Gary Murphy says he doesn’t consider himself a hero. His dog however, probably thinks differently
About 4 p.m. Thursday, Murphy was repairing a latch on his father-in law’s boat in a marshy area in Palm City, Florida when he heard a yelp from his 11-year old West Highland White Terrier. He looked down and saw the dog in an alligator’s mouth.
So, the 72-year-old-retired construction worker said he did what any pet owner would do — he protected his dog.
He jumped on the gator’s back, hitting it on the back of the head and forcing it to release the dog.
“It was like landing on a pile of rocks,” he said.
Murphy and the gator fell into the water, which Murphy quickly got out of.
He scooped up his dog, which he refers to as a “furry little white boy,” and took it inside his home.
Friday morning he took the dog to Roman Animal Hospital, where the dog stayed overnight for treatment.
The dog has a compressed lung and several cuts and puncture wounds across its back and abdomen, animal hospital officials said.
Murphy credits his healthy lifestyle, having a background in construction and mostly love for being able to fend off the gator.
However, when he told his wife, who was out of town on business, about the attack and rescue, she promptly questioned his sanity.
“Are you nuts?” he said.
Murphy said he didn’t think to report the incident because his only concern was to rescue and attend to his dog’s injuries.
“If your kid was in the water with its head in a gator’s mouth, what would you do?” he said.