A WOMAN has told how her boyfriend’s 70lb dog ripped her nose off after being startled by her teeth whitening kit.
Olivia Quast, 30, was horrifically mauled by the hulking pitbull-mix pooch that disfigured her face and “mangled” her arm.
The self-professed “cat person” explained she had never been a fan of dogs until she met her partner’s rescue pup, Bentley.
The six-year-old canine had managed to win Olivia over after she moved in with her fella Graeme Stasyshyn, 44.
But despite being the “first dog she ever loved”, Bentley lunged at her as she bent down to feed him last month.
She suspects he was spooked by her new teeth-whitening mouth guard that she was wearing at the time.
The artist, from Middletown in Connecticut, US, said the usually friendly pet launched a vicious attack on February 3.
Bentley sank his teeth into her nose and yanked it off her face – which Olivia only realised when she felt it “wasn’t there.”
But the nightmare didn’t end there – as the brutish beast launched himself at her twice more before she escaped.
She explained: “I had no idea he was going to lunge at me, it was a total shock. The night before he snuggled in my bed and I tucked him into all my blankets.
“He lunged, and he got my nose first, I was in shock and disbelief. I just stared at him.
“It never dawned on me that he was going to keep attacking me, because why would he?
“I put my hand on my nose and he lunged at my arm twice more.
“I thought, ‘I’m not going to play tug of war with a creature whose favourite game is tug of war – with my arm’.
“So I just let him bite me. I was actively going into shock. I was shaky, I was cold. I called my Mum.”
In the throes of “pure agony”, Olivia – who has a rare connective tissue disorder Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) – managed to inform her family of the horror unfolding.
She continued: “I was saying ‘help me Mum, help me, he took my nose. My fingers are going numb, I can’t feel my fingers, I’m getting cold’. It was terrifying.”
She was able to free herself from Bentley’s jaws and frantically kicked him away before escaping to the safety of the bathroom.
I thought, ‘I’m not going to play tug of war with a creature whose favourite game is tug of war – with my arm’.
Olivia continued: “I stayed standing, but I felt my entire being drop to the floor.
“The room spun, it’s like everything was in hyper-focus and spinning.”
Her family called an ambulance to the home and she was quickly rushed to Hartford Hospital for her injuries.
Stunned doctors confirmed that the tip of Olivia’s nose, her septum and cartilage had been torn off.
However, the bridge of her nose and the outside of her nostrils thankfully remained intact.
She has already undergone numerous surgeries and now has two plates, eight screws and two pins in her arm.
Olivia is also battling several fractures, as well as significant ligament and nerve damage in her hand which may take up to a year to heal.
She and Graeme have since been left trying to work out what spurred Bentley on to launch the devastating attack.
TEETH WHITENING TRAGEDY
The heartbroken owners believe he may have been startled by the UV light from Olivia’s new teeth-whitening mouth guard.
“The only thing that made sense was that this UV light triggered something in his brain,” she said.
The couple, who had Bentley for four years, made the difficult decision to put him to sleep shortly after the harrowing incident.
Olivia now faces a lengthy recovery as she waits for the wound on her face to heal before she has reconstructive surgery.
Plastic surgeons will take cartilage from her ear and skin from her forehead to fix the damage done to her nose.
Her family have launched a GoFundMe in the hopes of raising cash for further operations on her face.
They fear some may not be covered by insurance as they could be considered cosmetic.
Devastated Olivia added: “I’m a cat person, this is the only dog I’ve ever loved.
“I didn’t like dogs before, and then I started dating someone who is a dog person, and had one, and this dog changed my life. I now like dogs.
“I’m so grateful that people can help me, and that I’m alive.”
WHAT IS EDS?
EDS, or Ehlers-Danlos syndromes, are a group of rare conditions that affect the skin’s connective tissue.
Symptoms of EDS include joint hypermobility, stretchy skin and skin fragility, meaning that sufferers will often bruise easily.
The condition is usually inherited, and people with EDS are advised to be careful when engaging in activities that could have a risk of injury.
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