77-year-old Olympic weightlifter saves dog by snatching alligator

Most people consider 77 to be old age. You imagine a 77-year-old man, probably in a rocking chair, listening to Fox News on the radio and getting ready to take a quick nap. If that’s what you picture when you think of a 77-year-old man, then you’ve obviously never met Art Auwaerter of Moore Haven, who started his day by letting his dog Rodger out and ended up rescuing his dog of an alligator.

By opening the alligator’s mouth.

Art Auwaerter is not just an average senior, as he also happens to be an Olympic weightlifter who still competes. He is also the oldest in Florida.

I like the way he describes his encounter with the alligator: “He went into the river,” Auwaerter said. “A few seconds later I see a big splash. Oh my God, I know what’s happening.”

Related: Florida man describes horror of finding alligator attacking his chocolate lab

News WINK interviewed Auwaerter who saidHe’s going to kill him. And I couldn’t let that happen. So I ran to the bank. In these situations, you don’t think, you just act,” Auwaerter said. If your child was attacked, you wouldn’t think about it, you would do whatever it took to save them.

So Auwaerter did what any other dog owner would do, which was jump on the alligator’s back and cut its mouth open, forcing him to go to the emergency room where the doctor he saw in the emergency room told him if the alligator bite was only two. Just inches away, it could have cut his artery and killed him.

Oh, who are we kidding? No one would have fought an alligator, Auwaerter is an absolute legend! The next time your own grandfather complains about having to take his daily walk, tell him this story!

Related: Alligator Enters Louisiana Home Through Dog Door Like It Owns the Joint

It’s also very nice what Auwaerter said when the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission came out and shot the alligator.

“I wish they would move him, but I guess they have to shoot them if they attack the person. I attacked him first. I mean, of course he shouldn’t have attacked my dog.”

Steps to take if your dog is attacked by an alligator

Depending on where you live, chances are you’re pretty safe from an alligator attacking your dog, but if you live in an area where alligators are present (like Florida) , here are some safety precautions you can take.

Always keep your dog on a leash, especially when walking near bodies of water where alligators have been sighted.

Don’t let your puppy swim in these waters and keep your ears peeled for hissing sounds.

If your dog is attacked by an alligator and you’re not an Olympic weightlifter like our hero above, your best bet is to run away as quickly as possible. “If an alligator gets your pet, there’s not much you can do. Don’t go in the water after that alligator,” ZooMiami wildlife expert Ron Magill told NBCMiami.

I hope you and your dog never encounter an alligator on a walk!

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