Lexy the Jack Russell can thank her owner's middle finger for saving her life. On Sunday the dog was viciously attacked by a Staffordshire terrier, and Ann Bendouli -- Lexy's owner -- stopped the fight by sticking her finger up the opposing dog's butt.
Yes, you read that right.
Bendouli was walking Lexy on Melbourne's Hampton Beach when the attack happened. She knew that if she didn't act on the spot, her much-loved pet -- who was only one year old -- would be killed.
"The staffy had the puppy in his mouth and was just chucking it around like a rag doll," a witness told 7NEWS.
Both dog owners tried to break up the fight, and Barbora Williams -- the Staffordshire's owner -- suffered a dog bite that took off part of her toe in the process. She received plastic surgery to treat the injury.
Nothing worked to pull the dogs apart until Bendouli thought to put her finger to good use. "I lifted [the Staffordshire terrier's] tail and luckily I hadn't filed my nails, and I put [my finger] up its anal passage," Bendouli told 7NEWS. "I had to do something and that's what came to me."
The unusual story led to a global trend of #superstarfinger:
The Staffordshire was so surprised by Bendouli's finger -- I mean, how could you not be stunned? -- that he let go of Lexy, saving her life.
Williams understands why Bendouli did what she had to do, but she says Lexy provoked the attack by nibbling on her dog's feet first. Lexy was treated for serious wounds and received stitches at an emergency vet clinic following the attack. Thanks to her owner's trusty finger, she will survive.
"[Lexy is] my soul mate and I love her so much," Bendouli told Nine News. "I was so glad that she was actually saved because I would be lost."
Watch 7NEWS' full report below: