SPOKANE, Wash. -

A 72-year-old Spokane woman says her neighbor is a hero after helping to save her life and the life of a dog.

Joan Scott said a black pit bull attacked her and Cinnamon, the dog she was walking. It all happened near the corner of Madison and Queen in Northwest Spokane on Tuesday around noon.

"She's a sweetheart, she is very lovable," Scott said. "We used to go at least five days a week and take nice long walks.''

She has been walking Cinnamon for the last five years, but on Tuesday their peaceful walk took an unexpected turn.

"A car drove by and a black dog jumped out the window and first of all he grabbed my arm and hand and bit me," she said. "I just know my whole body aches and my hand is the worst of all."

But Cinnamon didn't want Joan to suffer. Joan said, "she (Cinnamon) growled at that dog and that's when that dog took after her."

The pit bull got a hold of Cinnamon's ear and didn't let go.

"I heard this dog yelping and I knew it was a painful yelp," neighbor Linda King said.

That is when Linda came to the rescue.

"I just got the shovel and started banging on his nose and head, I probably hit him 6-8 times before he let go," King said.

Linda says the pit bull finally let go, then retreated back to the car and the two people in the car sped away with the dog. This left Joan and her favorite companion traumatized.

"It's unbelievable in other words, that it all happened, it is sinking in," she said.

For now, Joan is just thankful her special neighbor was there to save the day.

"She's definitely my hero, she deserves a medal for that," Scott said.

Joan says she hopes the owner of the dog will take responsibility and pay for her medical bills from the attack.

Spokanimal's Animal Control unit visited with Joan and is now in the early stages of its investigation. They have determined that the pit bull is potentially dangerous but as of now they have not tracked down the owner of the pit bull.