Way to go, Kyle Dyer.
For those of you unfamiliar with her name, Ms. Dyer is a news anchor on one of my local TV stations here in Colorado. A few weeks ago, she was bitten in the face by an eighty-five pound Argentine Mastiff named Max — live and on the air.
This was no little nip either. She has already had two surgeries, including a graft from her lower lip to replace tissue missing from her upper lip, and more work may need to be done as she continues to heal.
I wasn’t watching the newscast when the incident happened and I refuse to be a voyeur and look up the video online, but my understanding is that the bite happened when she was bending down to kiss Max toward the end of an interview about his rescue from a frozen lake.
While Ms. Dyer may have shown poor judgment in trying to kiss a dog she didn’t know, and that was in an unfamiliar environment and undoubtedly nervous, the way she has responded since has been truly admirable. She recently gave interviews to the Denver Post and Good Morning America in which she said:
We all think we know how to pet a dog, but we don't. You know, I don't, obviously. By the end of that interview, it was just a fluke. I didn't see anything that I felt threatened [by]. I didn't realize that I was threatening [the dog]. It just happened … it could have been so much worse. Not once was I afraid or scared. Yeah, it hurt, but having a baby hurt more.
After the bite, Max had to undergo a ten day quarantine at the Denver Animal Shelter — standard procedure to make sure he couldn’t have infected Ms. Dyer with rabies, and to determine that he doesn’t have a history of aggression. In response to criticism aimed at her regarding his mandatory detention, Ms. Dyer responded:
I never felt any ill toward Max … the dog went and did his time, as the city says, and I'm glad he's back with his family because that must have been a really hard 24 hours for that family to go through that, so I'm glad they've got their dog back. It was just an accident.
When asked about the kindness of the viewers and supporters who have sent her many cards and letters, she responded, "When I go back to work, I'll blow kisses with my fabulous lips."
Kyle Dyer’s willingness to be accountable for the bite and her positive response in its aftermath is impressive and inspiring. I’ll say it again — way to go.
Dr. Jennifer Coates
Image: Screenshot of Max on KUSA