Remember dear little Louise, an eight-year-old, nine-pound Brussels Griffon, who sustained a “vicious” attack by another dog in the Washington Square Dog Run? This happened in early January, and afterwards, Louise was rushed into emergency surgery. She lives in Philadelphia with her owner-guardian, Natalie. They were visiting NYC when the attack occurred. Natalie contacted WSP Blog recently with an update:
I just wanted to update you on the story. After many weeks of treatment Louise is having another surgery this week – this time to remove her eye. We tried everything to save it, but it’s just not doing well. And she has lost sight in it.
It’s been an incredibly costly process – not to mention loss of work and trauma. It pains us that we never found the dog owner.
But I thank you for bringing this story to people’s attention.
That is sad news. In January, Natalie wrote: “I’m trying to track down the dog that attacked her. It was a shepherd mix with a large mole above its eye. Another woman at the park that day who owned a Brussels Griffon named Peggy Olson seemed to know this dog.”
It is curious that the dog’s owner-guardian was never found. Was this a regular in the Dog Run? Did no one else see it happen? Does anyone know Peggy Olson? (Pictured at bottom. Great name.)
Tips from the Washington Square Park Dog Run:
In the event something like this does happen, Eileen from the Washington Square Park Dog Run Association provided some suggestions for those who use the Run:
We are so very sorry that this happened and as noted step 2 will be to post flyers in the run to see if we can find the dog/owner. (Step 1 was to post to our email list. We have hundreds of subscribers, which would seem to encompass many of the regulars but in reality thousands of people use the run.)
As you noted the community is self-policing, and the Parks Enforcement Officers are there to enforce the rules. So it is up to the people in the run to notify the PEP if they see a problem such as an aggressive dog, a walker with too many dogs or an owner who has no control over his/her dog, ie an accident waiting to happen. However, a fight or attack can happen so quickly, and Natalie mentioned this was unprovoked, so there would have been nothing to see or report ahead of time.
After the attack, the owners should exchange information and work out between themselves how to handle the situation financially. It is understandable that the owners of the dogs would be completely freaked out and perhaps unable to think clearly, be attending to their dog and not aware of what the other owner is doing or otherwise not focused on the other owner, so a tip for your readers is that a Good Samaritan witness in the run could step up and make sure to get the contact information for both owners, ESPECIALLY if an owner is trying to leave the run without assuming responsibility for the actions of their dog.
Sometimes people don’t like to get involved, but certainly if it was you and your dog in the situation you would very much appreciate someone else taking the time and effort to try to get that information and/or take photos if one of the owners is trying to run out. You can take a photo with your phone from yards away, unobtrusively. In general our community is wonderful, and it is unfortunate that we have yet to find a witness or the owner of the other dog. Our hearts go out to Natalie and Louise and wish them a speedy recovery.
Wishing the best for Natalie and Louise going forward! She looks like a strong gal!
Photos courtesy of Natalie Hope MacDonald