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Choo-choo no match for plucky Utah Shih Tzu

Photo by Michael Buckelew

Photo by Michael Buckelew

CLINTON, Utah -- "The Little Guy" is one lucky dog recovering from getting run over by a freight train -- twice.

Fred Krause of Utah Railway Company says he spotted the cream-colored Shih Tzu on the tracks Sunday in a suburb southwest of Salt Lake City, but there was no way he could stop the train before it ran over the dog.

"Most of the time, there is nothing you can do about it," said Krause, who was operating the train.

The dog, which weighs about 8 pounds, was small enough to avoid actually being hit.

Krause said he spotted the same dog on the return trip, and the second time the pup wasn't so lucky. Running on the tracks, the dog got whacked by the train's snowplow. Krause said he had slowed the train from 20 mph to 15 mph, but knew when he heard a thud that the dog had been hit this time.

Krause drove back to the site later and found the dog, which was still dazed and lying on the tracks.

"My heart went out to the little guy, and I had to go back and look. The last thing I expected was to find him alive," he said. "He looked like he had his bell rung pretty good. He was obviously in shock."

Krause took the dog to a veterinarian and now the pooch is recovering at his home in Clinton, about 30 miles north of Salt Lake City, where he and his family are nursing the dog back to health and calling him "The Little Guy."

Krause's wife, Lori, says the family already has a Shih Tzu -- 7-year-old Milo -- who is not happy that the lucky dog has found a temporary home with the Krauses. They hope to find the stray a home once he has recovered.

Lori Krause said they're also considering other names like Lucky or Bullet -- "because he has dodged a few."