Experts tell us shark attacks are fairly rare.
Anthony Blanco, a 13-year-old from Northdale, never worried about them while swimming at the beach. And he certainly never thought a shark could bite him in his own neighborhood.
But that's what happened to Anthony while he played ball last week with Max, the family schnauzer. Anthony lifted his right arm to throw the ball and ended up with a hand full of tiny teeth from a sand shark's jaw hanging from a bedside shelf.
Anthony called his mother, Tricia Blanco, who came home to find blood dripping from the inch-long wound. In the furor, neither mother nor son knew what had caused the injury, although Anthony suspected the marble edge of a trophy.
It wasn't until the pair arrived home _ after visits to a physician and a plastic surgeon _ that they realized the truth: Anthony was the victim of a shark attack.
"When we got home, we noticed several teeth missing from the shark's jaw," Tricia said. "When I had to call the doctor back to see if there might have been something left in the wound he'd stitched, well, everyone just had a good laugh. We've all gotten a good chuckle out of this, and Anthony tells people he won a fight with a shark."
An X-ray revealed there were indeed teeth embedded in the knuckle of Anthony's little finger. So he took another trip to the hospital to have the teeth removed.
Perhaps feeling guilty for his part, Max the schnauzer didn't leave Anthony's side as he slept off the anesthesia.
"I didn't think anything like this would ever happen to me," Anthony said. "I think I'll find a new place to hang my shark's jaw."