Jill Layton
Updated July 24, 2015 10:23 am

Here’s the thing about Florida — there are alligators, and lots of them. The majority of them don’t live in zoos or contained areas — they live in ponds, swamps, rivers and other fresh water environments. And sometimes, if they’re hungry, lost or feeling adventurous, they’ll venture outside of their homes and into human territory — which is absolutely terrifying! Can you imagine walking your dog and seeing an alligator (which, let’s be real, is basically a dinosaur) walking along with you? Sorry, Florida, but NO THANK YOU.

That’s exactly what happened to one woman in Inverness, Florida. Lori Beiswenger’s dog, Hope, was pulled into a pond by a 7-foot-6-inch alligator, and Beiswenger did the bravest (and scariest) thing — she went in after it.

It all went down at the Point O’ Woods Golf Course, which Beiswenger owns. “I said, ‘God, no this can’t be happening,’ and it was the scariest feeling in the world,” Lori Beiswenger told local news station WTSP.

Beiswenger immediately took action by jumping into the pond and grabbing the alligator’s tail. “I’m just grabbing it and that was right there,” Beiswenger said. “I just kept pulling in saying you’re not getting her, you’re not going out there because I knew what he had in mind.”

She gave three tugs on the alligator’s tail, and it finally released Hope. “After that she was just floating. All you could see was the top of her nose and we didn’t know where the gator was,” Beiswenger said.

Jody Daniels, a volunteer at the golf course, heard the commotion and ran over with a shovel and was able to scoop Hope out of the water. Once Hope was on shore, she didn’t stick around for long.

“When he pulled her out she started running up the bank and the gator did, too,” Beiswenger said. But the gator was thwarted and Hope survived!

She’s now home safe with her mom recuperating and she’s totally going to be OK.

“It’s a miracle. It’s really a miracle that she survived it,” Beiswenger said. She added that jumping into a pond with an alligator was the dumbest and bravest thing she’s ever done. We just think it was the bravest.

(Image via iStock)