Train driver Fred Krause took in the little pooch that survived two hits by his train
At first, Fred Krause of Clinton, Utah, had no idea what the pile was that he saw lying on the railroad tracks Easter Sunday night when he drove over it with his freight train. Although small, the pile could have been a sack of potatoes or a bag of trash.
“It was too late when I finally saw it was actually a small dog hunched down between the rails,” Krause, an engineer with the Utah Railway Co., tells PEOPLEPets.com. “There was just no way to stop. But he was small enough to hide between the rails and avoid being hit.”
But here is the rest of the story. After completing his 16-mile run that night, Krause turned around before 11:30 p.m. to make the trip back. He slowed down and looked for the four-legged animal when he arrived at the area where he saw it near a high school in a Salt Lake City suburb. The dog was still there.
“I got down to 15 miles per hour and was blowing the whistle but the dog started running on the tracks and there was no way to avoid hitting him,” Krause continues. “I was heartbroken but it couldn’t be helped.”
For the next 45 minutes, Krause was very upset. He feared the dog was dead and didn’t want to face it but knew in his heart he had to go see what happened.
“When I arrived back at the scene of the accident with a flashlight, I was so scared,” Krause tells PEOPLEPets.com. “I was afraid his legs had been cut off and I would have to put him down.”
But then Krause saw a moving lump of fur and realized it was the Shih Tzu.
“The dog was stunned and pee-peeing all over but he was not vicious,” recalls Krause. “I checked him out and decided he was a stray. He had overgrown fur but no major injuries, although he fell when I tried to stand him up.”
Krause quickly took him to an emergency vet in nearby Sunset, who said the dog, now called, The Little Guy, had cuts on his forehead, a routine heart murmur, an abscess on his paw from a thorn, and an eye infection. He was treated and released.
Krause took him home about 4:30 a.m. and placed him on towels with food and water in the basement away from his own Shih Tzu Milo so there would be no fights. By morning, The Little Guy, who is believed to be 10 years old, had eaten the food and finished off the water.
“He was in good shape considering what happened,” Krause says. “I took him to our own vet who did a shave down and looked him over, saying The Little Guy looked rough. But he had hope.”
Back On Track
Krause is thrilled that The Little Guy is doing better each day and now weighs about 12-1/2 lbs. He is 90 percent blind from the eye infection, but the vet believes in coming weeks that will be reduced to 50 percent.
“My wife Lori and I are leaning toward keeping The Little Guy as long as he can get along with Milo, who he has snapped at a few times,” Krause says. “We will have him neutered and maybe that will tame his aggressions.”
Krause believes that at one time, he must have had a good home and was only recently neglected.
Already, other people want to adopt the little dog if that time should come. But whether Krause can keep him, or place him in a loving home, the story has been heartwarming for the family.
“The Little Guy’s turnaround has been just amazing,” Krause says. “I could not have lived with myself had I not gone back to get him.”
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