Vancouver man takes loss of pinky to dog in stride

first_imgGerry Matthieu revisits the scene of a Sept. 8 attack by a dog at Greyhawk Community Park on Thursday. Matthieu lost his right pinky finger in the incident. Greeting a group of women cost Gerry Matthieu one of his fingers.Matthieu, 78, was on one of his daily outings to Greyhawk Park in the Pleasant Highlands neighborhood near his home on Sept. 8. When he lifted his hand to wave to three women walking a black Labrador mix, the leashed dog lunged at him, latching onto his thighs, knee and hand. Next thing Matthieu knew, he was lying in the grass with his pinky finger detached in the palm of his hand.“I guess he didn’t speak English,” the man said. “I was saying, ‘Good morning.’”Matthieu, who has kept a lot of dogs in his lifetime — most recently a miniature Alaskan husky — said he doesn’t want to press charges against the dog’s owner. After finding out the dog was involved in a similar incident two years ago — something its owner allegedly didn’t share with him — he agreed to give investigators information that can help build a case to have the dog labeled as dangerous.When the incident happened, the dog was being walked by three women who were visiting its owner, Matthieu said.“I’m not mad at them and I’m not mad at their dog,” he said. “These things happen.”Matthieu was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, where doctors removed what was left of his pinky finger. They bandaged bruises and scratches on his legs.The dog was initially placed on in-home quarantine after the incident. Such measures are taken to see if the animal has rabies, said Clark County Animal Control officer Bill Burrus, who is investigating the case.If a domestic animal is bitten by a rabid animal, it won’t live more than five or six days, he said. So if a dog lives through the quarantine period, it doesn’t have rabies. If it dies, it will be tested for rabies to determine if the victim will need to get a series of rabies shots. A rabies test cannot be performed on a live animal, Burrus said.last_img

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