The number of dogs at this year's Independence Day Parade in Kenai was unbelievable. This became even clearer to me when I was bitten by one as I walked through the crowd.
When my family first arrived at the parade I had my husband hold our 1-year-old son while I looked for some friends. On my return, I walked by a couple with their two dogs, one an older German shepherd. A dog owner myself, I never thought anything of people bringing their animals to enjoy the summer events, but I take a different view now.
When I walked by the dog, it attacked me with no warning or provocation. The dog tore a hole in my outfit and left a single puncture wound in my upper leg. The couple with the dog felt awful about the incident and apologized for the their dog they had never known their pet to behave this way before.
After the bite, the wound had not started to bleed yet, and the couple convinced me that the dog had only pinched my leg. Considering the torn clothing I should have realized sooner they were wrong, but I was shaken and scared and took their word for it.
Now I have a medical bill for the emergency room visit I made after the parade, a doctor bill from later as the wound became infected, a ruined outfit, and an incomplete police report (my biggest mistake not asking their names). For the future, I will bear a scar as a reminder that dogs do not belong in public crowds.
I will not bring my dog to public events in the future and hope others will think before they do. You might think, "My dog would never do that." That is exactly what this couple said: "He has never done this before. ... He is an old police dog, he is trained to be around people. ... He plays with kids all the time."
I am just glad it was me and not my son or another child that was bitten. I plead with dog owners to be more responsible.
Leave your dogs at home!
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