updated 5/30/2006 11:24:24 AM ET 2006-05-30T15:24:24

The phrase “you lucky dog” takes on new meaning in Coral Springs, Florida.

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Michael Rubin heard cries from his 6-month-old golden retriever, Jasmine, which had ran ahead to the edge of a pond near a construction site Monday, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

When he went to check on her, he saw the puppy’s head inside an alligator’s mouth. The intrepid Rubin jumped right into the water and started beating the gator with his fists.

The reptile — which Rubin estimated was about 7 feet long — refused to let go and started rolling in the water with Jasmine still in its mouth.

“I thought she was dead,” he said. “But at that point I wasn’t going to let him have my dog.”

He eventually pried the dog loose and rushed her to an animal hospital, where she was treated for cuts and puncture wounds. The puppy is now home, doing fine, Rubin said.

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