An elderley man in Hsinchu County on Friday morning died on his way to a temple after tripping on his dog, dropping a teapot and puncturing his right carotid artery on the shards, the Hsinchu County Police Department said on Saturday.
The 84-year-old, surnamed Chang (張), had taken in the dog, named Kuzo, about five years ago, and usually kept it leashed in front of the house, the department said.
Police said footage from surveillance cameras showed Chang walking between 5am and 6am on Friday, carrying tea and incense to an Earth God temple.
Kuzo was off the leash and the temple is less that 100m from Chang’s house, police said.
According to the footage, Chang tripped over Kuzo, as the dog kept running around his feet.
Chang fell onto a pottery shard, which pierced his neck, police said, adding that by the time his carer found him and called emergency services, it was too late.
Police said that Chang apparently did not train Kuzo as a pet, but rather as a guard dog.
Chang was movement impaired — as is his wife — and they lived with a carer in the countryside, police said, adding that their sons had passed away.
Family members said that they did not blame Kuzo, but chalked the incident up to fate.
They said they hoped that the public or media would not make a big deal of the situation, which would only add to the family’s woes.