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Tag: tracks

Dog who raced NYC train gets adopted

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You might think a collective groan would have been the reaction when a conductor informed passengers on New York’s Metro that the trip from the South Bronx to Manhattan was going to take a little longer than usual.

But when he told them the reason — that a dog was running in front of the train — they began to cheer the engineer’s decision to slow down.

The dog started racing alongside the train as it moved out of Mott Haven Junction on the North Hudson line, en route to Grand Central shortly before 11 a.m. last Tuesday.

Engineer Joseph Delia told the New York Post he slowed the train down to a crawl to avoid hitting the dog, who at one point got ahead of the lead car and twice fell between the track ties.

“She’s not a very big dog. I was worried she wouldn’t make it and get electrocuted,” Delia, a dog lover, added.

The pup made it safely to the 125th Street station in Harlem, where she ran into the arms of two waiting MTA police officers and a station worker.

Passengers cheered again as officers put her into a patrol car, the Post said.

Once in custody, the dog was named Tie by MTA workers — for all the railroad ties she ran across. Tie had a limp and was nursing her right front paw, but was wagging her tail and seemed in good spirits, said one of the MTA police officers who helped rescue her.

After five days at Animal Care & Control, she was adopted by a new family Sunday, NBC 4 in New York reported.

Animal Care & Control said it received more than 100 queries, and about 36 applications, from people wanting to adopt her.

(Photo: Meredith Daniels / New York MTA)

Cecil Williams will keep his guide dog; help pours in after they’re hit by subway train

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A blind man and his guide dog who were struck by a subway train in Manhattan Tuesday will be able to remain together — thanks to donations from members of the public touched by their story.

Cecil Williams fainted and fell on the New York City subway tracks, taking his harnessed dog, Orlando, with him.

Orlando barked for help and stayed by his side, even as the train passed over them.

In a story about the accident that aired on NBC Nightly News Tuesday night, it was reported that Orlando was slated to retire in January, and that Williams lacked the funds to continue to care for the dog afterwards, when the dog would no longer be covered by his insurance.

Since then, enough donations to their cause have been received by Guiding Eyes for the Blind to help pay for all of Orlando’s retirement expenses, and ensure that the pair’s eight-year relationship continues.

williamsand orlandoWilliams, 61, was on his way to the dentist when he fainted at the 125th Street platform. Witnesses said the dog was barking and tried to stop Williams from falling, as he is trained to do. When they both landed on the tracks, Orlando tried to rouse Williams, who was unconscious. Both lay there as a slow-moving subway train passed above them.

Nieither sustained serious injuries.

“The dog saved my life,” Williams said of his Labrador retriever. “I’m feeling amazed. I feel that God, the powers that be, have something in store from me. They didn’t take me away this time. I’m here for a reason.”

Williams, who is on insulin and other medications, was taken to a hospital, where Orlando remains at his bedside.

The Brooklyn man has been blind since 1995. Orlando, his second guide dog, “saves my life on a daily basis,” he said.

At a press conference Williams thanked everyone “for showing their humanity and peace and goodwill” by making donations to the guide dog school that trained Orlando.

“All the people who contribute and donated I think we should take our hat off to them,” he said. “There’s still good people in this world.”

(Photo: Williams and Orlando at press conference; by Carlo Allegri / REUTERS, via NBC)

Dog left tied to train tracks finds new home


A dog left tied to train tracks in California last month has found a new home.

Unlike that day last month, when he was secured to the tracks in the path of an oncoming train, he had many options to choose from.

Officials at Riverside County’s Department of Animal Services said they received more than 1,300 emails from people interested in adopting the rescued dog they dubbed Banjo. He was found by a Union Pacific crew in Mecca, where he’d been tied to the rails by a man who told authorities the dog was no longer wanted.

The 11-month-old poodle-terrier mix went home Friday with Jeff and Louisa Moore of Huntington Beach.

“He’s so beautiful isn’t he?” Louisa (above) said to her husband, holding Banjo in her arms for the first time.

Letters of interest came in from as far away as England and Puerto Rico, but animal services officials said the Moores were chosen because they constantly checked in on Banjo via e-mail and live close to the beach and a dog park.

Jeff Moore said he and his wife applied to adopt Banjo after seeing his story on the news and Facebook.

“Tonight we’re just going to go home and hang out,” Jeff told the Desert Sun in Palm Beach. “We have a big field that’s right next to our place that about a dozen of us all go out with our dogs, and they all get along really well, so it’ll be fun introducing him to all the dogs. I’m sure they’ll love him.”

Before the couple left, Jo Marie Upegui, a veterinarian technician at Coachella Valley Animal Campus, explained to them that Banjo liked tortillas and snuggling on the couch and that he feared brooms and men in uniform.

The Moores, who also have a Tibetan terrier named Lali, said they planed to create a Facebook page to keep those interested up to date on Banjo’s new life.

Banjo’s name refers to old traffic signals on rail lines. He was discovered when a westbound train crew noticed a hunched-over man walking away from the tracks, leaving the dog behind. The crew alerted dispatchers, who stopped the eastbound train coming down the tracks to which Banjo was tied.

A 78-year-old man was questioned, but not charged. He appeared confused and possibly suffering from dementia. He told investigators his family no longer wanted the dog and didn’t know what to do with him.

(Photo: Riverside County Department of Animal Services)

Man killed trying to save dog from train

A 60-year-old California man was killed while trying to keep his dog from being hit by a train.

Christopher Gray, of San Pablo, was walking his dog in Pinole Wednesday morning when he saw an Amtrak train coming down the tracks, near Pinole shores Park.

Contra Costa County Coroner’s investigators believe Gray was standing on the other set of tracks trying to hold his dog back from the oncoming train when a second Amtrak train came from behind and struck him.

The impact from the second train launched Gray into the path of the oncoming train, and he was run over, a deputy coroner said. His dog was also killed, CBS5 reported.

Gray was the second person this year to be killed by an Amtrak train in nearly the same spot.

Some crazy shih-tzu: Tiny dog takes on train

A stray shih-tzu in Utah got hit by an outbound train, and hit by it again on its return route, then was rescued and taken home by the engineer.

“I saw this little guy between the rail,” said Fred Krause, a Utah Railway engineer, “and of course and it was too late to do anything about it… It breaks your heart. But there’s nothing you can do.”

Krause’s train, on its way to Kennecott, struck the dog Sunday. On his return trip to Midvale, he encountered the dog again, ABC 4 News reported.

It was as if the dog were playing a game of chicken with the train, he said.

“I’m flashing the lights, blowing the horn, trying to get him out of the rails,” Krause said. “And he just ran right down the rails at us. I tried to slow down, got it from 20 miles per hour to 15 miles per hour when we hit, thought for sure we killed him.”

The engineer was required to keep the train moving, but when he got off work, Krause, who has a shih-tzu of his own, went back to the scene to look for the dog.

“I took my flashlight and walked down the rails and saw a heap of fur and thought this is it,” Krause said. “I shined a light on him and he turned around and looked at me.”

Krause took the dog to the vet, then brought him home.

“If he can get along with Milo (his other shih-tzu) we might keep him,” Krause said. “If we can find the original owners we’ll give him back. Or if not we’ll find a home.”

The fading future of greyhound racing

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Fifteen years ago, more than 400 people attended the national convention of the American Greyhound Track Owners Association.

This year’s convention, in Las Vegas, is expected to draw 120, the Las Vegas Sun reports — yet another sign that greyhound racing’s days are numbered.

More than half of the nation’s greyhound tracks have closed for lack of business in the past three decades, four in just the past year. 

The recession, competition from casinos, state legislatures increasing gambling taxes and public opposition to the sport have combined to threaten the future of dog racing, but the industry’s downfall can be traced to the 1980s and 1990s when state lotteries were introduced and casinos began to spread beyond Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Wagering on greyhound races in the United States declined from $3.5 billion in 1991 to $1.1 billion in 2007, according to the Association of Racing Commissioners.

The continued decline in dog racing has become even more painful for casino owners who are required to subsidize the tracks as a condition of operating casinos with slot machines.

As Roy Berger, executive vice president of the Dairyland Greyhound Park in Wisconsin, which closed last year, put it: “The product became an antique. We were an 8-track cassette store in a world of CDs.”

(Photo: American Greyhound Track Owners Association)

Dragged dog: Ugly act in a place of beauty

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A truly ugly act took place this morning in a truly beautiful place: A dog was dragged two miles to his death at the Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction.

The dog – a German shepherd, or shepherd-blue heeler mix — was found with a silver and blue rope around its neck by the chief of maintenance at the monument about 4:30 a.m., according to a park press release.

“This was an incredible act of cruelty done to a defenseless animal,” Joan Anzelmo, superintendent of the monument told The Denver Post. “It is a sickening, sickening type of crime. We are leaving no stone unturned.”

In terms of despicability, we’d have to rank it up there with the dog thrown off a bridge in Lithuania — and it’s a reminder, too, that we in America, despite all the do-gooding when it comes to dogs, have a long way to go as well when it comes to protecting animals from the depraved individuals among us.

Anzelmo said tracks left in the snow clearly show the dog initially walked behind the car, then ran and then was dragged when it couldn’t keep up with the vehicle. Once dead, it was untied from the vehicle and dumped.

She said the dog was pulled up one of the steepest hills at the monument, through two inches of snow and multiple switchbacks, and either ran or was dragged as the car climbed 1,000 feet in elevation.

draggeddogThe animal was neutered and showed no signs of previous abuse, she said. A veterinary pathologist from Colorado State University will perform a necropsy on the dog.

Anzelmo said rewards will be offered to apprehend the persons responsible, and that some tips have already come in over a tip line established as part of the investigation:  970-712-2798. Callers may remain anonymous.

“The employees of Colorado National Monument are sickened by this heinous act and are determined to find the person who committed this cruel crime,” the park press release said.

(For subsequent posts and all of our coverage of Buddy, click here.)

(Photos: National Park Service)

And theres a wonderful young beauty.