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When my dog lunged at my face, I fell down the stairs. He seemed fine, but a moment later he went for my face.
I pulled back and fell down half a flight of steep stairs.
Bitten children, the most common victims, often grow up to be afraid of dogs.
Bites affect people who work with dogs: boarding kennel operators and pet-sitters, trainers, rescue group volunteers, and veterinary staff.
Dodger had been anxious enough when he arrived five years ago to wear down a path in the back yard within three days. Exercise was never lacking, as we frequently went to fenced, off-leash dog parks.
It created a fear I don't think I have ever dealt with.
Three months before that fateful night, my 42-pound, 9-year-old English setter had bitten me three times in two seconds; he left six wounds on my forearm under a sweatshirt after I petted him on his back. He had a thorough medical work up, and went on the anti-anxiety medication clomipramine after no physical cause for his behavior change was found.
I called in a certified trainer, a woman highly experienced in dog aggression.
Sherman was euthanized."I will never forget the sounds of his attack and my child screaming," she said.
"He taught me that some animals are wired wrong and cannot be fixed, just like some people. Sherman taught me that euthanasia of a severely anxious animal is relief of suffering as much as euthanasia for a physical problem is relief of suffering.
I have no doubt that ending his life was the right thing to do.