BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. - Anyone who's a dog lover can certainly understand and appreciate this story.

Deborah Howell of Adairsville believes her small Miniature Rat Terrier named Molly may have saved her life.

"I started getting phone calls saying, 'Deborah, I'm watching you'," she told 11 Alive News on Tuesday.

She still isn't sure if those threatening, anonymous calls that began a month ago are related, but she says a strange man physically attacked her last Friday night as she opened her back door to let her little dog in the house.

"He grabbed me by the top of my hair, just by the top of my hair, the head, and he started yanking my head and was shoving it into the door frame," Howell said.

She still has bruises on her face and forehead, but she believes her injuries would have been much worse if Molly hadn't come to her defense and attacked her attacker.

"She went into high alert then and she really started going after him and started biting and barking and everything else," Howell said.

Between her screams and Molly's bites, she said her attacked ran off, leaving behind a couple of fingerprints for Bartow County Sheriff investigators.

Howell said everything happened so quickly that she didn't get a good look at the man, who she described as a white male, at least 5 foot 8 inches tall, wearing a long sleeved black shirt and blue jeans.

Her attacker is still on the loose and she's wracked by nightmares, but she has a new appreciation for her little, 3-year-old terrier.

"Molly's always been my baby, but now she's even more," Howell added.

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