Puppy rescued from train track, frigid air; gets new home, name
By Thomas Spencer -- The Birmingham News
January 14, 2010, 8:34AM
Track inspector for CSX railroad Gary McLean found this puppy frozen to the tracks in last weekend's cold snap. The puppy, now named Track, has found a home with a dog lover in Bessemer.
One near victim of the cold is now happy and warm and residing in Bessemer.
Last Saturday, Gary McLean, a track inspector for CSX Railroad, found and rescued a tiny shivering puppy who'd become frozen to the train tracks.
It was 7:30 a.m. and the temperature was about 14 degrees. McClean, a resi dent of the Trussville-Argo area, was riding in a rail mounted truck near Caro lina Avenue looking for any obstacles in advance of a train that would be headed down that track about an hour later.
He heard something go bump on the track, stopped and looked back, but saw nothing. He turned forward and, ahead of him, he saw a tiny ball of fur on the tracks. McLean is accustomed to encountering dead dogs along the tracks, but as he got closer, he saw the little ball of fur moving.
"It was big time shivering," he said. "I felt so sorry for him."
Apparently, the 5-inch-tall mutt had gotten wet in a nearby ditch. When he tried to jump the 7-inch-tall rail, he got stuck and his icy fur froze to the track.
McLean tried applying warm water and lifting him off. That didn't work. So he took a knife and carefully cut him off the track.
If the train had come, the dog would never have been able to set himself free, McLean said.
McLean took pictures of the puppy and sent them to his wife, Lois. The McLean's already have three dogs and couldn't adopt another. So they turned to the Internet to find the dog a home.
She posted the picture on Facebook and the story found its way to the blog of ABC 33/40 meteorologist James Spann. The e-mails started pouring in.
Sorting through the offers, the McLeans decided to give the dog to Terry Walls of Bessemer.
"He is doing great," Walls said as the puppy she's named Track chewed on her slipper.
"Track had a manly ring to it," she said.
Walls estimated the puppy is 7 or 8 weeks old. It has a full set of sharp teeth and has German Shepherd and possibly some husky in his ancestry.