Faithful dog rescues man from bull attack
FALLON – Mired in mud and manure, Curtis Clauser lay injured with fractured ribs.
The snorting bull stood over him ready to do more damage. His saving grace in what was playing out as a bad situation was Alpo the cow dog, his constant companion over the past year.
Clauser, a mechanic at Van Dyke Dairy, went into the pen last Wednesday morning to try to move the 3,000 pound bull away from the men who herd the cows in for milking.
The bull was already agitated because the milkers were next to his cows. Clauser approached the bull with a hot shot cattle prod. The bull turned and charged Clauser, throwing him into the air.
“I’ve never been hit with such force,” Clauser said. “I was like a rag doll, I couldn’t do nothing.”
“He shot me up in the air about 8 feet and then shot me up again,” he said. “When I was down I had my eyes closed. I couldn’t breathe. It was pretty ugly.”
Once he was on the ground, the bull put his head into Clauser’s chest and ground him into the muck.
Dairy owner Susan Van Dyke and her crew tried to get the bull off of Clauser with no success.
When Alpo saw everyone trying to get the bull off of Clauser, the old farm dog sprang into action. Alpo charged the bull and got right in his face, biting at him and drawing his attention away from Clauser.
Van Dyke and her crew carried Clauser to safety, hosed him off and rushed him to the emergency room.
Alpo, 14, is a working dog at the dairy. Clauser befriended him about a year ago after arriving in Fallon from Orange County to take care of his 84-year-old grandmother. “Alpo follows me everywhere,” Clauser said. “I share my lunch with him, give him rides in all of the trucks with me. Last night he even slept with me in my trailer. I’m just glad Alpo was here.”
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When the Judicial & Law Enforcement Center was built 40 years ago, there were only 19,400 people living in Douglas County.