Dog own­ers were ir­re­spon­si­ble

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

On March 8, while I was walk­ing on the In­dian Head Rail Trail, be­tween Mid­dle­town Road and White Plains, near­ing Mile Post 12, two large dogs left their prop­erty and charged at me. The last thing I re­mem­ber was yelling “back, back” while I tried to call 911. I re­mem­ber talk­ing to some­one, who I thought was 911, but I later learned I had ac­tu­ally called my hus­band.

I lost my mem­ory. Ev­ery­thing that hap­pened af­ter that un­til my hus­band said he was tak­ing me to the hos­pi­tal, is lost to me. I don’t re­mem­ber walk­ing to White Plains and meet­ing my hus­band there, or driv­ing home. The first thing I re­mem­ber af­ter the dogs, is my hus­band telling me we were go­ing to the hos­pi­tal, and the pan­icked look on his face.

Af­ter ar­riv­ing at Holy Cross Hos­pi­tal, I was given a CT scan and blood work up. The ini­tial di­ag­no­sis was tran­sient global am­ne­sia. I fol­lowed up with a neu­rol­o­gist the fol­low­ing day. It ended with me hav­ing to have a MRI, EEG (elec­trodes at­tached to my head), and TCD and carotid test (sono­gram of my left and right tem­ple and neck), all done to rule out any­thing se­ri­ous. On April 5, I learned that all the tests showed that ev­ery­thing is nor­mal.

While I’m ex­tremely pleased with the test re­sults, I am equally up­set for hav­ing been put through this ex­pe­ri­ence. All be­cause an ir­re­spon­si­ble dog owner thought it was OK to let their dogs run free on their fence­less prop­erty that backs up to the trail. If that owner, for what­ever rea­son, does not have a fence on their prop­erty to con­tain their dogs, then they should stay out­side with their dogs.

The worry and an­guish that my fam­ily and I have ex­pe­ri­enced over this has been stress­ful. Ad­di­tion­ally, I have in­curred sig­nif­i­cant med­i­cal ex­penses. Last, I am now fear­ful of us­ing the trail. I have been walk­ing on the trail since 2009. It is some­thing I loved do­ing and had reached a point where I was walk­ing 9 miles, at least three times a week. It had been won­der­ful for my health. I don’t know if I will ever be able to re­turn to the trail alone, and that’s un­fair to me.

I am shar­ing my ex­pe­ri­ence in hopes that it will help dog own­ers un­der­stand the im­por­tance of be­ing re­spon­si­ble with their pets, and con­sid­er­ate of oth­ers. Please make sure your pets are con­tained on your prop­erty for the pub­lic’s safety, as well as the dog’s safety.

Shirley Perez, Wal­dorf

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