SCOTT SIMON, HOST:
Some stories can only happen in New York. Ten thirty-nine, Tuesday morning, the Metro-North Hudson Line train left the Bronx for Manhattan when Joseph Delia, the engineer, saw a dog running alongside the track - a small, frisky, brown and black dog just running like she didn't have a care in the world, said Mr. Delia. When the train stopped at a signal, the little dog leapt in front of it and then began to race ahead of the commuter train. The dog stumbled a couple of times over ties in the track, but Joseph Delia hit his brakes.
Oh, my God, I was going real slow, he told the New York Post. He didn't want to run over the dog with his 400-ton train and worried that she might put a paw on the electrified third rail. I was worried, he said, that she wouldn't make it and get electrocuted. Some people might suppose that a train full of loud-talking, bagel-gobbling, high-stress New Yorkers might start swearing, well, like New Yorkers at the little dog for making them late for big meetings, hard bargaining, court depositions and power lunches.
But when a conductor announced they were slowing down because a dog was running in front of the train, passengers began to throng in the front car to cheer. And when the train pulled into the 125th Street station in Harlem - Manhattan at last - two transit police officers ran onto the tracks to try to snag the dog. She ran into their arms. The passengers were hooting and hollering, said Joseph Delia. They were all cheering. Little dog has been nicknamed Tie by railroad cops for all the ones she leapt over and is being cared for by the Animal Care and Control Department.
Tie looks like a collie and shepherd mix. She has a limp but seems conspicuously spirited and friendly and can speak, sit and shake her paw on command. There have already been offers to adopt her if no one steps forward to identify her as their dog. Animal behavior experts no doubt have their own doggie explanations of why canines enjoy a good chase. But I like to think that Tie just trotted in the footsteps of other famous New York characters. Some people just have to leave Yonkers, Boise, Steubenville or Hoboken because they long for the bright lights that shine like nowhere else.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NEW YORK, NEW YORK")
FRANK SINATRA: (Singing) These little town blues are melting away. I am going to make a brand new start of it in old New York. And if I can make it there, I'm going to make it.
SIMON: Hey, we can't interrupt "The Chairman." You're listening to NPR News.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.