THE animals came at them so quickly Sarah* barely had time to act on the uneasy feeling that gripped her at the sight of two large dogs down the road.
In a flash, what started as a typical afternoon walk with her baby and brindle staffy had turned into a living nightmare.
"By the time we turned around and started walking really fast they were on us," she said.
While one of the dogs stopped and hung back, the other one immediately attacked, going straight for the smaller dog.
"When it came at us, I put my hand up, and that's when it bit me," Sarah said.
"I don't think it was after me as such but I was in the way. I was punching and kicking it."
In an incredibly display of maternal instinct, she flipped the pram over so her 14-month-old, who was strapped inside, could not be harmed.
"I kind of flicked the pram and it landed nearly upside down so I thought he'd be away from us," she said.
"Then the young person in the house came to try and get it off but it was just too strong.
"The only thing that probably saved us was my screaming, and a man came to help. He had a weapon and got the baby."
Covered in blood, they were driven home by their saviour.
"The dog's belly had a whole mouthful taken out of her and her front legs were shredded," Sarah said.
"I thought she would have to be put down because she had puncture wounds all over her."
Luckily, their dog was able to taken into surgery just an hour later and is now recovering at home.
Sarah was also ushered into theatre, for injuries which included lacerations needing 30 stitches and a fractured finger.
More than three weeks on, the stitches which held her fingers together have been removed and the fracture is healing, but it's the mental scarring that endures.
The simple act of walking in Lawrence has become nearly impossible, and the flashbacks and nightmares are traumatic.
"In the nights I think it's my son getting attacked," she said.
As for the dog responsible, it is understood it was euthanised soon after the attack.
"It costs the community, it costs everybody. No one wins," she said.
"All I ask is that if people have any sort of dog, just be aware and responsible.
"You don't know in the heat of the moment, when they bite someone they scar them for life, physically and mentally."
*not her real name
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