Thank you

robin red jacket 001ed

On this Thanksgiving day I would like to publicly express my infinite gratitude to the three people who came to my rescue on May 23, 2014. There was no time to call 911 that afternoon when I was attacked by a pit bull belonging to Shawn and Loreena Lemon of 215 S George St, Decatur, Michigan. My life was in immediate danger and I was helpless in the situation.

I had been traveling north toward downtown in my power wheelchair and the dog was already charging at me as I passed the Lemons’ house. When the dog reached the end of his very long tether, his collar snapped free from it and within 3 seconds he had swooped in front of me and around to my left side. As I continued at eight miles per hour down the sidewalk, the dog launched himself at me and chomped his jaws onto my left ribcage. His grip was viselike from the start.. I had to abruptly stop because the drag of the dog’s efforts to keep up with me on his hind legs was causing me excruciating pain.

The three men who came to my rescue saw the dog break free and attack. Daniel Garza was in his pick-up heading home from work. Bruce Falor was also driving from downtown. Jacob Darda was outside his nearby home.

I was not aware of any of them. There had been no traffic or pedestrians anywhere around me for several minutes and I fully believed myself to be alone and unobserved. Many thoughts clicked through my mind. My most important realization was that my lightweight, nylon-shelled, tightly quilted jacket was protecting me, and I needed the dog’s teeth to stay where that jacket was. The big question was, how long would it hold up? Every tiny move I made incited the dog to shake my ribcage with his muzzle. I had to sit motionless.

I decided to risk turning clockwise away from the dog. I turned about 140 degrees and had to stop. The dog walked along with me on his hind legs and was only increasing the already constant tightening of his jaws on my ribcage.

At this point I thought I could last under this pressure another 30 seconds, but another minute seemed doubtful. Something caught my attention six feet to my right. I carefully turned my head and saw an opaque wall of fog-like matter. It had touches of movement within it, like wisps of a gentle breeze causing swirls in the mist. It was the color of a dark grey storm cloud. I looked up, and observed that it was actually an arch that went overhead. Then I heard vehicle engines. And voices? Singing?

It was Daniel Garza honking his horn. He jumped the curb onto the sidewalk, and rammed his pick-up at the dog. The dog released me and ran ten or fifteen feet toward the back door before stopping and looking back at me. Daniel backed into the street and pulled up to my rightside. between myself and the dog. Then he maneuvered the truck, herding the dog, until the dog was directly in front of his truck. He charged at the dog and ran it up to the back deck. The instant the dog jumped onto the deck, the door opened, the dog went inside, and no one came out.

The instant the dog released me, Bruce Falor appeared where the dog had been. He was ready to fight the dog with his bare hands should it decide to attack again. When I later asked Jacob Darda what he was planning to do with his bare hands against that dog, he said, “Just like Bruce. I was going to fight it.”

We were all shaking, but there was no shortage of courage on that corner of town right then. These three brave men are my real life heroes. Without their lightening quick thinking, and instant willingness to risk their own safety, I would not be writing this letter this morning. They saved my life.

As it is I have only recently been able to write about what happened on that day and the events that followed. What I have written here is just an outline of the beginning of what has been for me a six month parade of miracles, blessings, panic attacks, and nightmares. My ribcage is not fully recovered and the long hours I have had to lie in bed while it heals have weakened me. But I have my life. I have Joy and Love and Friendship. And Showers of Blessings.

There is much more of my story to tell. I have many others to thank. And I am currently dealing with the fact that within a few weeks of the Lemons’ dog being put down on July 2, they acquired a pit bull puppy (Their previous dog’s name was “Easy”. I am referring to this new puppy as “Irony”!).

May we all have many more showers of blessings this winter than of snow!

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11 thoughts on “Thank you

  1. My Legislation Proposal to be enacted by all states,
    cities and counties in the US & Canada.

    All dogs must be:
    Or all dangerous dogs must be:
    Or all dangerous molosser breeds, including pit bulls (American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers, American Bulldog, Bull mastiffs, dogo argentinos, fila brasieros, presa canarios, Japanese Tosa, cane corsos and their mixes and any dog generally recognized as a pit bull or pit bull terrier and includes a dog of mixed breed with predominant pit bull or pit bull terrier characteristics), rottweilers, chow chows, Doberman pinschers, German shepherds, must be:

    * Licensed
    * All Pit bull type dogs Micro-chipped with any bite history in database for reference.
    * Insured: All dogs must be covered by mandatory liability insurance of $100,000 min. generic and $500,000 after a skin breaking bite with insurance companies based on actuarial statistic’s determining said rate.
    * Spayed/neutered (except for limited approved show dog breeders)
    * All breeds involved in any bite incident must be kenneled in a locked five-sided enclosure with concrete bottom.

    For all other dog owners language can be written that enclosure such as fences must be capable of containing your dog period, such generic language puts the onus on the owner, have the fines be so onerous that said owner will ensure this they make this so.

    1,000 the first time, double the second time and permanent confiscation the third time with a ban on said person from owning any dog within city limits, this will create an effective outcome directly or indirectly.
    * All dogs must be on leashes outside of home enclosure
    * All molosser breeds must also be muzzled outside of home enclosure

    * No transport of declared dangerous dogs for the purpose of re-homing. (Dangerous dogs must be dealt with where their history is known.)
    * All of the rules listed above also apply to rescues: rescued dogs must be licensed and subject to inspection.

    $1,000 fine for noncompliance
    Elimination of the one-bite rule in all of the 50 U.S. states
    Manslaughter charges for owner of dog that kills a human
    Felony charge for owner of dog that mauls human, dog, or other domestic animal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great law. Not sure if I missed this part or if it is in there, Would like euthanization of any dog who kills or mauls human or animal. Euthanize right after doing the rabies test (so that the human victim can be cleared).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 42 People dead by dog attack in 2014
    Pit bull type dogs killed 33 of them directly.
    17 killed by pit bull type dogs directly of the 32 dead are children.

    Stars indicate people killed by a ‘family’ pit bull – ones that had
    been raised and cherished as an indoor pet, ‘never showed aggression
    before’, and knew the victim.

    Child fatalities by pit bull type dog (17):

    Kara E. Hartrich, 4 years old, Bloomington, Illinois. **

    Je’vaeh Maye, 2 years old, Temple Texas. **

    Braelynn Rayne Coulter, 3 years old, High Point, North Carolina. **

    Kenneth Santillan, 13 years old, Patterson, N.J. by a Bullmastiff

    Raymane Camari Robinson, 2 years old, Killeen, TX by a Bullmastiff **

    Mia Derouen, 4 years old, Houma, Louisiana **

    Christopher Malone, 3 years old, Thornton, MS **

    John Harvard, 5 year old, Riverside, AL **

    Kassi Haith, 4 years old, Felton, Del.

    Demonta Collins, 13 years old, Augusta, Georgia

    he dashed into traffic as he was running from a pit bull attacking him and was hit by a car and was killed.

    Davon Jiggetts,17 years old, Riverdale, Georgia

    he dashed into traffic as he was running from a pit bull attacking him and was hit by a car as was the pit bull, both were killed.

    Holden William Garrison-10 weeks old, Springfield Township, MI **

    Friends of family state that the dog is a Pit bull Mix a Catahoula Hound mixed with Pit Bull.

    Logan Shepard, 4 years old, Riverview, Florida **

    Jonathon Quarles Jr, 7 months old, Dayton, Ohio. **

    Joel Chirieleison, 6 years old, Fanning Springs, FL **

    Deriah Solem, 22 months, ST. Charles, Mo. **

    Javon Dade, Jr, 4 years old, Goulds, FL **

    Adult fatalities by pit bull type (15):

    Christina Burleson, 43 years old, Houston, Texas. **

    Klonda S. Richey, 57 years old, Dayton, Ohio. by two Bullmastiff’s

    Nancy Newberry, 77 years old, Phoenix, AZ. **

    Dorothy Hamilton, 85 years old, Kaufman, TX **

    Petra Aguirre, 83 years old, San Antonio TX **

    Betty Clark, 75 years old, San Antonio TX **

    Katie Morrison, 20-years old, Smiths Station, AL **

    Rita Pepe, 93 years old, Branford, Conn by a rescued pit bull

    Craig Sytsma, 46 years old, Metamora, Mich.2 cane corsos and Italian Pit bull type dog.

    Jessica Dawn Norman, 33-years old, Sebring, FL

    Cindy Whisman, 59 years old, Madison Township, Ohio **

    Daniel Glass, 51 years old, Lamar, Mississippi.

    Alice Payne, 75 years old, Cave City, AR. **

    Juan Fernandez, 59 years old, Modesto, CA

    Alemeaner Dial, 83 YEARS OLD, Robeson County, N.C. **

    That’s 89% killed by attacking pit bull type dogs.

    Pit Bull type dogs are only about 6% of the entire dog population.

    Deanne Lynn Coando 40 years old, Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming

    8 year old girl, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota

    Stella Antanaitis, 91 years old, Stamford, CT, Keeshond mix **

    Bobbie Cheveallier, 85 years old, Pollock, LA

    Jose Robles, 62 Years old, Madison, NC

    Summer Sears, 4 years old, Tallassee, AL by Husky/German Shepard Cross

    Nyhiem Wilfong, 1 year old, Caldwell County, N.C. by Rottweiler. **

    89-year-old Annabell Martin, Corona, CA. by her grandson’s three Rottweilers.**

    7 years old, Logan Meyer, Hustisford, WI by a Rottweiler. **

    Non-bite fatalities:

    Carlos Eligio Trevina – 54 y.o. – Idaho Falls ID ** – [Jan 9] – Died of a heart attack immediately after breaking up a fight between his seven pit bulls / pit mixes

    *******************************************************************

    33 People dead by dog attack in 2013.

    Pit bull type dogs killed thirty of them. sixteen of the twenty-nine dead are children.

    Stars indicate people killed by a ‘family’ pit bull – ones that had been raised and cherished as an indoor pet, ‘never showed aggression before’, and knew the victim.

    Child fatalities by pit bull type dog (16):

    Christian Gormanous – 4 yrs old Montgomery County, TX

    Isaiah Aguilar – 2 yrs old Sabinal, TX

    Ryan Maxwell – 7 yrs old ** Galesburg, IL.

    Dax Borchardt – 14 mos old ** Walworth, WI.

    Monica Laminack – 21 mos old ** Ellabelle, GA.

    Tyler Jett – 7 yrs old Callaway, FL.

    Jordyn Arndt – 4 yrs old ** Prairie City, IA.

    Beau Rutledge – 2 yrs old ** Fulton County, GA.

    Ayden Evans- 5 yrs old ** Jessieville, AR.

    Nephi Selu – 6 yrs old ** Union City, CA.

    Arianna Jolee Merrbach – 5 yrs old Effingham, SC.

    Daniel (surname as yet not revealed) – 2 yrs old (Gilbert, Arizona) **

    Samuel Eli Zamudio – 2 yrs old** Colton, CA

    Jordan Ryan– 5 yrs old Baker city, Oregon

    Levi Watson-Bradford-4 years old** White County, Arkansas

    Jah’niyah White – 2 years old ** Chicago, Ill

    Adult fatalities by pit bull type (13):

    Betty Todd – 65 yrs old ** Hodges, SC

    Elsie Grace – 91 yrs old ** Hemet, CA

    Claudia Gallardo – 38 yrs old Stockton, CA.

    Pamela Devitt – 63 yrs old Littlerock, CA.

    Carlton Freeman – 80 yrs old Harleyville, SC.

    Linda Oliver – 63 yrs old Dayton, TX.

    James Harding – 62 yrs old -Baltimore, MD

    chased into traffic by two attacking pit bulls

    Juan Campos – 96 yrs old Katy, Texas.

    Terry Douglass 56 years old. **Baltimore, MD

    Katherine Atkins-25 years old ** Kernersville, NC

    Nga Woodhead-65 years old Spanaway, WA.

    Joan Kappen, 75 years old Hot Springs Ark

    Michal Nelson, 41 years old Valencia County, New Mexico **

    (1 non-pit type killing) [Rachel Honabarger – 35 yrs old – mauled to death by her own GSD mix] Coshocton, OH.

    (1 husky-mix killing, unknown if the other half of the dog was pit bull) [Jordan Lee Reed – 5 yrs old] Kotzebue, AK

    (1 Shiba Inu killing) Mia Gibson – age 3 months, of Gibson, OH – mauled to death by family Shiba Inu.

    Three of the pit bull type dogs were BULL mastiffs, ie 40% pit-fighting bulldog.

    If 27 of 33 dead were killed by pit bull attack, that’s 82% dead by pit attack, 9% dead by ‘molosser’, 3% by some kind of GSD mix, 3% by a husky + possibly pit mix, 3% by Shiba Inu.

    If you count the pit-mix mastiffs as pit bull types, that’s 91% killed by attacking pit bull types. Pit types are only about 6% of the entire dog population.

    The man who ran into traffic kept pit bulls himself. He knew perfectly well what the two stranger pit bulls that were chasing him would do if they caught him, so he preferred to risk a swift death by oncoming car.

    534 maimed by pit type dogs 2013 (as of November.28).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And thousands, if not more, thousands of “near misses”. So many people are ‘pre-attack’ and manage to escape harm by themselves or with other people helping. There must be tens of thousands of ‘incidents’ if we also count the (unreported) near misses, attacks by pit bulls, rotts , dangerous dogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In North America, from 1982-2013, Pit Bull breeds and mixes have seriously attacked 2,990 humans that resulted in 1,777 maimings and 275 deaths.

    The bullmastiff is a Pit bull type dog with the same genetic makeup and danger of a pit bull.

    The Bullmastiff was a cross of 40% Old English Bulldog or pit bull type dog and 60% English Mastiff

    In North America, from 1982-2013, Bullmastiffs have been responsible for 105 serious attacks on humans, resulting in 61 maimings and 15 deaths.
    In North America from 1982-2013, Rottweilers were responsible for 514 attacks on humans, resulting in 81 deaths.

    Rottweiler mixes were responsible for 30 attacks on humans, resulting in 4 deaths
    ********************************************************************************
    The following is a list of the top 10 dog breeds involved in dog attacks in the U.S. and Canada involving humans from September 1982 to December 31, 2013, based on a larger table compiled by Merritt Clifton, former editor of Animal People, an animal rights charity/news group. Clifton now is the editor of Animals 24-7.

    A Bullmastiff is considered a pit bull type dog and a pit bull mix between a pit bull and a mastiff and is 40% pit bull.

    Breed ****** Attacks doing bodily harm ****** Maimed ****** Deaths
    1. Pit bull **********2792 ***********************677 **********263
    2. Rottweiler *******514 ************************294 **********81
    3. Bull Mastiff ******105 ************************61 ***********15
    4. German Shepherd 102 **********************63 ***********15
    5. Wolf Hybrid ******85 *************************49 ***********19
    6. Akita **************68 ************************50 ************8
    7. Boxer *************62 ************************29 ************7
    8. Chow *************58 ************************39 ************7
    9. Pit bull/Rottweiler mix 50 ********************15 ************15
    10.Labrador ********50 *************************39 ************3

    The report states that the numbers are compiled from press accounts dating to 1982. It only includes attacks by dogs of clearly identified breed type or ancestry, as designated by animal control officers or others with evident expertise, which have been kept as pets.

    All accounts are cross-checked by date, location and identity of the victim, according to the report.
    Attacks by police dogs, guard dogs and dogs trained specifically to fight are not included in the report.
    ********************************************************************************
    About 31,400 dogs attacked about 61,500 other animals in the U.S. in 2013, killing 43,500 and seriously injuring 18,100.

    The animals killed included about 12,000 dogs, 8,000 cats, 6,000 hooved animals, and 17,000 other small domestic animals, primarily poultry.
    The seriously injured included about 12,400 dogs, 4,000 cats, and 1,700 hooved animals. Few small mammals and poultry survived reported dog attacks.

    Pit bulls inflicted 99% of the total fatal attacks on other animals (43,000); 96% of the fatal attacks on other dogs (11,520); 95% of the fatal attacks on livestock (5,700) and on small mammals and poultry (16,150); and 94% of the fatal attacks on cats (11,280).

    About 30,000 pit bulls were involved in attacks on other animals, many of them killing multiple other animals.
    There are about 3.2 million pit bulls in the U.S. at any given time, according to the annual Animal24-7 surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption via online classified ads.

    Thus in 2013 about one pit bull in 107 killed or seriously injured another animal, compared with about one dog in 50,000 of other breeds.
    Nationally, fatal and disfiguring attacks by dogs from shelters and rescues have exploded from zero in the first 90 years of the 20th century to 80 since 2010, including 58 by pit bulls, along with 22 fatal & disfiguring attacks by other shelter dogs, mostly Rottweilers & bull mastiffs.

    Altogether, 33 U.S. shelter dogs have participated in killing people since 2010, including 24 pit bulls, seven bull mastiffs, and two Rottweilers.
    The only dogs rehomed from U.S. shelters to kill anyone before 2000 were two wolf hybrids, rehomed in 1988 and 1989, respectively.
    ********************************************************************************
    Dog Attack Deaths and Maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to May.25, 2013.
    By compiling U.S. and Canadian press accounts between 1982 and 2013, Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, shows the breeds most responsible for serious injury and death.

    Study highlights
    Pit bull type dogs make up only 6% of all dogs in the USA.
    The combination of Pit Bulls, rottweilers, their close mixes and wolf hybrids and other Pit Bull Type Dogs:

    84% of attacks that induce bodily harm.

    75% of attacks to children.

    87% of attack to adults.

    72% of attacks that result in fatalities.

    80% that result in maiming
    ********************************************************************************

    Merritt Clifton Editor Of Animals24-7:
    I have logged fatal & disfiguring dog attacks in the U.S. and Canada since September 1982.

    Of the 5,131 dogs involved in fatal and disfiguring attacks on humans occurring in the U.S. & Canada since September 1982, 3,558 (68%) were pit bulls; 559 were Rottweilers; 4,396 (85%) were of related molosser breeds, including pit bulls, Rottweilers, mastiffs, bull mastiffs, boxers, and their mixes.

    Of the 574 human fatalities, 305 were killed by pit bulls; 88 were killed by Rottweilers; 437 (75%) were killed by molosser breeds. Of the 3,229 people who were disfigured, 2,208 (68%) were disfigured by pit bulls; 329 were disfigured by Rottweilers; 2,687 (84%) were disfigured by molosser breeds.

    Pit bulls–exclusive of their use in dogfighting–also inflict more than 70 times as many fatal and disfiguring injuries on other pets and livestock as on humans, a pattern unique to the pit bull class.

    Fatal and disfiguring attacks by dogs from shelters and rescues have exploded from zero in the first 90 years of the 20th century to 80 in the past four years, including 58 by pit bulls, along with 22 fatal & disfiguring attacks by other shelter dogs, mostly Rottweilers & bull mastiffs.

    The only dogs rehomed from U.S. shelters to kill anyone, ever, before 2000 were two wolf hybrids in 1988 and 1989. 33 U.S. shelter dogs & one U.K. shelter dog have participated in killing people since 2010, including 24 pit bulls, seven bull mastiffs, and two Rottweilers.

    Surveys of dogs offered for sale or adoption indicate that pit bulls and pit mixes are together less than 7% of the U.S. dog population; molosser breeds, all combined, are 9%.

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  4. Truly may you have blessings of healing completely and may the neighbor’s new pit bull puppy get squashed by a car before it hurts anyone.

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  5. I want to thank you for sharing your story, best wishes on your recovery. Everyone is living with this blight on public safety, but for people who are confined to a wheelchair, this risk is even worse. I hope more of you surviving victims can gather your voices and make a noise for change.

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