When I first sat down to interview Ryan Rodriguez, a firefighter with the Reedley Fire Department, on the afternoon of March 1, I hadn't noticed them. 

It wasn't until we had been talking for a few minutes that I happened to glance over at his arms. 

There they were; two large scars that wrapped around each arm and stretched horizontally across from one arm, directly to the other.

"Wait, Ryan," I said, "I'm sorry to interrupt, but I need to ask you a question, what happened?" I told him as I pointed to his arms. 

"I was attacked by our family dog," he said. "I was 13."

Ryan, now in his 30s, said the attack happened to him during a hot summer in July. Doctors believed the heat had affected the dog's brain.  

"Most of the time people don't remember attacks," he added. "I do though, I remember everything from the beginning to the end."

I asked Ryan how he felt about dogs following that incident. He said, "I still like dogs," and smiled.

We continued talking about the fire department and the types of calls they run. Ryan told me about his wife, his children, and how he fulfilled his desire to become a firefighter. He said he is a Reedley native and really enjoys helping his community. 

I was surprised when he told me he had no ill feelings toward dogs. I know everyone handles trauma differently, and when Ryan told me he decided he would not let the actions of one dog determine his feelings for the rest of loving and kind dogs who are out in the world today, that gave me hope. 

To see the full story, subscribe to our print or e-edition. For more information, please call The Reedley Exponent at 559-638-2244.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.