For George Chilson and his longtime partner Frank Rose, two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Elizabeth and Victoria are their children, the best puppies they've ever had. So Chilson said the fact that they chewed off Frank's toes is not as bad as it sounds.
A Mission Hills man who suffers from neuropathy said he awoke Thursday morning to find some of his toes missing, and he believes his two small dogs did it.
Frank Rose, 72, had his long-time partner George Chilson call 911 to report the incident. When San Diego police responded on the 200-block of W. California St., they found blood on one of the dog's faces, some of the Rose's toes missing and a substantial amount of blood nearby.
The dogs, named Victoria and Elizabeth, are 1-year-old and 2-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, pictured above.
"I pulled back the sheets and looked at the foot and I said, 'Oh, my God,'" Chilson said.
He also said Rose didn't realize the dogs had chewed off his toes because he has no feeling in his foot.
Rose has already lost one foot to his nerve condition, and Chilson said the other one was heading down the same path.
Rose is at Scripps Mercy Hospital doing just fine, Chilson said, but he will need surgery Friday.
"He's sitting in bed, laughing and joking with the nurses and doctors," Chilson said.
Chilson wanted to make sure people understood this was not a vicious attack, and he believes the dogs were actually trying to help Rose.
"I've noticed if I've cut my leg and have a scab, they'll lick it to heal it," Chilson said.
Still, the strange news has attracted plenty of surprise.
Mission Hills neighbor Stephen Tyler said he was "shocked" and described the toe-eating situation as "hard to believe."
"Those dogs are cuter then all-get-out," Taylor said. "I know they had the one and then they got another one because they loved them. That's just incredible."
Another neighbor called the animals "sweet little dogs" and said his granddaughters often played with the two dogs.
Investigators filed a bite report and Animal Control has taken over the investigation.
"The owner woke up and his toes were gone," said Lt. Dan DeSousa with the County Department of Animal Services. "He doesn't know why it happened, and the dogs aren't talking."
DeSousa said in his 22 years with the department, he has never seen anything like this.
The breed is known as happy and loveable and often serve as lap dogs.
"So, for something like this to happen is very unusual," Desousa said. "...This was a freak accident, and I think that's just the way it's going to be handled."
The dogs have been secured and will be quarantined in the home for 10 days. Officers said Rose did not want the dogs to be taken away.