Scott Hardie | October 15, 2003
This news story is the very definition of grisly, so don't read it if you are easily grossed out. From the Tampa Tribune:

Oct 15, 2003 - TAMPA - Six-year-old Dontavius Bryant went to sleep Sunday night with Chauka, his 5 1/2-week-old puppy his aunt gave him two weeks ago.

When Dontavius woke up Monday morning, he saw blood in his bed and looked at his hands. Chauka, a mix of chow and pit bull, had chewed four fingertips down to the second knuckle of the boy's left hand.

``My brother told me to look at my hand,'' said Dontavius, sitting in a wheelchair Tuesday afternoon during a news conference at St. Joseph's Children's Hospital. His left hand was wrapped in white gauze.

``I looked at it, and it was bleeding,'' he said.

Dontavius, who is right- handed, didn't feel the dog biting his fingers because an accident a year ago caused numbness in his left hand.

Dontavius was hit by a pickup truck in October while trying to cross East Columbus Drive, according to police reports. He was heading home after playing football in a church parking lot across the street. He darted into the road and was hit by the pickup, which didn't stop to help him, according to police reports.

The accident left him partially paralyzed on his left side, said his mother, Shawn Dewberry.

Asked by reporters if he felt any pain or was scared when he woke up Monday morning, he said no.

His mother was.

Dewberry woke up to take her older children to school, saw Dontavius' hand and started screaming.

``When I woke up, four of his fingers were off. It was a lot of blood,'' she said. ``He went to sleep with 10 fingers, woke up with six.''

Dewberry rushed Dontavius to St. Joseph's Children's Hospital.

Dewberry said her son underwent reconstructive surgery at St. Joseph's. She said doctors used skin from his stomach to cover his damaged fingers.

Chauka was taken by Hillsborough County Animal Control and euthanized. A necropsy determined he had chewed the child's fingers.

Dewberry said Dontavius didn't wash his hands after dinner Sunday, and Chauka licked his fingers before both went to bed.

Chauka will be the last dog Dontavius will have, his mother said.

``I don't want more dogs,'' Dewberry said. ``We're going to stick to fish, to birds. No pets like dogs.''

He will still be able to play video games, one of his passions. Dontavius, a student at Potter Elementary, enjoys playing his Nintendo video game. He was playing at the hospital.

``I'll be OK. I can still play video games with one hand,'' he said.

The boy could be released from St. Joseph's as soon as today, and he already has plans for when he returns home.

``I want to go outside and play ... and watch TV,'' he said.

Scott Hardie | October 15, 2003
I guess I don't have any point to make by posting this. I just felt sorry for this unlucky little kid. I hope he doesn't trip on the controller cord for his video game and break something.

Anna Gregoline | October 15, 2003
Dude. That IS gruesome. I understand why they euthanized the dog, but you can't really blame the animal either - sounds like he was just gnawing on the boy, and wasn't punished or yelled at in any way cause the boy couldn't feel it. So he kept chewing. You can't expect an animal to conceptualize that he was hurting the kid.

Jackie Mason | October 15, 2003
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