The eyes of a rescue dog & saying goodbye

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I would like to give thanks to Alex the conductor and the engineer of the Dec. 12 northbound Union Pacific train. I have seen the train stop at Selle Road for 15 years and waited for the conductor who had switched the tracks down south by the Hoot Owl to get back on the train

The reason for my thanks:

I remember the first time I saw Lilah … She was rescued on the side of the road by my now son-in-law and given a good home for years.

She was brought to me by my daughter and son-in-law on the Fourth of July two years ago where she was rescued once more. I looked into her eyes and she looked back. One of my wife’s friends said, “Boy that dog sure loves you.” The eyes of a rescue dog.

Lots of good times and good looks from that rescue dog … boy, could she eat.

Last night (Dec. 12) about 1 a.m., the northbound train that stops at the crossing waiting for crew hit the dog. She was doing what she loved to do, eating. And no northbound train was going to stop her from eating road kill on the tracks. Having six dogs she was overlooked at bed time. She was eating and happy.

The Union Pacific engineer told the conductor about the dog. The train waited as the conductor walked over one half mile down the tracks and then back to Selle Road to rescue the dog.

Debbie, my wife, woke me around 1:30 a.m. to tell me a truck was coming down our driveway.

The conductor, Alex, was being driven by a person in the Suburban. He knocked at the door and told me they had hit the lab. He said he looked into her eyes and could not leave her there.

With my coat on and with Alex and a flashlight we walked out to the barn and out to the tracks in the 20-degree night, through the barbed wire fence and into the heavy brush. Once on the side of the tracks where the train cars sat silent, we spotted the eyes of the rescue dog.

I knelt down and looked into her eyes. She was still alive. Sitting like she always does. Hurt but alive. I went back to the barn and got my old blue car drove down to the tracks where Alex was still with the rescue dog. We put her in a blanket and brought her to the warm house.

We gave Alex from Union Pacific a hug and tended to our dog. She lay on the blanket that came with her when she arrive on the Fourth of July. As the northbound train, after waiting for more than a hour, blew its horn and headed to Canada, Lilah looked at me and Debbie one last time and closed her eyes — the eyes of a rescue dog.

The fact that two men on a cold wintry night stopped a multimillion dollar train carrying a million dollar cargo, and owned by a multi-million dollar corporation — to help a rescue dog

As I woke from a sleepless night, walked by my lifeless dog, to find snow on the ground. The fact that Lilah died in a warm house on a warm blanket in the comfort of all who loved that rescue dog. Yes, Cierra, there is a Santa Clause

GREG PRATER

Sandpoint

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