Dog We Want to Hug: Pit Bull Who Risked Life to Pull Unconscious Owner from Path of Freight Train
An 8-year-old rescued pit bull became the rescuer when she risked her life to pull her owner off the train tracks as a freight train sped toward them.
"The engineer, the only witness, told police he saw a dog frantically pulling at a woman as he drew closer. He did everything he could. He heard a thump and thought he hit both," Rob Halpin, spokesman for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, told the Sentinel and Enterprise.
The engineer was finally able to bring the train to a stop, and expected the worst. When he got out and ran to the scene, the dog, Lilly, was covered in blood. But she was still standing there, guarding over her owner, Christine Spain. It would turn out that Spain was still unconscious, but unharmed -- saved by a dog who had come into her life three years ago as a therapy dog to help her overcome her alcoholism.
Lilly, however, was severely hurt. One of her legs was mangled, and she had pelvic fractures and internal injuries. A veterinarian had to amputate her leg, and she is under heavy sedation to help her rest, but it looks like this incredible hero will pull through. (How did she manage to stand guard over her owner when she had been through so much herself?)
David Lanteigne, Spain's son and a Boston police officer, told the newspaper, "I truly believe things happen for a reason. We found Lilly to save her life, and she returned the favor. She almost died here."
"I'm supposed to be the strong one. I'm supposed to be here for her, but she's been so great, so tough through all this that it almost feels like she's the one comforting me, being there for me and making me feel better," said Lanteigne, who couldn't hide his emotions when talking about Lilly in this video on My Fox Boston.
He said his mom was doing well with her drinking, but had been through difficult times lately. It's possible that she collapsed in that deadly spot after drinking too much.
What must have been going through Lilly's head as the train barreled toward her owner? How did this incredibly loyal dog know what would happen, or what to do? This is the stuff of Lassie tales.
At a time when pit bulls have such a horrendous reputation, it's heartening to be able to spread word of a dog like Lilly.
Lilly has a very long recovery ahead. Since she's 8 years old, she has to recover from her amputation before having surgery for her other injuries. A fund has been set up for her medical bills, which will likely run to thousands of dollars. A fund has been set up to help with the dog's medical bills.
Meanwhile, who does not want to hug and stroke this beautiful hero dog and tell her what a good, good dog she is?
"She's going to be okay. That's the main thing. This dog is my mother's life," Lanteigne said in a Fox News story.
"We've always known she was a special dog. She showed exactly what a pit bull is," he said.