By Mike Schuh

FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ) — An 87-year-old man in Frederick was in the process of cleaning up after the holidays when tragedy struck.

As Mike Schuh reports, his own dog was to blame.

“We’re all just in a state of shock,” a Frederick resident said.

At a truck company, Eugene Smith answered to the name “Smittie.” He was a man profiled at 85 for still driving a milk truck.

Now at 87 years old, he was mauled by his pit bull while taking down Christmas ornaments.

“At times the dog would climb up in bed with him and sleep with him in bed at night,” said. “He loved that dog, yeah he liked t he dog… he loved animals.”

Animal control says the dog is an 84-pound neutered male that bit Smith on his head, neck and arms.

He had just adopted the dog in May.

“Oh he loved animals,” his neighbor said.

Neighbor, Paul Thomas, says the dog got nothing, but love.

“Mr. Smith is such a kindhearted individual,” the neighbor said. “It’s just a plain shock… he’s a wonderful man.”

Co-workers are trying to make sense of what happened.

“He used to take dog biscuits with him around to the farms and feed the animals,” his co-worker said.

“This is just not something we’d ever expected,” a co-worker said. “Not ever in a million years.”

Smith died at a nearby hospital.

The dog was later euthanized.

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