LA MESA (CBS 8) - A daily walk in La Mesa almost turned disastrous for a man and his dog. They were walking by a pet clinic last week when a pit bull broke loose and went on the attack before a veterinary technician came to the rescue.
Harry Pfeifer says he's been walking Rico, his 4 1/2-year-old Havanese mix since he got him.
But on Friday morning around 7:30, Harry says he saw an owner taking her pit bull to the vet.
"I noticed that the leash was lying in the road, so I reached down to get my Rico and it was too late," he said.
The 85-pound dog had a hold of little Rico.
"It was fast, the dog had a death rip right on the neck of my dog," Harry said.
He says he fell to the cement trying to save his dog.
"I was just horrified and terrified actually," he said.
That's when Pam Henson came running out of the vet office.
"I saw Harry on his knees and I thought I cannot let this dog in its excitement turn on Harry," Pam said.
Pam is a professional large dog handler with more than 30 years experience. She doesn't recommend what she did next unless you have experience.
"I grabbed the collar and turned it and lifted its front legs off the ground," she said.
The dog let go of Rico, and Harry -- who was scraped up too -- swooped Rico inside the vet where he is being treated for three puncture wounds.
Harry says another minute and his little dog would be gone.
"(Pam) saved my dog's life," he said.
But Pam says she was just there at the right moment.
"I don't see myself doing anything I wouldn't I want someone to do for me."
Again, Henson says she doesn't recommend you break up dogs -- especially if they are large ones -- unless you are trained.