A Lockeford mother says she and her son were saved from a vicious dog mauling this week by the quick actions of a Lodi man who stopped to intervene.
Heather Karavidas and her son, Nicholas, 9, were strolling with their 1-year old German shepherd, Luther, near the Lockeford Grange building on Tuesday morning.
Suddenly, a large German shepherd bounded from the back of a pick-up truck. For a moment, the animal thrashed as it was suspended by its leash and collar.
"I thought the dog was going to break its neck," Karavidas said, as she stood in her front yard surrounded by her two children and three dogs on Friday.
When the dog finally freed itself from the collar, it sped across Highway 88 directly at Heather, Nicholas and Luther.
When the dog reached them, Luther tried to protect his owners.
"I just didn't know how we were going to separate the dogs," Karavidas said.
As the scene unfolded, Brad Burrell drove down Highway 88 on his way to LangeTwins Winery for work.
"I rolled up and saw this dog sort of wriggling about and then I got out of the truck and then that same dog whipped right past me, headed straight for the mom and the kid," Burrell said.
Burrell then stepped in to break up the fight between the dogs.
"I was prepared to kick the hell out of the dog if I had to," Burrell said.
Burrell grabbed Luther's leash and pulled the dogs apart, keeping them separated until the dogs calmed down.
He also told Nicholas Karavidas to get in his truck for safety.
"He took the time out of his day to break up a dog fight and keep my son from being mauled," said Karavidas.
While keeping the dogs at bay, Burrell saw a woman leaving a restaurant and making her way toward the truck from which the dog leapt. He shouted out to the woman, saying her dog tried to viciously attack the mother and child.
According to Karavidas, the woman simply said the dog had never done that before, apologized and quickly returned to her truck with the dog and sped off.
As she stood with her family outside of her Lockeford home on Friday, petting Luther, Heather was feeling lucky that they had all escaped the attack unharmed.
"I'm just glad the man stopped to help," she said.