FAIR OAKS, Calif. - A local woman says her pit bull jumped into action and saved her from a potentially vicious attack along a secluded Fair Oaks jogging trail.
"She saved me from something that could have been very bad," Victoria Zaragoza said.
Zaragoza was walking with 1-year-old Rubie at Bannister Park around 4:30 Sunday afternoon when a man on a bike pretended to be hurt.
"He's just sitting there on his bike looking straight ahead and he takes his foot and lets the bike slowly fall over," Zaragoza recalled. "And it was the most dramatic, pathetic thing watching him fall to the side like he was hurt and and started saying, 'Oh help, help.'"
Zaragoza strayed from her instincts and went to help. When the man got up and came toward her, Rubie stepped in.
"Her fur was all standing up. She had a growl that was very threatening towards him," Zaragoza said. "She was just focused on him. I've never seen her like that."
Zaragoza believes the man did not initially see Rubie because she was hidden by the high brush. After Rubie came to Zaragoza's defense, the man immediately got on his bike and raced away.
Rubie was scheduled to be put down but was saved by Chako Pit Bull Rescue. Zaragoza fostered her. She knew she couldn't let her go, so she adopted Rubie. Now, the dog that Zaragoza saved has returned the favor.
Zaragoza believes she was a "foster fail" for a reason.
"God sees what we need," Zaragoza said. "I told my boys she's going to be a protector dog. I can tell because she loves us so much. And she is. It feels good. No one can touch me, not with her around."
Zaragoza reported the incident to Bannister Park officials and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office.
She said next time she will trust her instincts more. She's also going to carry pepper spray and, of course, always make sure Rubie is right by her side.