PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS 5)-- Charlie, a friendly golden retriever, started his Monday like usual on South Mountain in Phoenix.
“We live really close to here and this is a trail we hike on a regular basis,” said his owner, who asked Arizona’s Family to hide her identity.
Charlie’s owner takes him to the Mormon Loop Trail often to hike, and that’s what they did early Monday morning.
“We started up the trail without any incidents,” she said.
But just 15 minutes into her hike, she said a couple was coming down the mountain with two dogs, and she thought they might be new friends for Charlie.
But that interaction took a terrifying turn when Charlie went to go greet the dogs.
“The man said, ‘Keep your dog close to you,’” she recalled.
She said she called Charlie back and he happily obliged because he is well-trained. But she never expected what happened next.
“Without hesitation, the man wielded a golf club above his head and he came down and he struck Charlie with it,” she said. “As soon as he struck the blow, I think my vision went black.”
She said he started yelling profanities at her and threatened to hit her with the club, too.
“It just got really ugly, really fast. And, so, he’s in my face screaming. I’m screaming back at him. Charlie had run back to my friend and was sitting on her feet,” she said.
She said Charlie is OK, but she was shaken up.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” she said. “I dialed 911.”
The City of Phoenix said police called their park rangers to go out and inspect the area and look for the man she says slugged the golden retriever, but they never found him.
Now, Charlie’s owner is warning people to be alert, even if they think they know a popular and friendly trail.