(ABC NEWS) - Move over, Lassie. A Massachusetts pit bull named Lilly took on a freight train last week to save her owner, who collapsed unconscious onto the tracks during a late-night walk in Shirley.
The 8-year-old dog used her teeth to pull Christine Spain, 54, off the tracks as the train approached. While Spain emerged unscathed, Lilly lost a leg.
The train's engineer, who didn't want to give his name, said he spotted the woman and her dog on the tracks just after midnight on May 3, according to the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston. He said he tried to stop the train in time but feared he'd hit them both. When he got out, he found that Spain was unharmed, but the train's wheels had sliced through Lilly's front right leg, which was bleeding heavily.
An animal control officer rushed Lilly to an emergency animal hospital in nearby Acton, where Spain's son, Boston Police Officer David Lanteigne, met them in the parking lot. Lanteigne said he had a feeling of dread as he got out of his car, but Lilly let him know she was OK.
"The first thing I see is just those big, beautiful eyes just looking at me, and next to her, I saw her right front paw was severely damaged," he told ABC News. "I saw her tail wagging the first time right there."