While Steve Gustafson, 66, has a few battle wounds, a seven foot, 130-pound gator didn't get his beloved dog.
"Three of the big teeth went into my hand," Gustafson said.
The gator was in the pond behind his home in The Villages retirement community in Sumter County.
Gustafson was trimming his oak tree on Friday when he said his dog 'Bounce,' a 9-year-old West Highland terrier, got a little too close to the water.
PHOTOS: Owner saves dog from gator
Gustafson said he jumped in, belly flopping on top of the gator. He said he grabbed hold of its back leg. The gator whipped around and snapped at Gustafson's hand, but before he took a second bite Gustafson said "I grabbed his nose and pinned it to the bottom of the pond."
Gustafson and his dog were able to get away.
The gator was trapped and killed two days later by a Florida Fish and Wildlife Officer.
Gustafson said it's not unusual to spot alligators in the ponds in the neighborhood, but water levels are higher due to all the rain, making it harder to see the gators.