Florida Politician Wrestles Alligator to Save Dog’s Life

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
There are politicians who make promises they never follow through with and then there are politicians who take care of constituents so much they’ll fight alligators for them!

Bill Read is a Lakeland City, Florida commissioner who lives on the edge of a lake. After Hurricane Irma caused so much damage across the state of Florida, many were left cleaning up flood water and debris left as part of the aftermath.

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Taking a break from the clean-up efforts, he was sitting on his outside swing as his neighbor’s chocolate lab, Dixie, came ambling by. Dixie had gotten through open gates from his neighbor’s yard, and Read’s Boston Terrier, Zina, headed toward Dixie, who was headed toward the water’s edge. His wife stopped Zina from going in the engorged lake, but as she did, Read saw a scary sight–a ripple in the water.

Being a fishing guide and living in Florida, alligators were not new to Read. But, he was worried because the alligator in the water was clearly coming toward Dixie who was about seven feet from the shore in the water. Read yelled that there was an alligator, but acted quickly in the heat of the moment by grabbing a brick as he ran to the shore of the lake.

He kept trying alert Dixie, while his wife went to find Dixie’s owners, but Dixie stayed oblivious to the approaching alligator.

Then Read saw the horror of the alligator grabbing Dixie and taking her under the water–starting the famed gator ‘death roll’ that gators do with their prey. Dixie fought, though, as she came back up a few seconds later, and the alligator did as well. Dixie tried to get back to the shore while the alligator swam after her and Read knew he had to try to do something. He threw the rock at the alligator and hit it on its side. The gator slowed some, as Dixie continued back, but she was just so far in the water Read couldn’t reach her to help her.

He did step into the lake and both Dixie and the alligator swam toward him. Read went one step further as he noticed the alligator was close enough to pull Dixie’s tail, and once again, he hurled the brick in a desperate try to stop it. The brick hit the alligator on the head, and as he whipped around, he hit a piece of the fence that had been between Read’s yard and his neighbor’s but had gone into the lake as a result of the storm.

Disoriented from the continued hits, and recognizing he was not going to win this one, the alligator turned away as Dixie finally made it to shore, bleeding. She couldn’t get home fast enough, and Read sat down in an adrenaline exhaustion.

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He says that he wasn’t really thinking, and even though he’s more a cat person, he just knew he had to help Dixie. Because he was so familiar with gators as a fishing guide, he knew that Dixie was lost if he didn’t step in.

ALLIGATOR ATTACK(THE LUCKEST DOG IN LAKELAND)***photo below*** We had been cleaning up most of the day after…

Posted by Bill Read on Friday, September 15, 2017

Dixie had puncture wounds on her side but has recovered and is okay. Read says that alligator was at least ten-feet long, and larger than any he’d seen in a long time. He posted to his social media page, calling Dixie the Luckiest Dog In Lakeland.

We agree, and think when it’s time for re-election, Read will be a sure thing!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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