EUCLID, Ohio -- Max wags his tail and plays in the backyard, but the stitches in his back from the stab wound are clearly visible.
His owner, Mary Burgett, said Max, a 2-year-old pit-bull mix, was stabbed by a man at Metroparks Euclid Creek Reservation.
Burgett took Max for a walk (on a leash) in the park Wednesday, she said.
They took a break on a bench about noon.
"This older gentleman and his dog started walking by us, and he said, 'Hi, how ya doing?' and I said, 'Hi, how ya doing?' " Burgett said.
That's when Max got excited, she said, wiggled out of his harness and went over to sniff the man's little white dog, in a playful manner.
"He didn't bark; he didn't growl; he didn't nothing, and then (the man) started yelling he'll 'knife any dog that's not on a leash.’ Next thing you know, I saw his hand go down and he had the knife in his hand and just gushes of blood came out," Burgett said, adding Max had already started walking back to her when the man stabbed him.
Burgett wants the guy who stabbed her dog found.
She believes if he stabbed Max, he could stab someone else's pet.
Burgett describes the man as being in his 50s or 60s with white hair, walking a small, white, fluffy dog. He fled in a small white car.
A Metroparks ranger sergeant told Fox 8 News that this is the first time something like this has happened.
The veterinarian stitched Max up and took x-rays and told Burgett he will be fine, she said.
"But it was literally this close to his heart. That guy almost killed my dog," Burgett described.
Anyone with information on the man's identity is urged to call the Metroparks Rangers Office at (440) 331-5530.