The owners of a ‘miracle dog’ had just landed back in England from a holiday when they received the shocking news that their beloved Shar Pei had been hit by a train and was critically injured. Amy and Reece Parkinson, from Aspull in Wigan, rushed out of the airport as quickly as they could to get to the emergency vet in Leigh where Reggie was being kept on June 18.
‘Mr Crinkles’, as he is known, was staying at Amy’s father’s house whilst they were away in Spain and had managed to escape the garden and go onto the train tracks behind where he lives in Hart Common, Westhoughton. Reggie had severed his tail, had dozens of lacerations to his head and body, as well as various fractures and dislocations to his limbs.
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“There were questions we had to answer as to whether we would have to put him down as we didn’t want to make him suffer unnecessary pain,” Mrs Parkinson said.
“We went to the vets the next morning where he was in a little trolley. The vet prepared us before we went into the room.
“When he heard Reece’s voice he started to get up out of his trolley and was crying for him. The vet said that he could not believe he was stable and that it was a miracle.
“They believed that the train must have hit him just on the left side. By some miracle he has no spinal damage and no damage to his organs.”
Reggie had to have his left back leg amputated due to the damage and there is consideration for another future surgery on his fractured pelvis once he has built up some strength. He is now home, much to the delight of Amy and Reece’s two-year-old daughter Willow – who was ‘inconsolable’ when she realized it was only their Frenchie and Jack Russell cross Grem waiting to greet them.
Reggie is now on the road to recovery and building strength every day eating and drinking – even walking on just three legs. There will be ongoing costs for hydrotherapy to help Reggie rehabilitate as well, which is one of the reasons the family started a GoFundMe page to help with costs.
Reggie was born with a very rare neurological condition called Mega Oesophagus which meant that he could not be insured. Therefore they don’t have insurance to cover this life saving treatment.
This condition also means that he had to eat his food in an upright position which requires the help of a special chair. The family have already forked out more than £4,000 for the surgery to amputate his leg and there are more costs in the pipeline.
Amy and Reece already have costs of running a family with Willow and six-month-old Pearl. So the 30-year-old solicitor and 31-year-old design engineer were blown away when they saw how much the fundraiser had generated over the course of three days – more than £5,000.
“It was really overwhelming to see all those donations,” she said. “My brother told me to give the fundraiser a go because Reggie deserves it and the rest of what we don’t make we could just put on credit cards.
“If we got a couple of hundred pounds it would have been better than nothing. We could not believe it when we looked at how much we already have.
“Even people that we don’t know donated that we did not expect. I am tearing up just seeing it.”
The family are also grateful to the Network Rail worker that discovered him near Hindley Railway Station and helped rescue Reggie from the side of the railway. The Shar Pei had traveled almost two miles to get to where he was – and Jaime Griffiths saw on a Facebook post that a dog was near the station.
“I got a spare lead and decided to go down there to see if we could help it in any way as I was concerned it would go onto the Open line,” Mr Griffiths said. “Once we got there, we were told by a lady that the dog was injured and they were struggling to get to him as they had no access due to the gates being locked, then Bancroft kennels arrived to help.
“The difficult part for the Bancroft Kennel team was recovering Reggie, as the only possible access at that time was through a gate at the end of the platform. I knew that this wasn’t the safest option, so I contacted Network Rail’s Route Control team and explained to them what the situation was.
“I decided to deal with the incident lineside.I knew there was an access gate across the road which ran alongside the station, so i directed the lady from Bancroft Kennels through three access gates to Reggie’s position, this meant the van ended up no more than approximately eight meters from Reggie which given Reggie’s state, time appeared critical for him. Reggie was then put into the van and taken to a local vets.”
The future for a short period was not very clear, but now the Parkinson family believe there is a bright road ahead. They are hoping that he can continue to make strides in his road to recovery, paw by paw.
To donate to Reggie’s GoFundMe page, click here.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.