A 10-YEAR-OLD girl was savaged so badly by a German Shepherd in Finglas that the animal's teeth missed her kidney by just two centimetres.
Brave Abbie Martin may yet require plastic surgery to the gaping wound in her side which is the size of a cigarette packet.
She was walking with her young pal and her friend's mother when the shocking incident happened on Friday evening.
As they were passing a house in the Deanstown Road area they heard dogs barking but had no idea of the horror that was about to unfold.
"We heard the dogs barking and then they ran out of a garden and down a lane, and then one of them just ran at me," Abbie told the Herald as she recovers at home in Valley Park with mam Margaret and dad Paul.
"Then he jumped at me and his mouth tore through my top and he swung back around and bit into me," she added. Abbie showed the dressing that is covering the two drains that doctors inserted into the open wound. She was rushed to Temple Street Children's Hospital after the attack.
Her dad Paul explained: "She was so brave we are all proud of her, she let the doctors clean the wound while she took gas to ease the pain. You could see right into her back, through muscle and fat and everything. The doctors said the wound was just 2cm from her kidney. They couldn't stitch it yet because they have to treat her for possible infections.
"They had to trim away damaged areas and wash the whole wound out and give Abbie lots of injections, and she is due back in to hospital this week to see if the wound can be stitched or if it has to be packed, which would take a lot longer to heal."
As her friends played in the sun Abbie, a fourth class pupil at St Finian's school, had to rest in her bed over the weekend.
The dog that bit Abbie has since been destroyed and gardai are investigating the matter.
Abbie was wearing her schoolbag on her back when she was attacked, and her mother Margaret thinks it saved her from further injury.
"The dog bit right into her side. It might have been worse if her backpack wasn't protecting her," she said.
Margaret and Paul don't want what happened to Abbie to ever happen again and have appealed to all dog owners to make sure they keep them on a lead and train them.
"What happened to Abbie was shocking, and we hope it won't give her a fear of dogs for the rest of her life."