The baby was taken to Waikato Hospital (pictured) on Sunday night after being attacked by the family dog. Image / Google
The mother of a newborn baby boy who suffered fatal injuries when he was attacked by the family dog says she wishes she could turn back time.
The young mother, from Hamilton, has posted a poignant message online; acknowledging her devastating loss and the events of the past few days.
Sharing a photo of herself relaxing outside on a sunny day, sitting on the grass and looking towards a river, she shared the words:
“If only I could go back to this day with (you) still in my tummy, my son.”
She ended the sentence with a sad face.
Close friends and family have offered their condolences and support to the young woman.
One wrote: “I have no words, my friend. We are all trying to carry your loss for you, but I guess you won’t even feel it as the weight is so heavy.
“We love you … and we got you. Hang in there and breathe.”
The young mum also shared a photo of her little boy, who is said to have been less than a day old when the attack happened on Sunday night.
In the photo, the little boy is pictured asleep with his hands up near his cheeks in small fists.
Police yesterday confirmed the baby boy had died overnight after initially being taken to Waikato Hospital in a critical condition.
Emergency services were called to a house in the suburb of Enderley about 7pm on Sunday.
Witnesses describe harrowing scenes
Police confirmed later that an infant had been bitten by a dog.
Neighbours who rushed to help the mother and her baby have described upsetting scenes; with one woman telling Stuff it appeared the animal had attempted to bury the infant after attacking it.
Two brothers, Takilesi and Junior Afamasaga, told Newshub yesterday they ran over after hearing the woman’s screams for help – and were not prepared for the scene in front of them.
“[She] was just trying to keep the baby awake, trying to keep it crying.
“She asked me for a cloth – so I took off my hoodie and gave it straight to her,” one of the brothers said.
It is understood the young mum was in the toilet when the incident happened.
The child’s death has been referred to a coroner.
Animal behaviourist Mark Vette told NewstalkZB people needed to remember dogs did not naturally learn who their extended family is – so they needed to be taught and exposed to them during the early stages.
That was particularly important in the case of introducing a baby or children, for example, over a matter of a few months.
“Don’t leave your baby alone in the early stages, at all.
“When the baby comes into the house, it’s a new being. It behaves very differently from adults. It can be very unusual and a bit frightening or threatening to hear baby crying – for the dog,” he said.
“So that assessment should be made very early on – that your dog is really safe around your baby.”