A surprising armed robbery on Feb. 24, 2021, left Ryan Fischer, Lady Gaga's dog walker, hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the chest while the culprits sped off with two out of three of the singer's pets. Although the French bulldogs, Koji and Gustav, were returned unharmed to the Los Angeles police, Ryan has been in and out of the hospital battling his wounds.
The brave dog walker opened up about the incident in a series of candid social media posts, painting a full picture of what went down that tragic day and throughout his recovery afterward. Beyond thanking his supporters for their well-wishes, Ryan reserved a special place in his tribute for Gaga's third dog, Asia, who escaped her captors and returned to comfort her injured walker until medical professionals arrived.
It has been a long road to regaining health for Ryan, who was readmitted to the hospital shortly after his first recovery. So, what are the actual details of the harrowing robbery, near-deadly circumstance, and his medical situation? Here's a breakdown of the known facts.
Ryan Fischer, Lady Gaga's dog walker, was readmitted to the hospital due to lung issues.
Although Ryan enjoyed a remarkable recovery from his first round of injuries, he was shortly after readmitted to the same hospital for a new issue. On his Instagram, the dog walker explained that "recovery isn’t a straight line" and that he had to return to the hospital about a week after he left for lung issues.
"My lung had collapsed, and air was filling up my chest cavity," Ryan said of his return to the hospital. But he was adamant that this is just another step to him fully regaining control of his life after the harrowing incident that nearly took it from him in February 2021.
His last update, which came on March 29, 2021, shows him still in the hospital. With that noted (and given his speedy recovery last admittance), it's just a matter of time before Ryan can fully get back on his feet.
The pro canine handler was initially hospitalized due to wounds from the robbery.
In a candid duo of posts shared to his Instagram on Mar. 1, 2021, Ryan broke down his side of the "growing media story" so that fans could have a clear picture of what went down that day. Through the posts, he detailed the assault and general reactions after the fact but made sure to make special mention of his "guardian angel," Asia.
"Four days ago, while a car sped away and blood poured from my gunshot wound, an angel trotted over and laid next to me," Ryan led off by saying. "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."
In his second post, he thanked fans for their support, writing, "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 feel your healing support! Thank you. I am humbled and grateful that the 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. I am so appreciative of everything you continue to do."
Lady Gaga shared her appreciation for the injured "hero" at the time.
Per NBC, Gaga originally offered a $500,000 reward on Feb. 26, 2021, to whoever could bring the two dogs back to her. Beyond issuing that proclamation, she thanked her "hero," Ryan, for his efforts to protect her pets.
"I continue to love you Ryan Fischer, you risked your life to fight for our family," Gaga wrote at the time, adding, "You're forever a hero."