A babysitter has told how she is still haunted by the sound of the dog that savaged her in a horror attack – but it taught her never to take life for granted.
Mum Rachel Anderson, 39, was babysitting for her friend’s two young children on Boxing Day 2018 when the family’s Siberian Husky attacked.
The massive animal locked its jaws on her face, before pulling her to the floor and dragging her into the kitchen, where it savaged her arm for 45 minutes.
Mum-of-two Rachel needed nearly a dozen operations, and the physical scars have healed.
But nearly two years on, the former hairdresser spoke to a brand new podcast about how she still has nightmares.
Speaking to Real Fix, a podcast about extraordinary true stories, she said: “The dog went for me and grabbed my arm and dragged me off the settee and dragged me into the kitchen.
“It was about 45 minutes that it attacked me.
“It was just like one minute it was just making this horrific noise and holding on to my arm ad then other times it was ragging me side to side – that was when the pain was absolutely excruciating.
“All I could see was blood coming from my face all over the dog, and the noises that the dog was making was actually the most scary bit.
“The bits I still dream about now is the noise.
“It was a low growling.
“It was as if it was growling at a bone.
“I was on its bed. It took me to where it wanted to be.
“I was trying anything. I was looking around the kitchen to see if there was anything I could stab it with.
“I actually didn’t believe it was happening at first. I was thinking ‘this can’t be happening, this can’t be real, what the hell’.”
Rachel, from Skegness, was babysitting for a friend in Rednal, Birmingham, at the time of the attack, and it happened when she went to get one of the children a drink.
The attack only stopped when one of the kids grabbed a knife out of Rachel’s reach, and stabbed the dog in the back side, causing it to release its grip, she said.
Rachel phoned 999 and heard three gun shots when the police killed the dog, before she was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.
During nearly two months in hospital she had ten operations to clean the wound, stitch it up and carry out skin grafts.
She caught a severe infection which “ate” her arm muscle and had to take antibiotics for 12 weeks.
The skin grafts from the top of her arm refused to take, and doctors feared they’d have to amputate.
In an last ditch attempt to save the limb, surgeon Rajive Mathew Jose cut a flap in her stomach and sewed the arm inside for four weeks – to allow new unharmed skin to grow over the top.
Rachel is right handed so now can’t write properly.
“It changed my life forever,” she told the podcast, which features real life people sharing their extraordinary personal stories in their own words.
“I don’t take life for granted.
“Anything can happen at any time.
“You think you are invincible and bad stuff don’t happen to you, and when it does, you kind of realise that you have to take every moment as it comes.
“Enjoy it, and enjoy my children. Sit and read to them. Forget about all the other things in life. I don’t care what anyone thinks of me.
“I am a bit paranoid about my scars but even then I just think ‘whatever’.
She spoke about the ordeal on the fifth episode of the Real Fix podcast, which features real life people telling their own extraordinary stories in their own words.
Podcast host Hattie Bishop said: “Hearing the way Rachel dealt with the attack – and the painful months afterwards – was really inspiring.
“It must have been really difficult to speak about, but just like all our guests, but she told her story in her own words, and we all thought she was really brave.”
West Midlands Police investigated the case, but it was closed, with no further action because the CPS felt “there was insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction”.
The dog owner did not want to comment.
Rachel spoke to the team at the Real Fix podcast – a brand new podcast featuring real life people sharing their extraordinary personal stories in their own words.
*Listen to the Real Fix podcast here https://www.real-fix.com/real-fix-podcast/ or subscribe using the appropriate podcast platform here https://plnk.to/realfix