Too scared to go out: Woman's terror after dog attack on her doorstep
- Credit: Nicola Hastings
A woman who battles panic attacks when leaving her home said it will be even harder to step off the doorstep after her dog was attacked.
Nicola Hastings, a 27-year-old living north of Norwich city centre, has agoraphobia.
As a result she has spent the last ten years in the thrall of panic attacks and anxiety when heading outside.
But just as things were starting to get better through therapy, she claims a vicious attack on her beloved seven-year-old Yorkie-cross Gavin left her shaken and demoralised.
Following the scrap yesterday evening she explained: "I got Gavin in the first place to force me to leave the house. My agoraphobia comes and goes in waves.
"I've been able to make it outside lately by going for walks with him when it's not particularly busy and avoiding big public spaces.
"But this attack just reaffirms all the reasons why I struggle to leave the house to begin with.
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"He's already been attacked once, and we've both never quite gotten over it."
Ms Hastings said she hadn't even made it to the end of the garden when a dog came sprinting round the corner — and straight up to her pet in Heath Road.
Her boyfriend instinctively picked Gavin up, but the other animal managed to drag him down to the floor.
A "scrabble" ensued where Ms Hastings and her partner, along with neighbours and eventually the dog's owner, were desperately trying to pull the dogs apart.
She explained: "Someone managed to punch me in the head in the process because everyone was on top of each other.
"I'll never forget the sight of him being dragged around in the other dog's teeth. We think his harness saved him.
"When the owner did appear they just put the dog on a lead and walked away."
Poor pooch Gavin was left shaking and with scrapes.
Ms Hastings added that she had reported the incident to the police, but wanted to implore fellow dog owners to never let their pet off lead in a residential street.
She said: "I'm sure everyone thinks their dog is friendly, but you have to respect that other dogs might find them threatening. There's no excuse."