An Ottertail family whose teenage son died a month ago after an incident involving the family dog told Forum Communications that the dog did not maul the boy. The family says that 14 year old Dion Bush died after one tooth from the dog pierced a major artery.

The family has been breeding German Shepherds for years. On December 10, Dion took one of the dogs outside. He was wearing shorts and sandals at the time, and — while there were no witnesses — apparently slipped, his mother Jennifer Bush recounted to the Forum. The fall may have been enough to startle the dog. Dion died from one tooth puncture to the femoral artery. The family asked law enforcement to put the dog down after the incident, but said the dog was never aggressive before and was even friendly with strangers.

His mother described Dion as “compassionate, sweet, funny, witty.” The family has received support from classmates and strangers, but others have criticized the family for raising German Shepherds. Jennifer Bush described how a part of her died with Dion, and she has suffered from sleepless nights and nightmares since. 

The Bush family has set up a GoFundMe to help pay for the costs incurred from the loss of their son. The family can be reached at: Jennifer Bush, Box 3, Battle Lake, MN 56515.

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