For Jodi Furlong and her children, an afternoon walk in their Lynn, Massachusetts, neighborhood was supposed to be a beautiful way to kick off the Easter weekend.
Furlong walked with the family’s German Shepherd, Lucy, while her kids, Kyle, 10, and Erin, 8, rode their bicycles up ahead.
Out of nowhere, a pit bull bolted out of a yard and latched its teeth into Lucy’s neck.
Furlong tried to break up the fight, but she was powerless to stop the attack and Lucy, despite her pain, seemed determined to keep her owner out of harm’s way.
Kyle and Erin watched with horror as their mom tried to stop the fight, even trying to flag down cars as they drove by to see if somebody would stop.
Nobody stopped, until Erin, with tears streaming down her face, ran up to the car of a man who goes by his pseudonym, O.P. Miller.
When Miller, 50, saw the girl’s distraught face, he immediately got out of his car and lunged toward the pit bull.
In an interview with Itemlive, Miller described how he grabbed the pit’s collar, using his strength to pull, yank, and twist the collar to the point where he nearly choked the attacking dog.
Miller said he fell backward and put his hand up in the air, and that is when the pit bull turned and bit his hand.
Miller spent the weekend getting seven rabies shots, he said, but helping the crying little girl made it all worth it.
“I’d do it a thousand times over,” Miller said. “When I saw the little girl’s face, there was nothing that was going to stop me from pulling over and seeing what was wrong with her. I’ll never forget her face — it was unnerving, to say the least.”
O P Miller, of #Lynn tells me he had to stop his car friday when he saw a little girl screaming with tears rolling down her face as her dog was attacked by a pitbull. Miller pulled off the Pitbull, saved the kids’ #GermanShepherd, and spent the weekend getting rabies shots. pic.twitter.com/jpsbYi2j8u
— Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) April 22, 2019
Lucy was a little sore, her family reported, but not seriously injured. According to Itemlive, the pit bull’s owner reported her dog is not aggressive toward humans but has been known to have issues with other dogs.
Timothy Furlong, a police officer with the Nahant Police Department, is calling Miller a hero for stepping in to save Lucy and protect his wife and children from what could have ended in tragedy.
“I want to thank the guy for stopping and helping,” Timothy Furlong said. “This man is a hero in my mind and I would greatly appreciate it if he got recognized as such. (It was a) scary situation that could have ended much worse if it weren’t for this man.”
Furlong is working with the city council to try and get Miller formally honored for his actions.
“It was pretty heroic, what he did,” Timothy said.
“It kind of feels good,” Miller said. “I guess I am a hero, but to me, it’s so different from a barroom brawl. When you’re fighting a person, it’s one thing, but when you’re fighting something that wants to chew on your neck, that’s a little different story. It’s a little unnerving, to put it mildly.”
In an interview with WBZ NewsRadio 1030, Timothy Furlong thanked Miller for sacrificing himself on behalf of a family he did not even know.
“I know firsthand about putting yourself in harm’s way, and to see a complete stranger do it for your family, it’s just overwhelming, it’s emotional,” he said.
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