Toddler killed by dog laid to rest

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 8, 2005

It didn’t seem real.

Dozens of people stood in the cold rain Friday at the Chesapeake Memorial Gardens cemetery and looked at the small, white casket, wiping away tears and raindrops.

No one could fathom that the coffin contained a small boy who only days before had been full of life, spreading love. It wasn’t fair that he was gone. It wasn’t right that a family who’d hardly gotten the chance to say hello now had to bid a tragic farewell.

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Last Monday, Jonathan Martin, 2, was killed by a pit bull mix at his family’s Whaleyville home. On Friday, his friends and family tried to make sense of it all.

&uot;A lot of us ask the question, ‘Why?’&uot; said Todd Hodges, pastor of the Bethel Assembly of God. &uot;We don’t understand, but God, we do know that you have everything under control. We thank you for the memories. No one can take that away.&uot;

As photos of the small boy stared out from next to the casket, Hodges discussed Jonathan’s new home.

&uot;We know where he is,&uot; he said. &uot;He’s with you (God), and I pray for peace and comfort. Jesus is holding him. He’s embracing him. Jonathan is alive in heaven today. He’s there. This little guy showed a lot of love.&uot;

A CD player played, &uot;Jesus Loves the Little Children,&uot; &uot;He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,&uot; and &uot;You are My Sunshine.&uot;

&uot;Jonathan was an active little boy,&uot; Hodges said. &uot;He was gorgeous. He loved to talk on the phone. He loved money. He loved to eat; he loved Popsicles and ice cream. I couldn’t believe this when I heard this, but he loved to brush his teeth.

&uot;He loved his keys, his cars, his trucks, his tractors. Something that I loved about him is that he looked out for his little brother Connor. He took care of him. He protected him. He always looked out for him.&uot;

Under and outside the tent, tears and rain continued to fall.