A Fort St. John man attacked by two pit bulls has regained some feeling in his hands and can move his fingers.

Robin Elgie, 66, is recovering from his seventh surgery in the past three weeks.

The two dogs rushed into Elgie's home on Christmas Day and attacked him. They ripped up his arms and hands and kept mauling him until RCMP arrived and shot the dogs.

Elgie's daughter, Shirley, said Edmonton doctors have been transplanting skin and muscle tissue from her father's legs and torso onto his arms.

"Oh, my God, it's such a huge relief," she said. "Because that was such a huge fear for us - that he would lose his hands and that he wouldn't be able to recover ... because he had such poor circulation in his hands to begin with.

"If he even just has use of his hands, that would be much more positive than what we originally thought."

Elgie said her father spent his life as a heavy duty mechanic, and is an avid fisherman and hunter.

The ordeal has been hard on the whole family, she said.

"The very first day that I saw him, it was so, so hard, just to see him in pain. I've never in my entire life seen my dad cry, and he was in so much pain.

"I was just so worried," she said. "So, finding out these last few days that he may regain use of his hands is such a big relief."

Elgie said her father has promised to take his 14-year-old grandson on a hunting and fishing trip.

She now hopes he can one day keep that promise.