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HERO POOCH HAMISH SAVED MY LIFE; Dog bites knife maniac.

Byline: MARIE SHARP EXCLUSIVE

A PET owner told last night how he owes his life to his boxer dog for saving him from a knife-wielding maniac.

Colin Whyte was stabbed with a six-inch blade but pooch Hamish fought the attacker off his bleeding master.

The knife miraculously missed vital organs as it skewered his stomach.

Last night, Colin hugged five-year-old Hamish and said: "If it wasn't for him, I'd be dead."

The attack happened as he was taking the dog for his daily walk near his home in Livingston, West Lothian.

The man approached and suddenly kicked Hamish in the stomach.

Colin turned to confront him but was stabbed and slashed across the arm.

The attack only ended when Hamish lunged at the man, biting him and sending him running.

Father-of-one Colin, 33, said: "Hamish had not barked, growled or done anything to him, but he belted him with his right foot. I shouted at him and he walked towards me saying, 'You're next.'

"I felt a dull thud on my left side but I did not realise I had been stabbed at first.

"I saw blood on my hands and realised he had cut me. When I tried to punch him, Hamish immediately reacted by biting his arm. I've always thought of him as my best friend and I now know why."

The knife went through Colin's stomach, coming out of his back.

Colin, who has a three-year-old daughter, Shannon, added: "I'm incredibly lucky, I should be back to work in around six weeks."

The teatime attack on Saturday has shocked Colin's wife Anne, 32.

But Colin was discharged from hospital less than 24 hours after the attack.

He said: "I'm trying to put it behind me.

"I've taken Hamish along that same path every day for five years.

"It won't stop me taking him along there again but I'll stay on the side which is better lit.

"Hamish is a big softie but he turned on the boy when he went for me. He's a real hero."

A police spokesman said: "This is a horrific attack on a man who was minding his own business.

"The attacker will have a mark on his face as a result of the struggle put up by Mr Whyte and bite marks."

The man was described as in his early to mid-twenties, around 5ft 7ins tall with dark hair and a thin moustache.
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 9, 2001
Words:401
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