Mark, I want to tell about a remarkable dog I never met or saw in life. She died years before I was born. Peggy was my dad’s childhood friend and my grandmother told me her story. both my grandmother and my dad and others who knew Peggy have died, so I will tell about Peggy. She was a tiny rat terrier(10 lbs or so), white with a black head and ears that stood straight up. She grew up with my dad in rural West Virginia and they were inseperable. He taught her endless tricks and took her everywhere he went. Until the day he left on the train for the Army during WWll. The family (Peggy too) saw my dad off at the train station. As the train vanished into the distance Peggy sat on a railroad tie between the rails staring down the horizon at the dissappearing train. And refused to leave. My grandmother had to carry her home. She instantly ran away and resumed her vigil on the tracks. My grandmother retreived her many times but she always escaped and returned to her railroad tie. Grandma gave up and took food and water to the station. The railroad workers also put out treats for her. Many tried to make friends with her and she ignored them all, waiting for my dad on her railroad tie.

She sat there for days, months, for almost two years until the night she was hit and killed by a train. My grandmother had taken pictures of her on the railroad. they were eerie, spooky black and white images of a tiny dog on a railroad tie in the middle of the tracks. My grandma snapped the pictures from behing Peggy as she stared down the tracks. She did not react in any way to my grandmother, did not move, did not waiver. I could not see her face, just the back of her little black head with ears straight up and straining forward to hear the train. My dad would get choked up whenever he talked about Peggy, even over half a century since she had turned to dust. Once he pulled something out of his pocket to show me. It was one of Peggy’s old collars with a license labeled “Wetzel Co Wva 1936” He had carried the collar for over 5 decades.

Teresa from AZ