A self-confessed dog lover says she has learnt a massive lesson after getting bitten in the face by a grumpy dog.

Wright was today waiting for surgery in Waikato Hospital after being rushed there by ambulance from the local accident and emergency clinic yesterday.

Waikato woman Sara Wright was carrying out some consulting work in a Hamilton cafe when a colleague's mother brought in her beloved pooch.

"I was at work and I am dog mad, absolutely dog mad. One of my colleague's mums came in with a dog and it was sitting outside ... It was a beautiful big bulldog and I was just chatting with them and patting it and I went to say goodbye to it and patted it again and it bit my face."

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The bite went right through the left and right side of her top lip and part of her nose.

She then screamed, put her hand over her face and ran inside.

"Everyone was panicking and didn't know what to do. I was just saying: Ring my husband, ring my husband. In hindsight, they said I should have rung an ambulance but you never think you're bad enough, you know."

Sara Wright all patched up and recovering in Waikato Hospital. Photo / Sara Wright
Sara Wright all patched up and recovering in Waikato Hospital. Photo / Sara Wright

Despite usually having normal blood pressure, it dropped so low afterward the incident that medical staff were unable to give her any morphine. Instead she was given a shot of voltaren.

"Then I had injections in my face to numb it when I came to hospital ... and that wasn't pleasant."

As for what she wanted to see happen with the dog, she said she took full blame and didn't want it put down.

"I know how much [owner] loves that dog, it's her pride and joy. You could tell the dog was better looked after than she is, if you know what I mean, so there is no way that I am going to do anything about it.

"I know from her reaction that she was so shocked and devastated that it's never done anything like this before and I believe them, just from the way they reacted. The daughter was there. We were all very shaken up."

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Wright, a chef and owner of Serves You Wright catering, said the family offered to discuss the possibility of putting him down but she wasn't having a bar of it.

"I don't even know how animal control were notified, because it wasn't me ... but they just wanted a record of what happened to put on file.

Waikato woman and dog lover Sara Wright is having emergency surgery after being bitten by a dog, suspected to be an British bulldog yesterday. Photo / Sara Wright
Waikato woman and dog lover Sara Wright is having emergency surgery after being bitten by a dog, suspected to be an British bulldog yesterday. Photo / Sara Wright

"Basically it's my fault, I shouldn't have been so complacent with it. I learnt a big lesson. I thought I was a dog person but you can't predict the behaviour of them, it doesn't matter what breed, really."

She had lived and looked after dogs all her life, from rescuing them to working with the SPCA.

"I've got rescue dogs still and I just didn't think bulldogs had that kind of temperament to be honest. Maybe I got too close. She was letting him lick the milkshake out of the straw or something, so maybe it was a food thing."

She believed it was an American bull dog, "the one with the squished in face ... and big bloody teeth."

She said her colleague was relieved to know the dog wouldn't be put down.

"She's just so grateful. I think that would destroy the family, because that's like their family baby, they just live and breathe that dog. It doesn't go anywhere without them."

She was now left to drink through a straw and tipping yoghurt in one corner of her mouth, however she was nil by mouth anyway with her imminent surgery.

As for what she's learned out of the incident, she said she would be more careful in future.

"I'm never going to assume that I've got an amazing connection with them again. I always just thought the best of them and never believed that one would hurt me because I loved them so much. I will never assume that again, it's a massive lesson."

Wright said she was thankful for all the messages of support and hopes to go home to recover tomorrow.