As a train sped toward them, Lilly grabbed Spain with her teeth and pulled her off the track.
Spain was unharmed, but Lilly’s right front leg was severely injured by the train’s wheels and she suffered a shattered pelvis. She was rushed by an animal control officer to a pet emergency hospital. Her leg had to be amputated, and steel plates were implanted to support her pelvis and left front leg.
Less than three months later, 8-year-old Lilly is now running around her front yard in East Boston, Mass., and climbing up and down the porch steps, according to WCVB.
“She’s doing great,” David Lanteigne, Spain’s son, told WCVB. “She’s really improving well.”
A video posted today on Lilly’s Facebook page (which has more than 10,000 fans) shows her happily chasing after a beach ball.
“Everyone was real excited since it was my first time playing soccer since my injury,” according to the status update. “You can’t really tell, but my rear left hip still has a long way to go to recover, but as you can see I still have some sick moves.”
Lilly has been receiving physical therapy, including exercising in a pool.
“It’s more strenuous, but she enjoys it more too,” Lanteigne, a Boston police officer, told WCVB. He has spent most of his free time helping Lilly recuperate. “She saved my mom. I’ve got to do everything I can to repay her for that,” he said.
To honor her bravery, Lilly will receive the MSPCA’s Animal Hero of the Year award next month.
Her heroic action touched hearts around the world. More than $75,000 was collected in donations to pay for her veterinary care, which cost $16,000. The remaining contributions were passed along to the MSPCA’s Pet Care Assistance program.
“Those funds are now helping other dogs and other animals,” Lanteigne told WCVB. “Essentially Lilly’s going above and beyond. Her legacy continues.”