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2 year-old dog attack victim back home, family speaks for first time

The road to recovery continues for two year old Arial Harrison.

Arial is back home, but still on a long journey ahead filled with surgeries and more medical bills.

For the first time, since the attack, her mother, Kendra Canen, is speaking to the media.

Canen says she is faced with a life-long fear of fitting in.

Spend just two minutes with two-year-old Arial and you'll realize how precious life is.

“She knows what happened. A dog licked her and she said ‘dog bite, dog bite.’ she knows that a dog bit her,” said Canen.

Two minutes is the same amount of time it took five months ago for Arial’s life to change.

The scars on her face are a reminder of that terrifying April afternoon.

Canen was at work when she got the news.

The pitbull, a dog belonging to her grandmother’s neighbor, was off the leash and attacked both her and her older brother.

“When I got there she was just laying on the couch, her face was all ripped apart and blood was everywhere,” said Canen.

Doctors saved her life that night.

But it would be three and a half months before Arial would be able to come home.

On June 30 she was able to do that.

But life for Arial has looked different.

Both of her ears ripped off and skin grafts cover her scalp.

Canen now fears her daughter will be looked at differently.

“It has been a very long six months. And to get her to where she needs to be and people understand her and what happened to her. My kid shouldn’t have to be afraid to go in public anywhere. She’s not afraid but people stare at her. But I just tell her she is beautiful and nothing is wrong with her and keep her up and not down here,” said Canen.

With many surgeries still ahead and medical bills piling up, the family will be hosting a benefit Saturday in Goshen.

The scars will serve as reminder for little Arial as her mom now warns others that life can take a turn in no time.

“Take better care of your animals. There are leash laws for a reason. People need to understand what dogs can do especially to children who don’t have the power to get away,” said Canen.

As for the dog owners, the two men charged in connection with the attack pleaded not guilty and are due back in court for trial on September 19.

If you would like more details on that benefit CLICK HERE.

You can also make a donation by stopping in to any Teacher’s Credit Union.

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