LIVERMORE FALLS, Maine — An 18-month-old boy is doing well and is not expected to have any long-term difficulties from a dog bite Saturday, his grandmother Destiny Enman said Monday.
Malaki, the family pet of five years, was an American bulldog and husky mix. It was not a pit bull-wolf hybrid, Enman said.
Livermore Falls police and the town’s animal control officer, Sue Metzger, are still investigating the case. They are working with the Androscoggin County district attorney’s office on the matter, Livermore Falls police Chief Ernest Steward Jr. said Monday.
Enman explained what happened during the incident at her Route 17 home in order to clear up some facts that she says were not correctly reported by police to the Sun Journal.
Her grandson, of whom she has permanent custody, was walking out of his bedroom while the dog was walking up the hallway, she said. She heard crying and came running out of the nearby bathroom and saw the dog was on top of the child.
Enman said she grabbed the dog with her right hand and put her left hand in the dog’s mouth so he would bite her instead of her grandson.
She pushed the dog into the bathroom and shut him inside.
Family members scooped up the child and put pressure on the gash on the child’s head to stop the bleeding while another one called 911, she said.
The child was bitten on the top of the head by the animal, which produced a gash from the dog’s upper teeth and another on his forehead just below the hairline from its lower teeth, she said.
The boy and his grandmother were taken by a NorthStar EMS ambulance to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston for stitches and treatment, Enman said.
Neither of them needed reconstructive surgery, she said.
Enman received eight stitches in one gash on her forearm and two stitches in the second gash, she said.
“They did put my grandson in surgery so it would be less traumatic, if he was sedated when he received stitches,” she said.
The doctor said he didn’t count how many stitches he put into the child to close the gashes, she said.
When Enman was released from hospital care, she went up to the operating room to be with her grandson.
Both were released from the hospital by 5:30 p.m.
“The surgeon said he looked great,” she said. “Everything was going to heal up great, and there would be no long-term damage.”
The dog was euthanized and brought to the state to be tested for rabies.
The animal coroner called the family’s residence on Monday to tell them the dog was clear of rabies.
The dog was registered in Farmington, and was up-to-date on all his shots. The family had moved out of state and had just moved back to Livermore Falls, Enman said.
“The dog has no prior history,” she said. “This was out of the clear blue.”
Her husband was bitten by a stray dog on Thursday. He brought the dog up on their porch to give him some food, she said. While the dog was eating, he attempted to pet the animal and it bit him.
Her husband was changing his bandage at the same time Malaki bit the child. She doesn’t know if that was what set her dog off, she said.
In the meantime, her grandson is doing excellent, she said.
“This kid is so resilient,” Enman said. “He acts like nothing happened. He is not afraid of the other dogs.”
The family has three other dogs, she said.
“I feel horrible about what happened, because I never thought a family pet would do that.”