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An unexpected danger walking the dog

An unexpected danger walking the dog

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An unexpected danger walking the dog

by michdwy on 5/21/2010 at 11:01 AM in Unexpected dangers

In a nearbouring town last week a beautiful teenage girl was killed trying to rescue her dog from the railroad. Her dog was unharmed. This caused me to have nightmares for a couple of nights.

The reason for this was that several years ago, when I had a lovely small ex-racer lurcher(a whippet mix), I took my caravan (trailer pulled by my car) to go touring in Nottinghamshire, England. After arriving at the site, I took my dog for a walk from the village and found a footpath going across fields. I had heard high-speed locomotives and I soon reached the railroad. There was a wooden style to climb and the path went straight across. There was a clear sign which said the railroad was the mainline (between Scotland and the North of England and King's Cross in London). It advised strict caution, to look both ways and listen, also pointing out that the locomotives travelled at 125mph. I climbed the style, but Tigger, on the leash was hesitant. The reason was the steps of the style were covered in chicken wire to avoid slipping and this must have hurt her pads. So I picked her up, thankful she was not a deerhound lurcher and obeying the instructions, crossed to the other side, then followed the footpath around to the village.

I thought the above would be ideal for the early morning toilet walk. So next day, Tigger was as usual ferreting about looking for some unfortunate creature to chase and as I neared the style I whistled her up. She came flying immediately, but to my horror (Presumably to avoid the wire covered steps)instead of the usual coming to me to be put on the leash, she jumped straight over the style, landing in the middle of the railroad. She then went into a play stance, front legs on the floor, probably pleased about jumping over. I knew immediately she wanted to play and if I called her, she would probably tease me by running a bit this way and then running back just out of reach. Typical teasing behaviour. So realising the possible danger but also a need to grab her quickly, I shot over the style too, without looking or listening. Immediately there was a hooter and glancing behind me there was the locomomotive, almost upon me. I grabbed the dog and threw myself and her towards the otherside of the railroad. I clearly remember whilst I was in the air the thought flashed through my mind, am I jumping the right way? I did not know if our trains ran like our cars on the left side of the road. They could just have easily run on the right. Fortunately my guess was correct and as we fell on the ground (which probably saved us from being dragged into the windstream) the long train thundered past at terrific speed. It seemed to be only inches away from bits of us.

I have never been so shaken in my life. We got to the other side and walked on the path (Tigger now on the leash) back down the side of the railroad towards the road which crossed it.. I saw that the level crossing with gates and lights and hooters was closed for cars and they were building up in both directions. As we got there another express came but going at about 10mph not 125. I realised it was probably my fault and thought of all the people, probably going to work in London, being late because of me and my dog! When this train had slowly gone, we waited for another to come the other way still trying to imitate a snail. Then the roads cleared and all the traffic moved off but there was a small van hurtling up the road and it stopped as it came to and two workmen got out, clad in reflective jackets. I had on a red coat and Tigger also a whippet red coat ( which is what the driver had reported). The two workmen looked at me a bit incredulously and asked if I had been involved in an incident on the railroad. When I said I had, sorry! They were most relieved and said they were pleased for us but also for themselves because they had come to look for bits of us. The driver thought we must have been hit or dragged under and we were certainly dead. The police also came and they too were surprisingly understanding, but I felt ashamed for causing all the trouble, especially for the driver. It still comes to haunt me from time to time

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