Stephanie Schrimshire remembers the Rottweiler lunging at her and knocking her to the ground.
Her first thought was “Damn it, this is going to interrupt my run.” Then she saw the blood - and the owner trying, for what seemed an eternity, to get the dog to let go of her left ankle.
“She kept pulling it back, but the dog kept lunging and lunging and lunging,” Schrimshire said from her hospital bed Tuesday.
Schrimshire, 53, who teaches French and Spanish at North Central High School, was bitten on the front of the ankle by the 2-year-old Rottweiler Sunday night as she was jogging around the pond at Lincoln Park.
Monica Hulubei is the owner of the dog. Sunday her 16-year-old daughter was walking the 60-pound dog, when it lunged on its retractable leash and bit Schrimshire.
Schrimshire has been a jogger for 28 years. This is not her first encounter with a dog - a German Shepherd nipped her 15 years ago - but this was by far the most terrifying and painful encounter.
“I saw the dog. I saw it was on a leash. Next thing I know, I’m on the ground and dog was gnawing my leg,” she said.
Witnesses to the attack took Schrimshire to Sacred Heart Medical Center, where plastic surgery was performed to repair the injury. Hospital officials said Tuesday she is in satisfactory condition but likely would remain hospitalized through the week.
“Part of my leg is gone,” the South Hill resident said, “but luckily the dog didn’t damage the muscles or tendons.”
The dog also attacked City Animal Shelter officer Shane Presley when he went to Hulubei’s home on East 14th to pick up the animal.
“It broke its chain and went after him,” said Gail Mackie, executive director of the shelter, where the dog is being held.
Mackie said the same dog was cited as “potentially dangerous” last Aug. 20 because it reportedly went after a jogger in front of Hulubei’s home. There was no physical contact, but the dog “was menacing the jogger,” Mackie said.
The dog has been impounded three times for running loose, and the animal shelter has received eight written complaints about the dog from letter carriers. Three formal complaints about the dog were filed by letter carriers last May, July and August, she said.
But Hulubei said the reason the dog was reported was because it was “not on the leash a few times,” and not because it was menacing anyone. Hulubei said her daughter told her that the dog “saw this jogger coming toward her and thought the jogger was a threat. She’s a very mild dog,”
Hulubei said she was devastated by the incident. “I hope I get my dog back,” Hulubei said. “Next time we’ll use a muzzle.”
Mackie said Hulubei has three options: obtain a dangerous dog license, which means keeping the dog caged in a locked pen, and, when it’s out, leashed and muzzled; have the dog put to sleep; or, try to win the case in court.
Mackie said people who own dogs that have a tendency to bite should contact the shelter, and “we’ll refer them to any number of dog training schools in town.”
Schrimshire, who is missing her students’ finals week, said she shudders to think what might have happened had the dog gone for her neck or attacked a child.
“From my perspective, the dog should be put to sleep,” she said.
Hulubei also was cited by a city code enforcement officer three weeks ago after being accused of renting a garage or other unsafe structure to a person or family.