I went for an early morning walk with my neighbor on November 14, 1996. This was always my favorite time of day as we shared or lives with one another. However, this morning would be different. As we turned the corner a block from our home we saw three large black dogs running loose across the street. We started walking slower and quieter hoping that we would not be detected. Suddenly, I was surrounded. Two Rottweiler’s faced me and the third Rottweiler was guarding Flora. Within seconds, one jumped and grabbed my left arm and the other my right arm. As was falling the third dog ran and bit me on my breast. I looked up at Flora and she told me to tuck and protect my face. I squeezed into a ball as one dog shook me violently by my left arm. I heard cars honking and my first thought was, “Someone is getting married and I am dying.” I soon realized that they were trying to scare the dogs away. However, I knew I would not be going home that day because even if I could get up, I would be brought back down. I prayed a simple prayer, “Lord take care of my husband and my children.” I also prayed for Flora because she would not leave my side. Suddenly, I heard a loud thud on the ground and my left arm was free. I rolled over and started to get up. A voice told me to, “Stay down! The dogs are still trying to get you.” I saw a large Rottweiler’s face staring at me through the spokes of a bicycle tire. The police and fire department showed up and blocked off the street to make it safe for emergency personnel to come and treat me. I finally had a chance to look at Frank Nielsen. Frank had been riding his bicycle to work and when he saw the dogs take me down he came to my aid. I told him, “Thanks for saving my life.” Once I was being treated a woman handed Flora a phone from the other side of the fence so she could call her husband Bob. (We didn’t have cell phones back then.) Bob came and took my house keys because my husband was four hundred miles away in training. That morning Bob would be responsible for getting my children out the door and on their way to school. Flora was going to the hospital with me because she had also been bitten while trying to get one of the dogs off of me. As I was being loaded into the ambulance I could see police standing behind barricades with their guns drawn because the dogs were still running loose. Everything seemed so surreal!
Eighteen years have passed and today I am alive and thriving. I want to thank all my friends and family who have stood by me and helped me through the years. Hug your children and hold your families close as we enter the Thanksgiving Holidays.