EDGEWATER — A 74-year-old woman who was knocked down and mauled by a leashed dog earlier this month said she hoped to warn other senior citizens to "be careful" when walking in the neighborhood.
Nancy, who didn't want her last name used, said the May 9 incident near her home on Sheridan Road deserved to be told as a cautionary tale.
"People need to realize that when you're out walking you have to be careful," she said inside her Edgewater apartment Tuesday. "I was just lucky I could get away. If I was someone with a walker or a cane, I couldn't have [gotten away]."
Nancy said she was walking past a dog walker with two pitbull-mastiff mixes in front of Edgewater Presbyterian Church when the unmuzzled pooch lunged and latched onto her arm, ripping flesh. She then fell to the ground, smacking the back of her head on the sidewalk as the dog reportedly bit the back of her right shoulder.
"I love to walk," she said. "I decided to walk that afternoon to pick up my prescription that I didn't need for two more days. I'd never seen the dogs before."
She warned that even pets "can't be controlled" all the time, and people need to be careful their pets don't harm others.
She said a police officer across the street witnessed the attack and filed a report on her behalf.
An ambulance rushed her to Weiss Memorial Hospital, where she said she spent three or four hours getting X-rays, 30 stitches in her arm and 15 staples to close a head wound.
The retired operating room nurse said her skin and fat were hanging from her arm before it was stitched.
"It didn't bother me because I'd seen that stuff before," she said.
Nancy, a member of Epworth United Methodist Church, said she wouldn't seek compensation from the dog owners, who sent her a bouquet of flowers to say they were sorry.
Fellow church members expressed concern on Facebook shortly after the incident, and Nancy said she's received a lot of support from friends in her high rise.
"Asking for prayers for a very dear friend who was mauled by a Mastiff on Thursday at Bryn Mawr and Kenmore ... Recovering very well but still," wrote church member Bruce Greene.
"I'm not going to file charges," Nancy said. "I looked at it as an accident."