Retreating into the carport, Mary Wolf screamed, staggering beneath the weight of the dogs that snapped and snarled around her, tearing at her flesh.
Already, blood streamed from her hands. The dogs — at least four pit bull mixes — seized at her bare legs. She knew she wouldn't stay upright long enough to round the corner and reach the safety of her northeast Oklahoma City-area house.
If I go down,
she thought, I'm going to die.
Moments before, survival had been the last thing on her mind. She'd awakened Monday morning to find a familiar pit bull terrier in her yard. Spanky, who lived down the road, often came to visit her. He was sweet and friendly, a big guy with a gentle heart.
Wolf, 46, loves dogs. Always has. So when she noticed that Spanky wasn't alone, she wasn't concerned. She just figured he'd brought his children to meet her.
She went out on the back porch about 8:15 a.m. Spanky approached, and one of the younger dogs nudged her. It was at least 6 months old and already large, maybe 40 or 50 pounds. The others drew closer.
"I thought they were being friendly,” Wolf said. "Then one of them just kind of bit the crud out of my finger. He just latched onto my hand. I yelped and tried to get my finger out. That took awhile. One bite, and that was it. After that, he was all over me. Then the other young ones jumped on me.”
She scrambled away, but the dogs were fast. Her only hope was to get inside her Jeep Wrangler and wait for help. She wrestled the door open and lunged inside, but the dogs kept after her. She kicked at them, continuing to scream, and pulled the door shut. It closed on two snarling heads.
"I just held on as tight as I could,” she said, "and when they pulled their heads out, I got it closed.”
Instantly, the dogs started seeking another way to reach her. Some jumped up on the hood, their muddy paws sliding. One climbed atop the Jeep's soft top, the canvas giving beneath its weight. If it tore through the material, she'd be trapped.
Oh my gosh,
she thought. I'm a goner.
The fabric held. Gradually, she took stock of her situation. She was hurt. She didn't know how badly, but blood — her
blood — was smeared across the door and seats. She didn't have a cell phone; she'd just come outside in shorts and a T-shirt. The dogs weren't leaving. She needed help.
"I started honking the horn and screaming,” she said. "There was quite a lot of screaming.”
No one responded. Perhaps the carport was muffling her cries and the horn. The rear of the Jeep was facing toward the road. She slid into the back and started yelling through an unzipped portion of the clear rubber window.