She was by her soldier owner’s side when he was found dead.
Now, Siberian Husky Heather has met her own tragic end on the railway line at Carnoustie.
The dog had belonged to Stewart Watson, from the town, who was found dead in April last year after taking ill at the wheel of his car just a few days after buying Heather.
Stewart had served as a soldier for 22 years, including in both the Gulf Wars and in Bosnia and Kosovo.
After his death, Stewart’s mum Olive took ownership of the dog, which was seen as the “last link” to her beloved son. Now, Olive is “heartbroken” after the dog was found by railway tracks in Carnoustie, having been missing for more than a week.
However, Heather’s body has not yet been recovered from the side of the railway line. Olive said: “She was our last link to Stewart. When he was found in his car, she was on his lap.
“I just want her back so that I can lay her to rest in the garden. I am heartbroken to think she is there and I can’t get her.”
Heather went missing on Tuesday last week after Olive’s husband, Ross, took the dog to the beach and she ran away. She was last seen at Craigmill Den, heading towards East Haven, where she swam across the stream.
Olive said: “My husband phoned and I went along. He’s really upset and keeps blaming himself for the whole thing. He walked from Barry Buddon right along to Arbroath Golf Club looking for her. We searched and searched and searched, called vets, used the lost dog service and even tried social media. I just thought that someone had stolen her.”
On Tuesday night, though, the family received the news they had dreaded. A local train driver contacted the family and said he believed he had found Heather.
The family went to the tracks, but, due to safety restrictions, were unable to recover the dog’s body. Olive believes the force of the impact ripped off her collar, which they found nearby. She added: “Once we got the collar, we knew it was Heather. ”
A Network Rail spokeswoman confirmed the dog was Heather. She said: “We’re sorry to hear of the owner’s loss and have arranged for the pet’s remains to be returned to them for burial.
“Railway fencing is designed to stop people and larger animals from straying on to the track and its purpose is not to keep domestic animals off the line. Anyone walking a dog near the railway should always keep their pet on its leash.
“Members of the public should never try to access the track and anyone who believes their pet has wandered on to the line should contact our 24-hour helpline on 08457 11 41 41.”