Watching your child in agony, knowing there is nothing you can do to relieve him of his anguish, is one of the worst feelings any mother can ever suffer. The sentiment of Connie Clarke, who yesterday evening looked on helplessly as a dog sank its teeth into her 11–year–old son’s leg, dragging the boy as it did.
Clarke told Barbados TODAY this afternoon that it was around 6:30 p.m. when her son Zende was returning home from a nearby shop. As he opened the gate to the house, an Akita from a neighbouring lot jumped their fence, targeting the young boy.
In an effort to get away from the dog, Zende said he exited the gate and began running, but he fell, and the dog caught up with him, and immediately chomped on his leg.
“I was screaming so that the owner would come and get the dog off me, but maybe they thought I was just playing in the gap,” the Queen’s College student recounted. “Then my Mummy and my sister came and were hitting the dog, but it won’t let go.” When it finally did release Zende’s left leg, it went for his left foot instead.
“It pulled my foot and started to shake it, and drag me. Then it grabbed my hand.”
When Zende’s mother and sister Ifetayo arrived on the scene, despite their best efforts, the dog at first refused to unclench Zende’s leg. Fourteen–year–old Ifetayo, who suffered a few scratches herself, and an asthma attack after the ordeal, said that in spite of feeling dizzy as she hit the dog on its head with a brick, she knew she had to do something or else her brother might die.
The Lester Vauhan Secondary student added: “That dog scared me; his eyes were red . . . but I had to try hard . . . anything I could to get the dog away from [Zende]. I couldn’t breathe probably; I thought my brother would die; I thought I would pass out . . . . I was just thinking about helping my brother.”
The matter was reported to the police, and, about 45 minutes later, Zende was on his way to the Queen Elizabeth by ambulance.
The student, who is now recovering at his Holder’s Terrace, St James home, suffered no broken bones, but lacerations to both knees, his right arm, left leg and foot, with an extremely deep wound between the big toe and the second.
There are concerns about having the wound stitched because of the possibility of infection. If infected, Zende could lose his big toe.
Though he remains in high spirits, the boy said he was suffering pains in the neck and fingers as well. He is scheduled to return to the QEH on tomorrow for further consultation.
Zende’s mother told Barbados TODAY that the dog’s owner was reported to be in Trinidad, and that though it was said the dog had never attacked anyone before, she however found that since taking up residence in the neighbourhood in late August, the dog was “always aggressive”. The mother added that the dog, which was normally loose inside the fenced lot that separates her house from her neighbour’s, never had to be provoked to react.
The distraught mother said: “My son didn’t do anything for the dog to do this to him. Had he done something to provoke the dog, I would understand, but nothing at all. That is how the dog normally behaves. Anytime you pass there, it is going to bark and try to jump over . . . .
Timothy Worrell, the dog’s caretaker, was not at home when a Barbados TODAY team visited his residence this afternoon, but he said, by telephone, that his lawyer had advised him not to comment on the matter. He, nevertheless noted the dog would be put to sleep.
Worrell called Barbados TODAY later this afternoon to say the dog it was “indeed euthanized”. (KC)