A Dunedin woman viciously attacked by dogs when she was delivering newspapers has recalled her ordeal, as she continues to make a painful recovery.
The woman, who did not want to be named, told Fairfax she was delivering copies of the Otago Daily Times when she was attacked by three Irish wolfhounds.
Now the 54-year-old, who was active, struggles with mobility, has lost her income, and struggles to nod off to sleep because of the horrific memories of her attack.
"I thought I was going to die," she told Fairfax.
It happened about 6.30am on December 1. Heading down Walter St, Mornington, the woman saw the three giant dogs with their owner, on their morning walk.
It was a familiar sight. She'd seen them before and knew, because the owner had told her, they would be walked in the morning because their size scared people.
"I said 'hello doggies'," the woman told Fairfax.
Then it happened -- the middle dog grabbed her arm. The other two joined in and the pack-attack was on.
The woman was forced down a steep bank. The dogs followed, still in attack mode.
"All I can remember is saying, 'take your f****** dogs off me'. They just tore strips off me," she said as she recalled the graphic details.
"I was screaming for help in a horrible voice, the owner was standing there saying, 'I'm sorry sweetheart, I don't know what to do'," she told Fairfax.
Under siege, the woman used her arms to shield her face and neck from the attacking beasts with "these terrible black eyes".
Soon emergency services were on hand and her flatmate arrived shortly afterwards, greeted with the sight of blood.
He thought the woman had been run over.
Then the full horror of what happened was revealed. He saw the woman's calf muscle was missing.
"The dogs would have eaten it and there was flesh all over the driveway," he told Fairfax.
The woman now relies on a crutch.
She had been on a benefit and also worked two paper rounds and did some private cleaning work.