WASHINGTON • It's often said that a dog biting a man isn't news - so one canine companion apparently decided to up the ante.
A 51-year-old man from Fort Dodge in the US state of Iowa said he was shot by his own dog while playing with the pet in his home, local media reported last Friday.
Mr Richard Remme was encouraging his pet Balew, a cross between a pit bull and a labrador, to jump on his lap as he lay on his sofa when the dog apparently flicked the safety catch off the 9mm pistol he was carrying in his belt.
"I was lying on the couch, and we were horsing around, me and the dog. And I was tossing him off my lap, and he was jumping back on my lap," he told The Messenger newspaper after being discharged from hospital.
"Apparently he bumped the safety one time, and when he bounded back over, one of his toes went right down into the trigger guard," the injured pet owner said.
"It has a trigger safety as well as a thumb safety, and he managed to hit both of them, and it discharged and went into my leg, but did no major damage to anything."
Mr Remme called 911 and said: "My dog shot me."
"I've never heard of that," the city police chief Roger Porter told the paper.
"I've heard of guns dropping and going off on the floor, and horsing around and guns going off. I can't say I've heard a dog story before."
His assistant Cory Husske later issued a statement saying a police investigation "could neither prove nor disprove the man's statement of events", adding that no charges were planned.
"Only in America can you get shot by your dog," weighed in Ms Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, an organisation pushing for stricter gun controls in the US.
The incident proved rather too much for Balew, described by Mr Remme as a "big wuss" who laid down and cried after the weapon went off.
"He thought he was in trouble for doing something wrong," Mr Remme said.