Published January 30, 2008
| Newscorp Australian Papers
A little Australian boy's face was horribly scarred by the family dog - but his mother vowed to keep the pet, blaming the attack on her son.
Two-year-old Noah Newbold is lucky to have the sight in his left eye after being mauled by his family's mastiff-staffordshire cross.
Deep cuts and scratches cover the left side of his face.
But, the toddler's mother, Alicia Cottier, said she was keeping the dog despite the attack because it had been provoked by her son pulling the dog's ears.
"People are telling me I should shoot the dog, and as much as I love my son to death, I believe Noah was annoying her. I love the dog and she's part of the family," Cottier said.
Noah is nursing a range of painful injuries after being bitten on Monday night at his home at Booral in the Hunter Valley.
Police said no charges would be filed for the attack because it occured at the owner's home.
With a large cut on his eyelid, and puncture marks on his cheeks and chin, the toddler told The Daily Telegraph his pet dog "bited me."
As the child hugged and kissed the dog yesterday, Cottier said the attack was not the dog's fault.
"It's not like the dog picked him up and shook him or anything, she just snapped at him for pulling on her ears," she said.
"She's a good dog, I've never had any problems with her before and I don't think it's her fault."
Young Noah agreed.
"I love Cassey," Noah said.
Paramedics who dressed the boy's wounds said he was lucky to escape with so few injuries, given his size compared with the dog.
Until Monday night, Cottier said Noah and Cassey played together like best friends.
But one too many tugs of the dog's ears, according to Cottier, was enough to set her off.
"Noah was lying all over her and he started pulling her ears. I told him not to or she'd get cranky," Cottier said.
But Noah persisted.
"Normally when she (Cassey) has had enough, she walks away from him but this time she snapped at him and she's bitten him on the face," Cottier said.
Noah was covered in blood and crying hysterically when Ms Cottier pulled him away from the dog and dialed triple-0.
"There was blood everywhere, and he was screaming," she said.
Ambulance officers from the Hunter Westpac Rescue Helicopter attended to Noah and deemed him "the luckiest boy alive".
Lower Hunter police inspector Glenn Blain said the dog's fate was in the hands of its owner.
"It happened at the house where the dog lives so no action will be taken," he said.