For Lady Gaga’s dog walker, Ryan Fischer, recovering after getting shot has presented some unique challenges. Fischer opened up about his experiences since the incident, and how unexpected fame has played a strange role.
“‘You’re Ryan! You got shot. You were shot! Where were you shot? Where’d they shoot you?'” Fischer began a lengthy, candid message he posted to Instagram on Monday. “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,” he continued, alongside a photo of himself sitting serenely on a beach.
The incident, which occurred outside of Fischer’s Los Angeles home, involved Fischer being shot while walking Gaga’s three dogs — Gustav, Koji and Asia. Gustav and Koji were taken at the site, but later returned to authorities.
Fischer ended up hospitalized, spending several days in the ICU before being discharged in late March. He ended up requiring surgery to repair his lung, which had been severely damaged in the shooting.
For Fischer, becoming the subject of headlines and news coverage due to his trauma has resulted in some unusual interactions with good-intentioned people.
“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,” he wrote. “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,” he continued. “It just hasn’t always been easy to navigate as I continue to find myself.”
Fischer went on to explain that he feels adrift in life, as he isn’t yet ready to care for dogs again, which has been his primary occupation for a decade. As he recovers, he feels he is “without purpose” and that has been “the hardest part of this chapter.”
Ultimately, Fischer says he’s going to recalibrate his focus in life, for the time being, and begin to explore the world around him.
“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?” he wrote. “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,” he concluded. “To a purposeful journey!”
A post shared by Saint Rocque (@saintrocque)
In April, five people were arrested in connection with the shooting and dognapping, on charges that include attempted murder and robbery. All five pleaded not guilty.
As for Gaga — who was in Italy filming her upcoming movie, House of Gucci, when Fischer was shot and her dogs were stolen — the performer recently returned to her life in Los Angeles, and is spending time with her French bulldogs, who were safely returned.
“Lady Gaga is so thrilled to have her dogs back,” a source told ET earlier this month. “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.”
For more on the horrifying incident, see the video below.
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