By Andrea Lucia

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STEPHENVILLE (CBSDFW.COM) –  Five-year-old Dorothy McGowan was petting her family’s border collie Saturday, when it attacked.

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“He just jumped at my face, right at me!” she said.

Her mother had the dog on his leash, and watched it happen.

“He turned around and he bit into both sides of her face,” said Chelsea McGowan.

Chelsea adopted Aggie ten years ago, as a puppy. “He was our protector. He slept with us,” she remembers.
Recently, though, she noticed a change in his personality.

“Just kind of grouchy – around Dorothy specifically,” she said.

“He was fine with her for four years of her life,” said her husband, Mack McGowan,

He witnessed Aggie snap at their daughter several weeks ago.

“Mack said, ‘That’s it! I mean, he has to live somewhere else.’ I begged him to let the dog stay,” said Chelsea.

After hearing him growl aggressively Friday, Chelsea finally gave in.

She cuddled with him Saturday, then prepared to take him to an adoption event in search of a new home.

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“Dorothy said, ‘Can I pet him?’ And I said, ‘Yea sure, come here. It’ll be fine.’ The last thing I said before she was attacked was, ‘Yea, it’ll be fine.’ I can’t undo that,” said Chelsea.

The bite to Dorothy’s face sliced through skin and muscle, leaving what’s likely permanent scars.

“Sometimes I feel I look terrible,” said Dorothy.

Her mother blames herself for missing the warning signs. She’s urging others to pay attention if their dogs signal they’re uncomfortable around children and find them a new home.

“One inch higher would have gotten her eye. Two inches lower would have gotten her throat. What happened to us is so not the worst. And it happened in a split second,” she said.

Friends and family have now started a fundraising page for Dorothy’s medical expenses and surrounded her with presents.

“Because I’m hurt and they want me to feel better,” she said.

Dorothy told CBS11 she is feeling better and she clearly loves the attention. What she really wants, though, are prayers.

“I pray that other people keep praying for me, and God makes me better.”

The dog was euthanized.

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