NIKKI Bella's says her worst nightmare almost came true when a man tried to grab her daughter on Tuesday afternoon.
Nikki's three-year-old girl had been in the family's fenced-in front yard in Frenchville; and only metres away from her father, when she screamed.
"A man had her by the back of her shirt, trying to pull her over the fence," Nikki said yesterday.
Before her daughter's father could reach her, their dog Merlin was jumping at the man who had latched onto the little girl.
"Our dog just lost it and came flying at him.
"The dog jumped at the bloke and the man dropped my daughter," Nikki said.
She said they contacted police immediately afterwards.
While she said her partner got a good look at the man, it wasn't anyone the couple recognised.
Nikki said the whole ordeal was terrifying.
"It's scary that he just reached over the fence in broad daylight, and didn't care who saw him."
The ordeal has left Nikki's daughter shaken up.
"She doesn't really understand what's going on, but she was terrified to go outside after it happened," Nikki said.
And their dog Merlin hasn't let the toddler out of his sight.
"He's (Merlin) always been protective of her, and is super aware of her now."
Police are investigating.