The dog walker who was shot by an attacker last week while caring for Lady Gaga's beloved pets expressed his gratitude on Monday for everyone's "healing support" after "a very close call with death."
Ryan Fischer, 30, was assaulted and shot in Los Angeles on Feb. 24 in an attack by two unknown suspects who seized two of the French bulldogs Fischer was walking and fled in a white Nissan Altima, according to Los Angeles police.
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Fischer shared his first comments on the ordeal in a pair of Instagram posts on Monday along with powerful photos of him in his hospital bed.
"I am still in recovery from a very close call with death and have kept myself (for the most part, I mean I am human) from the growing media story," he wrote in the second Instagram post. "I will write and say more later, but the gratitude for all the love I feel from around this planet is immense and intense. I felt your healing support! Thank you."
The two stolen dogs, named Koji and Gustav, were returned two days after the shooting by a woman who found them and brought them into the LAPD's Olympic station in Koreatown, according to the LAPD. In a tweet, LAPD said the dogs were "safely reunited with Lady Gaga representatives" and an investigation is ongoing.
The woman's identity and the location of where the dogs were found have not been released. Police have not determined if the dogs were specifically targeted or if it was a crime of opportunity, but the animals are back in the family's care.
"The dogs are happy," Lady Gaga's father, Joe Germanotta, told NBC News. "We had them checked out by the vet and everything is fine. The family is extremely happy."
Lady Gaga, who is in Italy shooting a movie, had offered a $500,000 reward for the safe return of her two dogs. Fischer said he was thankful to see them returned.
"I am humbled and grateful that attention and focus from the police were enough to get Koji and Gustav back to safety, and I know they are committed to bringing these criminals and attempted murderers to justice," Fischer wrote.
Fischer detailed how after the two dogs were abducted, the third dog he was walking, a French bulldog named Asia, served as a calming presence before first responders arrived to help.
"4 days ago, while a car sped away and blood poured from my gun shot wound, an angel trotted over and laid next to me," he wrote. "My panicked screams calmed as I looked at her, even though it registered that the blood pooling around her tiny body was my own. I cradled Asia as best I could, thanked her for all the incredible adventures we’d been on together, apologized that I couldn’t defend her brothers, and then resolved that I would still try to save them… and myself."
Fischer also expressed his gratitude for the love of family and friends, writing that his mother and brother flew to Los Angeles to be by his side and clients of his dog walking business sent pictures of their pets to him.
"All the dog videos and photos from my clients to keep my spirits up worked miracles," he wrote. "Seeing their faces light up when you said my name motivates me to keep pushing so I can play with them and see you again soon. I love you all!"
He made sure to thank the first responders and health care workers for saving him. Fischer's family said in a statement on Feb. 26 that he is expected to make a full recovery.
Fischer is also grateful for the support of Lady Gaga, who called him "a hero" on Instagram after her dogs were initially taken.
"And to Elisha, my family at Haüs and @ladygaga: your babies are back and the family is whole… we did it!" he wrote. "You have shown so much support throughout this whole crisis to both me and my family. But your support as a friend, despite your own traumatic loss from your kids, was unwavering. I love you and thank you …"
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