A beloved beagle who was hit by a train managed to hobble home with a broken leg after being missing for 10 days.
Two-year-old Ronnie was so spooked by fireworks that he ran out of his owner’s garden in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
Owner Jo Wackwett was working from home at the time, but her partner Grant noticed the dog had jumped over the garden gate.
Stewardess Jo feared the worst when a train driver reported hitting a dog that matched his description.
“Ronnie isn’t normally scared of fireworks but there was a particularly loud bang and my partner Grant saw it climb over our gate which was quite an effort as it’s quite high,” she said.
“As soon as I found out he had escaped I posted on social media and was contacted by a train driver who saw Ronnie on the tracks and thought his train had hit him as he was going around a bend.
“It happened near our local High Brooms station and when I sent him a photo of Ronnie he was sure it was the dog he had seen.
“The train driver was devastated but I came to terms with what had happened after the phone call.
“With no more sightings of Ronnie we assumed the worst and told our daughter he was never coming home.
“We were all absolutely heartbroken and mourning the loss of Ronnie.”
But after 10 days, a friend called Jo to break her the good news – they spotted an abused Ronnie at a local park and followed him home to Jo’s house.
Realizing it was the missing dog, the person put a note in Jo’s mailbox saying they had taken Ronnie to the vet.
Reunited, Jo said: “I sat on the floor and he put his head on my shoulder for a proper cuddle and he left it there for a few minutes.
“He was thin, covered in ugly cuts and his leg was badly broken, but he was alive and that was all that mattered.”
Ronnie was treated for a broken leg at Anderson Abercromby, a veterinary practice in Warnham.
Surgeon Federico Piccinno said: “Ronnie was extremely thin when he was admitted to the practice and he could not use or weight his left hind leg.
“He also had several wounds on his body that looked like friction burns. X-rays were taken showing the leg was broken in multiple places.”
Federico said Ronnie’s injuries were caused by a low to medium energy impact, making it likely the poor pup suffered “a graze from a train”.
“He could also have been injured if he jumped off the train and fell at the last minute,” he said.
“His other wounds were very similar to burns or abrasions that might have been caused by overhead debris from train tracks.”
Federico was concerned about operating on Ronnie as his injury was a few days old and his bones were healing in a way that would make surgery difficult.
Instead of the usual metal plate, the surgeon instead used an external fixator, a metal frame, to realign Ronnie’s bones.
“This was held in place for about 12 weeks,” said Federico, “Ronnie handled it very well.
“He was able to recover at home but only allowed limited exercise on a leash so he couldn’t run around too much as he is a fairly energetic dog.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2023/02/28/kent-beagle-limps-home-10-days-after-being-hit-by-train-18364434/ Kent: Beagle hobbles home 10 days after being hit by a train