Friday started out pretty well for Anne Riel.
She was given a customer service award at the Home Depot where she’s worked as a greeter and sales associate for nearly a year.
Then, half an hour before her shift was to end, she greeted an elderly woman who was pushing a cart carrying a small dog.
“I petted her dog and as I slightly bent my head towards the dog, the Shih Tzu leaped out and bit me in the face,” said Riel, 39.
“He literally jumped up and bit my nose off. It was bleeding everywhere,” she said.
Co-workers rushed to her aid.
But the dog’s owner, Riel said, tried to bolt.
“She never stopped to see if I was OK,” she said.
“If the ambulance lady hadn’t told her to wait for police, she was leaving as if nothing happened.”
Ottawa Paramedics arrived within five minutes and treated Riel.
“She had a skin tear and penetration of the left nostril,” said superintendent of operations Garth Tourangeau.
Riel was taken to the Ottawa Hospital where plastic surgeons were called in.
“They sewed it together with seven stitches,” Riel said.
“There’s a big chunk missing off the front of my nose.”
Riel said she’ll need at least three more surgeries – and after the first one, she’s not happy.
“The five or six freezing needles, it was like hell,” she said. “The pain – childbirth was nothing compared to that pain.”
Riel said she’s furious with the dog’s owner.
“She gets to sit at home and get away with it while I’m in so much pain,” she said.
Riel meets with bylaw officers on Tuesday and she wants the Shih Tzu put down.
She’s just glad her four-year-old daughter, Gabrielle, wasn’t the one petting the dog.
“If that was my little girl, she’d have no face left,” she said.
The matter is “under investigation by bylaw,” said city spokesman Barre Campbell.
Riel returns to work Monday and she’s anxious to see her customers.
“I just like it there,” she said.
“At least (the dog) didn’t ruin my smile.”