FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A man from northeastern British Columbia is in good spirits despite knowing he could lose his arm following a horrific dog attack, says a family friend.
Robin Elgie, 66, remained in intensive care in an Edmonton hospital one week after a Christmas Day attack in Fort St. John that mangled both of his arms and injured his girlfriend, Wendy Lee Baker.
Family friend Kim Babcock said doctors are waiting to see if blood flow can be restored to Elgie’s damaged limbs.
"His one arm is really quite bad — his left one — and he knows he could lose it," said Babcock.
"He’s not angry. He just says: ‘We’re so lucky, we’re so lucky.
If (Wendy) Lee had been by herself, they could have killed her. He’s just, he’s an amazing person."
RCMP Cpl. Dave Tyreman said officers rushed to Elgie’s trailer home as Baker, 51, frantically reported two large dogs had chased their cat inside, then severely bitten her before attacking Elgie.
"So at that time, you know, (the officers) tried everything that they could to distract the dogs, to draw their attention away, but they still kept attacking this man," said Tyreman.
"At that point they felt they had no other alternative but to use lethal force."
One dog was shot at the scene, but the other was injured and escaped, although it was tracked and destroyed a short time later.
Elgie was airlifted to Edmonton while Baker spent Christmas night in hospital before being released.
Babcock said she launched a GoFundMe campaign, initially to cover the expected costs of helping Baker join Elgie in Edmonton and also to clean and repair the damaged home.
"They cleaned up the trailer and the outside of the house. They had it all steamed because it was, it was terrible. It was a mess," she said.
"They threw out some things that were soaked in blood and they just cleaned it up."
The online fundraiser was posted Wednesday and had surpassed its $10,000 goal by early Thursday, although Babcock said the campaign will continue.
"I’m so excited for them, that they won’t have to worry about paying the rent because they don’t have a lot," said Babcock, who owns the Fort St. John contracting company where Elgie is employed.
It’s nice that they won’t have to worry about that because Robin is such a soft-hearted guy. He would give whatever he could to anybody, he’s just that kind of a man. Whether he could afford it or not, if somebody needed something he would do all he could to help them."
Babcock said Baker met with RCMP on Thursday to give a statement while officers worked to trace the dogs to their owner and determine what prompted the attack.