I hoped that I would never be the one to have to experience this, but alas, it happened… The whole situation makes me so angry. What has come to our society? Here is what happened.
On Wednesday, I was walking to one of my schools (Abernethy Elementary School), and my guide dog, Nabisco, was attacked and bitten (drew blood) by two large dogs on fairly long leashes in front of the school. I was walking about a half a block behind the man and as we closed the gap, but not within passing distance, the dogs turned around and attacked; completely unprovoked and it happened extremely fast. As I screamed, “I am blind and this is my guide dog, get your dog off mine”, the man walked away only stating that his “10 year old was holding the leash”, like that even matters. He left me calling for help and Nabisco bleeding. When I told him that his dog bit mine and that he was bleeding, I got no response from the man. Nabisco had to be taken to the vet to care for his wounds on his muzzle. No one stopped to help me and the parent walked away without acknowledging the incident or asking if I was okay or needed help. I was eventually helped by the PE teacher arriving to work. It all happened so fast and no one was able to identify the individual. At this time, the individual has still not come forward and he has still not been identified. We are pretty sure that it is a parent as staff report seeing the dogs frequently tied up in front of the school at drop off. I sure hope the gentleman can be identified so I can hold him accountable. What if it is a child next time?
As I write this out, it reminds me an awful lot of an incident I wrote about at the same school back on December 9th that sparked my post What Does A Guide Dog Do? Do you agree it seems similar?
I am absolutely appalled that the man did not ask if me and my dog were okay, acknowledge that his dog bit mine, or even seemed to remotely care. What has our society come to?
Nabisco’s wounds are healing and he is being monitored closely by myself and Guide Dogs for the Blind for training implications this traumatic event may have on him. They have been really supportive through this process. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that a dog attack on a guide dog can be career ending.
I filed a report with animal control on Thursday and have not heard from anyone. I am starting to feel like law enforcement is not taking me seriously and since the man has still yet to be identified, i’m not sure what can be done.
Nabisco’s veterinary bills were covered in full by Guide Dogs for the Blind. If you are reading this and are as upset and appalled at this whole situation as I am and feel the need to do something, I am encouraging people to make a donation to Guide Dogs for the Blind. They go above and beyond to provide veterinary expense assistance to all of their program dogs. Guide Dogs for the Blind operates solely on generous donations of its donors and does not receive any government assistance. They use donations to support all operating costs and to train and provide these amazing guide dogs and their equipment free of charge to blind and visually impaired individuals like myself. If you feel so inclined, please make a donation to Guide Dogs for the Blind “in honor of Nabisco” and state that the funds should be used for the Veterinary Financial Assistance Program. Thank You!
I am using this opportunity to further educate my school communities about what a guide dog is trained to do and respectful etiquette when you see a guide dog working, especially when you are walking with your pet dog.
I sure hope that Nabisco and I are able to heal and move on from this incident with no lasting implications on our ability to work as a team.