Dear Friends, Colleagues and Family,
Our son Benjamin is a miracle boy! He survived a
severe dog attack and we are so happy to say that
he is now doing great! His scars have healed
miraculously and he is the happy and humorous boy
he always was.
In light of Dog Bite Prevention Week, I would like
to share Benís story in hopes to save a childís
beautiful face from permanent scars and a horrible
trauma or even save a childís life.
Please read my letter and share it with friends who
have young children or dogs.
On October of 2003, our son Benjamin survived a
tragic dog attack.
He was bitten severely by a supposedly friendly
neighborhood dog (Lab - Pit Bull).
The mistake the owner made was that they tied their
dog to a white picket fence and thought it was ok
to leave Ben alone with the dog.
The owner told Ben and Benís dad that the dog was a
good dog and that it was ok for Ben to pet him.
Benís attack was totally unprovoked.
The Lab - Pit Bull does not growl or show signs
that it will bite so poor Ben had no idea that this
dog was going to attack him. The dog leaped into
Benís face, locked his jaws around both his cheeks
and shook him violently.
Fortunately, Benís dad and the dog owner were just
inside the open door of the house and were able to
stop the dog.
The bite was only 2 inches from Benís jugular vein.
Ben had to have plastic surgery with over three
hundred stitches (17 inches) causing permanent
facial scars and paralysis. Unfortunately Benís
case was one of the worst but Ben was lucky to
survive. Ben lived to tell his story in full detail
even the moment just before the dog leaped into his
face. He said the dog looked at him and then looked
over to the open door where he could hear his owner
speaking. He said he did this several times and
then suddenly latched onto his face and pulled him
down shaking him.
After almost 3 years now, Ben is doing great and
has totally overcome his tragedy mentally.
In fact Ben and his brother Austin have their very
own dog, a Cockapoo, that they both love and adore.
Yeah Ben!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ben is a miracle
If you would like to see how fragile a childís face
is and how powerful a dogs teeth are you can see
what happened to Benís face within a matter of
seconds. These images are shocking but very eye
My hope is that maybe sharing these photos will
help make us all more careful.
Here is the link: www.dogbites.zoomshare.com
Click on See Images and View Album.
Why did this dog attack Ben? After doing plenty of
research I now understand why.
This dog had no history of aggressive behavior. He
never bit anyone before and so the owner had no
idea that his dog would do such a thing. What the
owner did not realize is that he put his dog in a
situation where the dog was left feeling afraid.
He tied his dog to a fence and left him alone with
someone the dog did not know. A child can scare a
dog simply because of their height.
Many dogs can perceive a child as just another
animal - not an authority figure - and because of a
childís short height, a dog and a child meet eye to
eye which to a dog can mean that you are
challenging him. Also if a child smiles at a dog,
the dog can perceive the site of a childís teeth as
a threat. This dog attacked Ben because he was
afraid and felt trapped being tied up and unable to
get away. Unfortunately the Lab - Pit Bull did not
give Ben any warning signs.
Other breeds may show warning signs that would
allow a child to know to move away. I believe that
this lesson is the most important in dog safety
rules Ė Never leave a dog alone with a child and
teach children to never go near a dog they do not
know well, especially when the dog is tethered.
Many dog owners will tether their dogs in front of
a store leaving the dogs alone while they do their
errands. This is something that dog owners should
Children are passionate about dogs and most are not
educated to know that they should not approach a
You wouldnít have known it was Dog Bite Prevention
Week unless maybe you stopped by the post office
like my sister-in-law Kate.
Kate is a school teacher and I was hoping that she
might have learned about Dog Bite Prevention Week
But despite the fact that more than half of the
seriously injured dog bite victims are children,
schools do not teach dog safety.
It is up to parents to teach our children what they
can do and must not do around dogs. Children should
know how to read the danger signs from a dog
or what situations must always be avoided, like
going into a neighborís backyard where there is a
loose dog or dogs.
Statistics say that every year, dogs bite 4.7
million Americans and 60 percent of those affected
are children, with the most severe injuries
occurring in children younger than 10 years old
(Ben was 9), which adds up to potentially 2.8
million scars on children each year from dog bites
Children seen in the emergency room for dog bites
are more likely to have been bitten on the face,
neck and head. In fact, children under 10 receive
65 percent of the reported dog bites to the face.
Children are also 900 times as likely as letter
carriers to be attacked by dogs.
Through Benís horrible tragedy and mine, I want to
help teach children and parents the importance of
Because there are not many educational materials
available to parents, I created an educational
website with a story book that make the lessons FUN
and not scary for children. I want children to
learn to ďGET DOG SMARTĒ so that they can be more
cautious, feeling confident and safe around dogs.
Itís up to parents to take on the responsibility to
teach their children dog safety just as they teach
their children to stay away from strangers.
I would like to invite parents and children to this
new educational website - www.GetDogSmart.com
The site includes a full color story book inspired
by Benís story, told by Diggity the Dog. In this
story, Diggity takes the kids on a walk through the
neighborhood. Along the way, they encounter a
whole lot of dogs in different situations.
Diggity tells them the "do's" and "don'ts" -- right
from the doggie's mouth. The story can be read
on-line or can be printed.
There are also tips for dog owners and FUN
educational games children will love. Diggityís
story is also available as a FREE coloring book
included with Diggity the Dogís Puppet Show Book
which is available at www.PuppetShowBooks.com
This book makes a great childrenís gift and is also
a great reward for a child who has successfully
learned all the rules about dog safety.
Make Dog Bite Prevention Week a time to educate
yourself and your children and make the lessons
fun, easy and memorable!
Especially since dog bites increase during the
summer months while children are playing more outdoors.
Many adults need to learn dog safety tips too. Did
you know that you should never run from a dog?
Many people donít. You should stand still like a
tree and do not look into the dogs eyes.
Also, if you are a dog owner the website
www.GetDogSmart.com includes tips for you too. It
is important for dog owners to educate themselves
so that when children visit their homes, they are
prepared. The typical response of a dog owner whose
dog did bite is ďI didnít think my dog would ever
do that.Ē Dogs are animals and in the wrong
situation they all bite.
Dogs can also easily get spooked around children,
so itís worth spending the time to learn the facts
and take precautions.
Be safe and have a fun summer!
Thanks for taking the time to read this letter.
Please share this message to help save a child from
My best wishes to all,