Lady GaGa’s dog walker is struggling with his unexpected viral fame!
Ryan Fischer, who made headlines after being caught in the middle of a dognapping that involved him getting shot, took to Instagram on Monday to open up about how hard it’s been to relive the incident over and over again when well-meaning strangers approach him to talk about it.
Alongside a photo of himself sitting pensively on a beach, his lengthy message began:
“‘You’re Ryan! You got shot. You were shot! Where were you shot? Where’d they shoot you?’ Over the past few weeks, after charges were announced and leveled against those who stole the boys and attempted to murder me, I continue to find myself on the receiving end of several conversations like this… With no arrow drawn to my wounds and no sign that reads, ‘I’m Ryan! I was shot,’ people still come up to me on my morning walks to let me know that I, in fact, had been shot. And that my given name continues to be Ryan.”
As we reported, Fischer was shot outside of his El Lay home while walking the superstar’s three dogs — Gustav, Koji, and Asia — in February. Gustav and Koji were taken at the site but later returned to police. Fischer, meanwhile, spent several days in the ICU and continued to be hospitalized until late March. He ended up undergoing surgery to repair his lung, which had collapsed due to damage from the shooting.
Since the incident went down, Fischer has been targeted by another group: good-intentioned people who want to reach out and give their support. Yet while Ryan knows these people mean well, he says their sentiments make him relive the painful experience. He explained:
“It’s a strange thing to be known for a trauma that I’m still healing from. People want to reach out, share in my pain for a moment, and then walk away, leaving me to relive it again. It’s not intentional; it comes from a kindness and compassion that I welcome…. Everyone’s support and well wishes have been incredible, and I am so humbled by every kind word and prayer that have come my way. It just hasn’t always been easy to navigate as I continue to find myself.”
Overall, the incident has rocked Ryan’s life to the point where he isn’t ready to care for dogs again, which has been his primary occupation for a decade.
And because he now feels he is “without purpose,” Ryan says he’s going to shift his focus in life and perhaps even use his viral fame for good. He continued:
“So what do I do now during this necessary limbo? Do I sit and do nothing, or do I choose to cultivate another aspect of self that gives purpose? It’s funny, I set up this account years ago with a concept in mind: What would it look like if a gay Saint – specifically Saint Rocque, patron Saint of Dogs, Bachelors, and the Plague – were reincarnated and had to navigate modern celebrity culture? What would he do and say to get his message across? Would he get a van and explore this country, write about prison reform and healing, and comment about a late-stage capitalistic society through performance? Who knows, but I’m dying to find out.”
“Not like get shot, dying, but I am excited to share in my bumbling exploration and storytelling with you along the way. To a purposeful journey!”
We wish him the best!
As for GaGa, who was in Italy filming her upcoming House of Gucci movie at the time of the incident, she’s back in El Lay and spending time with her French bulldogs. A source recently told ET:
“Lady Gaga is so thrilled to have her dogs back. She was worried sick about them and was scared that they were traumatized from the dognapping. She has gone above and beyond to make sure they are OK and has gotten them expert care to get them to feel safe again.”
Last month, five people were arrested in connection with the shooting and dognapping, on charges including attempted murder and robbery. All five pleaded not guilty.
Our hearts are with Ryan as he continues to heal from this horrifying encounter. Read his full note (below).
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