to remember that a Gator WILL NOT eat a Lawyer.

They risk certain death from toxemia.


25 posted on 09/19/2012 10:37:47 AM PDT by left that other site (Worry is the Darkroom that Develops Negatives.)
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To: left that other site

Sharks won’t eat Lawyers neither, Professional Courtesy.


26 posted on 09/19/2012 10:39:12 AM PDT by dfwgator (I'm voting for Ryan and that other guy.)
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To: left that other site

Well, he was a corporate lawyer, not an ambulance chaser. I’ll cut him some slack.


27 posted on 09/19/2012 10:40:02 AM PDT by DeFault User
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To: DeFault User

Ok..I’ll cut him some slack, Jack! :-)


28 posted on 09/19/2012 10:41:38 AM PDT by left that other site (Worry is the Darkroom that Develops Negatives.)
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To: dfwgator

HAHAHA!!!!


29 posted on 09/19/2012 10:43:28 AM PDT by left that other site (Worry is the Darkroom that Develops Negatives.)
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To: Emperor Palpatine

Without Gators there would be no egrets, herons, spoonbills, Ibis or storks. Other wildlife depends on gator wallows for drinking water. They are a vital part of a very old chain.


30 posted on 09/19/2012 11:15:43 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: SWAMPSNIPER

Environmentalist poppycock.


31 posted on 09/19/2012 11:24:26 AM PDT by Emperor Palpatine ("On the ascent of Olympus, what's a botched bar or two?" -Artur Schnabel)
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To: Emperor Palpatine

No, it’s not, and it’s an issue I’m well qualified to debate.


32 posted on 09/19/2012 11:35:41 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: Opinionated Blowhard

“This happens all the time at the Villages. “

==

Read a book about The Villages a while back and realized living there was not for me.

The alligator presence reinforces my decision.

.


33 posted on 09/19/2012 1:35:37 PM PDT by Mears
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To: DeFault User

I would do anything in my power to save my babies.


34 posted on 09/19/2012 3:56:08 PM PDT by austingirl
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To: DeFault User

I swear I don’t understand how anyone lives in some of these places; even in the US we have treacherous animals and regularly-scheduled natural disasters.

I consider myself to live in the best place physically there could be.


35 posted on 09/19/2012 4:20:22 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: Salamander

Brave owner.

God gave us dogs to teach us the meaning of love and loyalty.


36 posted on 09/19/2012 10:06:48 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: the OlLine Rebel

See “Why No One Should Live in the USA” graphic:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/8967927@N02/3708056136/


37 posted on 09/19/2012 10:11:04 PM PDT by Altariel ("Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!")
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To: DeFault User
Damn straight! Ain't no alligator gonna get our little Westie, Sammie, either.

Good on ya, Grandfather.

38 posted on 09/20/2012 6:55:31 AM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all -- Texas Eagle)
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To: Emperor Palpatine

:-D You forgot handbags. Yikes! What a close call for Bounce & her worthy master. Thank goodness for happy endings!


39 posted on 09/22/2012 9:37:19 PM PDT by KGeorge
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