Police are treating a "vicious and prolonged attack" on a man in North Ayrshire as attempted murder.
The 40-year-old was assaulted as he walked his black Labrador dog near his home in Stoneyholm Road, Kilbirnie, between 2115 and 2135 BST on Wednesday.
After the dog ran home, the victim's wife went looking for him. She called emergency services after finding him lying unconscious on a cycle path.
Police have appealed for witnesses to contact them.
Det Con Stephen Ferry, of Strathclyde Police, said: "From the extent of the victim's injuries, it is quite clear he has sustained a vicious and prolonged attack.
"We do not know how many people have carried out the assault, and due to the isolation of the cycle track any information from the public would be extremely helpful at this time."
Detectives are carrying out door-to-door inquiries in the area and checking local CCTV footage.