A Guardian Angel for Star

Thanks to a guardian angel and a series of fortunate circumstances, Norwegian Ch. Otrek's Northern Star, a seven year old Pembroke bitch, is still alive.

On Friday, 9th September 2011, fate took a dramatic turn. Rita Tilley Wilberg (Siggen's Corgis) and her five Pembrokes were in the backyard of their house when visitors called. All the dogs ran at once to the front of the house to greet the guests.

Afterwards, when Rita wanted to put the Corgis into the dog house, she noticed that one was missing. She then caught a glimpse of Star running at full speed into the woods. In the excitement of the visitors, she had probably been bitten and had panicked.

For three hours Rita drove around looking for her Corgi - helas, in vain. She called the police but they had not received any message about a stray dog.

Then 30 minutes later, the police called back asking Rita not to go into hysterics. They had been informed by the National Rail that a dog had been hit by a train between Sørumsand and Blaker, and they believed it could be the missing Corgi.

At first, it appeared that the train did not stop after bumping into Star. But the conductor, who got in touch with Rita, told her that the engine driver had realized that he had hit something and stopped the train. They found the dog between the rails and, not sure whether the dog was dead or still alive, had laid it in the ditch beside the track to prevent it from being hit again by another train.

Two railway workers were sent to the scene of the accident, but they did not dare to approach the dog for fear they might be attacked. After Rita had assured them over her mobile phone that Star would never hurt them, one of the workers approached the Corgi and confirmed that she was still alive, but was very cold and unresponsive.

After they had explained to Rita their whereabouts, Rita drove to Blaker station and proceeded on foot along the tracks, bringing with her blankets and a large dog bed made of hard plastic. Actually she was not allowed to walk along the tracks on her own but she did not want to wait for the two workers to meet her. After about one kilometer a train came, she got nervous and called the men again, who showed up shortly afterwards. It appeared that they were several kilometers away from the scene of the accident. Fortunately, a train stopped and picked them up. Have you ever tried to get on a train when there is no platform? The steps are extremely high up.

Rita knew at once that Star was in a state of shock. She was covered in blood and dirt. Most of her injuries were on her left side. By sheer luck,Star had been on the right side of the track when the train hit her, for on the other side there is a steep slope down to the rushing river Glomma. Had she fallen down there, she wouldn't have stood a chance.

Soon a cargo train came and brought Rita and Star back to Blaker where Rita had left her car. She drove directly to Anders Grøndahl, a vet of the Sørum and Fet animal hospital.

Star had apparently lain at the scene of the accident for some hours. Her body temperature had fallen from 38.5 to 36° C. She was wrapped in an electric blanket and with intravenous painkillers and antibiotics she was revived. The vet worked on her for five hours. She had a fracture in her orbital cavity and a concussion; one of her paws was broken and some bone had splintered off her elbow. However, she did not appear to have suffered any internal injuries. There is no doubt that Star must have had a guardian angel watching over her.

Rita Tilley Wilberg with Star

Home again, Rita was overjoyed and deeply grateful that her exhausted and heavily medicated Corgi had survived the dramatic weekend.

Many thanks go to the police who informed Rita of the accident, and the two railway workers, Tom Rune Fossbråten and Brynjar Bakken Jøndal, who directed her to the scene of the accident and helped her bring Star back to Blaker station. And not to forget Anders Grøndahl, the vet who saved Star's life.

Today, Star is fit again except for a slight limp every now and then, but she loves to play with her two grandchildren Siggen's Imperial Touch and Stompens Proffen.

From the Norwegian Corgipost, Autumn 2011.
Translated from Norwegian by ANo with the kind permission of Rita Wilberg

This dramatic story with a happy ending made the headlines in the local Norwegian newspapers, radio and TV news.

Today, Star is quite fit again, except for a slight limp every now and then, but she loves to play with her two grandchildren Siggen's Imperial Touch and Stompens Proffen.