Train Hits Dog in Montclair

UPDATE: We just got an email from Anne Schwartzberg, wife of the blogger mentioned below. The dog is alive.
According to a source of ours, plenty of people saw a dog on the track near Walnut Street and tried to warn authorities. But that didn’t stop the 5:45 NJ Transit train from New York hitting the animal. Joel Schwartzberg, who blogs for NJ.com, saw, snapped a picture and wrote about it here.

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90 COMMENTS

  1. How horrible! Guess animal control couldn’t come for the dog because it would have had to been trapped first.
    Poor doggy.

  2. .. and we needed to know about this right before the start of ‘Holiday’ because it’s important to inform readers about some hapless, confused, lost pet/stray that was terrified and then pulverized by a train?
    If I wasn’t addicted to this site, I’d probably never come back again..

  3. I wonder if they’ll wrap my body in a large, comfy blanket after I get hit by one of the speeding morons talking on their cell phones while driving. I’ve almost been hit several times while crossing Pine Street to get to the Bay Street station.

  4. This was, I know, a sad happenstance. In turn it triggered a banal post (the references to the presumed comfort of him and his fellow commuters before getting off the train established that part quickly enough)from an NJ.com blogger who apparently felt he had to post something no matter that he basically had nothing of substance to say. And then the Baristas used this evidence of the blogger’s literary vastation as occasion for an item of their own.
    Is there no end to this skein of blankness? Sometimes, it’s fine to have slow news days. Really. Especially in lieu of such an almost gratuitously grisly item with which to lead off the day.

  5. Nothing says MERRY CHRISTMAS like the “dog-hit-by-train” story.
    Nothing.
    Although I do prefer the Easter “Cat-eaten-by-wolf” story.
    Not to be confused with the Good Friday, “Ferret-thrown-off-the-DeCamp-Bus” story.

  6. (jimmy, unfortunately, the homeless guy is still there as the road was never plowed. Hartnett and Joe D are working with the proper department heads to find out who’s responsible… In the meantime, it’s going up to 50 degrees tomorrow so it should be easy to spot the poor soul.)

  7. Don’t worry about the homeless guy. He’s plowed in at the bottom of my driveway and I’ve been giving him warm soup in the morning on my way to work.

  8. I think I’m seriously going to throw up. This was wretchedly unnecessary. I feel the same way I did a number of Christmases ago when a man jumped off a bridge onto Route 46 and was hit by 3 SUVs. Just ill.

  9. Pardon me for referencing something that may have had meaning for fellow Montclairians who care about animals (or were on that train) instead of saying something just for the sake of being provocative. Is it really worth YOUR time to write a comment that something is personally uninteresting or banal to you? Your holidays are really ruined now because I wrote about something of interest to some (but not you)?

  10. joelscorp,
    I care about animals – I rescued a dog last weekend, and am now getting rabies shots as a result. He’s a big, old, starving, German Shepard who was taken by Bloomfield Animal Control to Bukowski after I got him into my backyard – after he bit me.
    I think the story of what I did is a hell of a lot more interesting than the one above.
    The dog is aggressive and probably will be euthanized, but at least he got to be warm and fed for a few days rather than running around loose in artic, snowy weather.

  11. Guys, guys, Joel writes for the Huffington Post. So the proper etiquette is to nod solemnly and say “tsk, tsk”.
    And thanks Joel for reminding us of what our time should be worth.

  12. Not to take away from the incident at hand (tragic), many of us are just questioning the timing of the article. Here it is Christmas Week, the economy’s in the pooper, the weather sucks, there’s bad news everywhere you look, and Baristanet leads off with a real downer of a story. I’m not asking for sunshine and lollipops all the time, I just question the timing and placement of such a story (which can probably be read in the Star-Ledger or The Montclair Times).

  13. Such a sad story, I know the author personally, he cares deeply about animals and I think there are some people who did not mind this article. While it is horribly sad, and tragic, there are people who want to know about events, good and bad. I pray this little guy survives. Perhaps donations can be made to the Dr ( perhaps Negrin) who is working on saving this dog.
    What does the original tang poohzie think?

  14. Actually, joelscorp, you probably didn’t ruin anyone’s holidays with your original post. Main;ly because wouldn’t, most of us, have even known about it if the Baristas hadn’t seen fit to, uh, “share.”.
    But you sure did start my morning off terribly with, again, a banal, cliched piece of writing. (Is there anything worse or more predictable in such a vein than comparing your ostensible comfort level to that of the poor homeless critters outside?) Based on what I’ve read, too, there are at least 20 regular posters here who write a heck of a lot better and more interestingly than you do, could take over your blogging duties tomorrow. (Including jerseygurl!) Even if you are described on NJ.com as a “prize-winning essayist.”
    And none, I’d wager, would be quite so self-defensive about criticism from what usualloy is, after all, a rather spirited sort of community forum.

  15. Mellon, I for one would love to hear about your story. I volunteer at the Bukowski shelter and heard a bit about what happened. I haven’t seen the dog, I couldn’t bear it. God bless you for what you did and for what you’re now enduring because of your kind heart.
    PS: I’m glad I can’t access the dog story from work. Things like that just do me in.

  16. To me this is the horror of the instant communication of the times. Sorry, but joelscorp seems a self centered jackass that thinks his world should rock everyone’s. If this had happened years ago, only those who were there or involved would have an all well story that tainted the holidays, or any day for that matter.
    This is not what can make things generally better; stories of random acts of kindness are much more fitting for the magic of the season.
    Stories of posturing town managers that could be recited back to the Romans or further, wanderlusting is nothing more that the hitchhiking youths of 30-40 years ago, without the odd jobs and hostiles, but instead a “sponsor”.
    What gives?
    I’ll take the irascible cather’s defense of rescuing feral cats or vegtablebrai, err..mellonbrush’s:) stray over any of this.
    Oh, and if you think it was inconvenient to close a road that couldn’t be made safe at the time, think what would have happened if a DeCramp’s (I coined that name in the 70’s) bus overturned going around one of those bends, I can hear all of you saying “at least the road was open”.

  17. Indeed! With instant communication we could be reading Twitter posts from Cathar while he takes a dump or SMS text messages from ROC while he trolls for nookie. Now that would be entertaining reading…or unbelievably boring. It depends on your perspective, I suppose.

  18. I just don’t get Twitter. Oh, I understand how it works but Facebook offers the same application and I’d rather be on Facebook than Twitter. Who wants to read people’s one-liners all day?

  19. Thanks Karen,
    I was going to call Bukowski to find out how the dog was doing, but I don’t think I could handle hearing any more bad news right now – it’s been that kind of year.
    My neighbor, blfdgirl, who also rescues dogs has a friend who was potentially interested in working with this animal. Maybe he’ll luck out and finally find a home.

  20. I’d love to see Cathar on Twitter. With 140 characters he’d be able to get in, what, seven or eight words per post?

  21. And so this dog was taken to UNION.
    UNION 30 minutes away.
    Does this make any sense? Not to me…but then neither does the forced closing of PAWS!!!

  22. I hope the doggie will be OK. I’m guessing that he was taken to the same vet in Union where I got my dog.

  23. If the dog was taken to Union it might be due to the fact that the veterinarian who works with the shelter animals has her practice in Union. I always hope for the best when I hear about such dogs but prepare for the worst. You’re a good man, Mellon!

  24. “Guess animal control couldn’t come for the dog because it would have had to been trapped first.
    Poor doggy.
    Posted by nachos | December 23, 2008 9:20 AM ”
    It was after 5pm. Clifton *does* Animal Control for Montclair during off hours…although, no one has ever been able to say what they *do*.

  25. 140 characters isn’t even the ante where I call from.
    And hansi, that’d sure limit your apparently innate (I hesitate to write “God-given,” of course) ability to spew profanity. So uncreatively and predictably, I might add.

  26. MellonBrush, you’re awesome for doing that. And I’m sure even though the dog was scared enough to bite you, on some level he appreciates the respite from the streets. (And I hope your rabies series isn’t too painful.)
    I don’t know what Bukowski’s plans are for him, but I have worked with an incredible trainer named Josh Cedarbaum who does a ton of volunteer work with dogs deemed to be aggressive–and he’s gotten great results in rehabilitating them so that they’re adoptable. I don’t know what his availability is like because he works closely with PAWS and I’m sure is involved in their transition, but it would very much be worth a call to him (by the shelter or whoever has the dog now) to see whether he has time to assess and work with him. His web site is https://www.doggytalestraining.com/
    I feel so sorry for the dog hit by the train, and I hope she can recover and live without pain.

  27. People who think I’m a “self-centered jackass” for writing about my care for a dog injured by a train, please TURN AWAY because there’s more…
    I’ve been in touch with the hospital where he was taken (and it is a “he”), and they report that he will survive. So all ye bummed out readers, can now be bummed no more and see this as an “appropriate” holiday story.
    He won’t be able to use his back legs any more and they’re running more X-Rays, but they are surprised and elated he pulled through.
    The pooch has a canvas buckled collar but no tags, so they’re hoping someone might actually read about this and come claim him…Not that that makes the post any less banal and pointless, I guess.
    Yes, this is hardly the most eloquent thing I’ve ever written, but if you want great prose I’d strongly recommend consulting something other than a blog.
    I’m still a bit stymied at the venom leveled against me, especially the name-calling, and the criticism. Where’s the holiday spirit in that? There’s got to be someone more deserving of hate bandwith than me.
    If your dog got out and was hit by a train, would you have found this so annoying?
    Regardless, your vitriol has now elevated this above the banal. Good work. For the rest of you, your concern is certainly appreciated, and I passed it along to the hospital staff.

  28. I apologize for the personal comment.
    I still think the cell phone photo was over the top and it was personal to those involved; not news in the personal rather than factual in reporting, and not thread worthy at all.
    But that’s up to an almost bankrupt paper and the baristas.
    I think the vitriol comes from not needing to share this graphically, especially at this time of the year. I’m glad the dog is alive as long as it ends up with some quality of life.
    I have a suggestion; how about in addition to the weekly open thread we have a road kill thread? You can tell your horror stories and post pics on flicker for viewing pleasure. You could call it “this is your flat one”. Happy Holidays!

  29. I’m amazed the doggie survived being hit by a train!
    From time to time I see a paralyzed dog, on wheels – with his owner – in the park across the street from my house. He’s doing what all dogs do, sniffing, scampering, enjoying the outdoors and all on just 2 legs and 2 wheels. It’s a marvelous sight which brings tears to my eyes when I think of the bond that must exist between those two.
    I still think the story of the ‘hero dog rescuer who got bit and still caught the dog and now has to get several rabies shots and throw up in the morning with flu like symptoms but didn’t complain or call too much attention to himself’ is still more interesting than this one, but then, I’m not a disinterested observer now, am I.

  30. Joelscorp, your self-righteousness is somewhat inappropriate for both Christmas and the holiday season in general. (The Prophet, PBUH, would have been particularly dismayed.) Give up the unseemly prickliness. Notwithstanding that you are a “prize-winning essayist,” to be sure.

  31. And it would be churlish of me not to agree with MellonBrush (even if he is whimsically fishing a bit for compliments). He attempted a mighty act of kindness; unfortunately, he’s now paying for it. I admire his intention, hope the sad resuilt won’t deter him from similar attempts.

  32. .. I’ll keep on trying .. but next time I won’t touch a food bowl while a large, starving dog is eating.
    That was among the most ‘dumb ass’ things I’ve done in a long time. I’m lucky he didn’t tear my arm off and eat that too.

  33. Joelscorp – Thank you for sharing your experience. I also thank you for the update on the pooch. There are a lot of caring people in this world and you are one of them.

  34. “I’m still a bit stymied at the venom leveled against me, especially the name-calling, and the criticism. Where’s the holiday spirit in that? There’s got to be someone more deserving of hate bandwith than me.”
    These people can always find something to criticize, a way to judge, some venom to spit. Don’t worry about it. I live in the community and I would say that they in no way represent my neighborhood nor my town.

  35. Joelscorp – I was about to post the same thoughts shared by neighbor. Folks like Cathar get off on their imagined command of the English language and really get off big when they can slam someone. It’s SOP on this site. Ignore it, that’s about all you can do.
    Thanks for the update. I’m very happy the dog will make it and hope he’s got a loving family to care for him.
    Mellon – you did a great thing. You know no good deed goes unpunished! I will admit though that reaching for a food bowl while a starving dog was eating was more than boneheaded. Mellonheaded perhaps?
    Merry Christmas all!

  36. The dog is one thing, but will Joel survive his considerable injury? You poor, dear and very sensitive man.

  37. Gadfly,
    During the snow storm I looked outside to find 4 neighbors from 2 homes shoveling my snow. I don’t know all of their names but I’d bet they don’t spend their downtime posting nasty comments on this website. In my 4 years in the community these are the people I’ve been privileged to know.

  38. I hasten to remind that dear old hyper-sensitive joelscorp wouldn’t even have had to respond to his many critics (not just me) if the Baristas hadn’t re-circulated his blog post in the first place. Since I kinda, sorta doubt too many people read him in NJ.com.
    And I still think MellonBrush’s active kindness MUCH trumps both joelscorp’s little essay and his subsequent snarls at those who dared question his inner Alan Alda or Dr. Phil.
    Noel to all, nonetheless. Gloria in excelsis deo, too.

  39. This story is actually very respresentative of typical blogs. Don’t you “critics” get it? sheeshhh. It’s the world we live in now. If you don’t like it, stick to the newspapers, radio and maybe…just maybe, if you can handle it…cable news.
    btw – Happy Holidays!

  40. Bajanyankee, come on, only a very few souls in both the US and (mainly) the UK style themselves today as “Druids.” Without any of us even now much knowing what the original Druids were ever much about.
    But their ancient counterparts did supposedly have a thing for mistletoe.
    I do wish all and sundry a grand, merry Christmas and much revelry and happiness, along with some appreciatiopn for the travails of others. (This is my plug for my favorite charity, the Salvation Army, which manifests its commitment to its Christianity so beautifully.) Yes, to, that even includes thee, laserfella. God rest and bless us, everyone.

  41. I had to look up “corantos.” Well done! (Still, you had to rephrase slightly and post a second time, Tron? Tsk.)
    But surely even such a semi-regular booklet, if accurately and fairly done, would be appreciated more even in Baristaville than what sometimes passes for “news” here? Especially of a slow new day, of which there seem to be many lately.
    Actually, I’d probably prefer getting my news via goat entrails and the local version of a haruspex, but that’s just silly me.

  42. This is a typical blog? A local community blog? This is the world we live in? It seems to me that the nastiness is followed by the same name(s) over and over. I count less than a dozen of the posters.

  43. Oh, go “count” yourself, hs neighbor. Or maybe just go for a roll in the snow.
    Gaudete, Gaudete, Christus est natus…., after all.

  44. How’s this?
    AAAWWWWWW poor little puppy dog, wish I had been there to help. Thank you for letting me be a part of it anyway and I feel sooooo bad!
    I’d stay to revel in the sadness and pity some more, but I have to go paint my neighbors house. I’ll let you know what color we decided on and how it went later, but first I have to make sure my cats aren’t constipated, you know what a problem that can be.

  45. Pokey, my compliments! (Plus my apology for apparently taking your name “in vain” on another thread last evening.) Joyeux Noel!

  46. Thank you cathar, and a very Merry Christmas to you.
    I’d try to call off the “tools” but…, we?ll just wish them a Happy and Merry also.

  47. Hi all,
    I’m Dr. Negrin, the vet. in Union carrying for the dog hit by the train. Radiographs revealed a broken back; he is paralyzed and unable to urinate on his own. He is day to day. We are hoping that an owner comes forward soon.
    I would like to answer some of the postings which are inaccurate.
    Union IS NOT 30 minutes away. I am also the shelter veterinarian for Bloomfield as well; I make the trip up to that area about twice a week and it only takes me 15 minutes on average. My office is only a few minutes away from the GS Parkway exit (141).
    The Animal Control Officer (ACO) brought the dog to me within 10 minutes of his phone call to me stating that the dog was alive. He came lights and sirens so he was able to travel faster than a regular car would. The ACO did his job appropriately and stayed with me until the dog was examined and made comfortable for the night. I have been working with Montclair since April of last year and we work well together.
    Apart from being a vet., I am an ACO and an Animal Cruelty Investigator. I am called to work 24-7. When any of the ACOs need my assistance, I meet them at my hospital and work up the cases for them. There are not many veterinarians that would work around the clock like this, but I have a special interest in shelter medicine and law enforcement so many ACOs have begun using my services.

  48. Dr. Negrin, thanks for the update. I came here specifically to see if anything new on the pup was posted. The poor dog’s injuries sound awful…I hope there’s a chance for his having a decent quality of life if he pulls through. Thanks for taking the time to post.

  49. Thank you, Dr. Negrin–for your good work and for the update as well. I second Karen’s hopes for the dog.

  50. OK, I’m late to the party as usual. I finally had enough intestinal fortitude and wine to click the link to read the story and see the picture of the dog first hand. I wanted to know what the brouhaha was about.
    I cannot believe that short narrative and the heartfelt sentiments expressed by Joel Schwartzberg generated all those negative and frankly obnoxious posts! Unbefreakinglievable. Seriously.

  51. Karen, I agree. I can’t believe that some think it’s ok to insult others like this. As one person said this is the world THEY live in today. That’s not my experience with this community.

  52. Wow. Don’t ruin my holidy “spirit.”
    Let’s try and separate how something is written from the subject matter itself.
    The subject matter is the dog. Who survived. Against odds.
    In addition, the dog would normally have been “put down.” A vet came to rescue, and a woman who has a passion for dogs with special needs came after that. She’s getting tons of concerned, helpful emails.
    http://www.moesmission.org
    a snippet:
    I wish you could all meet Monty so you could understand why everyone who has feels so strongly about doing everything we can for him; to give him a chance at life. He is an amazing dog, with the most wonderful disposition and dignified and graceful personality… He is a fantastic dog.

  53. Wow. Don’t ruin my holidy “spirit.”
    Let’s try and separate how something is written from the subject matter itself.
    The subject matter is the dog. Who survived. Against odds.
    In addition, the dog would normally have been “put down.” A vet came to rescue, and a woman who has a passion for dogs with special needs came after that. She’s getting tons of concerned, helpful emails.
    http://www.moesmission.org
    a snippet:
    I wish you could all meet Monty so you could understand why everyone who has feels so strongly about doing everything we can for him; to give him a chance at life. He is an amazing dog, with the most wonderful disposition and dignified and graceful personality… He is a fantastic dog.

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