Panthers show bark in rescue of dog
Kelsey Kruzich / Staff Photo: Plano East cheerleaders pose with Olive, a 7-pound dog that they rescued from being attacked by a larger dog. The cheerleaders are: Kelsea Tomlinson, kneeling left; Bekka Gentleman, standing left; Demmye Xeros, standing right; Mackenzie Frazier, kneeling left; and Alex Lebourdais, kneeling center.
The night of Aug. 8 was one of the longest of Stacy Yarbrough's life.
The east Plano resident spent the night tossing and turning, hoping that her dog Olive would make it through the night after being viciously attacked at Bob Woodruff Park. Olive, all 7 pounds of her, eventually pulled through, although she now walks with a slight limp.
On Wednesday, Olive was reunited with her rescuers -- five members of the Plano East cheerleading squad. At the reunion, Olive was made an honorary member of the East cheerleading team, and even posed for a photo atop the team's pyramid.
"The park was full of people, including a lot of adults, and the only people brave enough to step in were these girls," Yarbrough said. "We are full of team spirit right now. My neighbor makes pet clothing and we had to have a cheerleading outfit made for Olive."
The East cheerleaders were at the park for a team bonding picnic prior to cheerleading camp. When the team heard a woman screaming, they knew they had to help, team member Mackenzie Frazier said.
"We saw that there was a dogfight and attempted to break it up by pulling the larger dog off of Olive," Frazier said. "He ended up getting loose again and kept attacking, but we were able to finally hold down the larger dog so other people could grab the other dogs."
Cheerleader Demmye Xeros said an older woman owned the larger dog, a bearded collie. When the attack occurred, the older woman attempted to pull her dog off of Olive, but was unable to do so, Xeros said.
Yarbrough, who was at the park with her three dogs, said the larger dog came right for Olive, slipping its harness and then going in for the attack. She added that there is no doubt in her mind that the dog wouldn't have stopped unless the cheerleaders stepped in.
"The attacking dog weighed 40 pounds, more than all three of my dogs combined," she said. "I was stomping and kicking him, trying to pry his jaws open. We could not get him to stop. All of the sudden I remember seeing all of these feet when the girls came up and saved us. ... His mission was to kill all three of them. I am just so thankful none of the girls got hurt."