To view this site, you need to have Flash Player 9.0.115 or later installed. Click here to get the latest Flash player.
(NECN: Julie Loncich) – Surrounded by pictures of her family and furry friends, 8-year-old Lily likely can't begin to comprehend just how much she means to David Lanteigne.
"If it wasn't for Lily she wouldn't be here right now," said David Lanteigne.
Last week in Shirley, Mass., David's mother, Christine, Lily's owner, fell on railroad tracks as a freight train was barreling toward her. Lily reacted quickly.
"Lily was either pushing or pulling her, trying to get her off the tracks. The conductor said there wasn't enough time and at one point Lily ran around to the front and took the hit of the train for my mother," said Lanteigne.
David's mother wasn't hurt and Lily survived, but she was critically injured, damaging her hind leg and liver, shattering her pelvis, and over the weekend, her front leg was amputated.
Vets at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston call Lily a dream patient.
"She's an incredible dog. She's very easy to work with. She's very tolerant....I have every reason to believe that she's going to walk quite well after this, albeit just three legs," Dr. Kiko Bracker of the Emergency Critical Care Center at Angell.
Lily has been a lifeline for David's mother, who battles depression and alcoholism, since she was adopted as a therapy dog several years ago.
Lily is a pit bull with a huge heart and one whose family hopes will help break some even bigger stereotypes.
"We rescued her; we saved her,” said Lanteigne. “And she made almost the ultimate sacrifice returning the favor. She's just an amazing dog."