Bob: The Railway Dog
Bob was born in South Australia in 1882, and for some reason he loved trains. He spent the early years of his life as a stray, following railway workers to work, until he was rounded up by a dogcatcher. It looked as if he was destined for the pound, but luckily for Bob he was bought by a kindly station guard who’d taken a liking to him. It worked out well, as his new master allowed him to ride the train with him in the guard’s van every day. But, eventually, his master got a promotion and he and Bob parted ways. Then Bob started to jump trains alone.
Bob traveled up and down Southern Australia, becoming a familiar and welcome sight on trains across the land. Sometimes, when Bob felt that he needed some privacy, he chose an empty carriage and scared away any passengers who tried to sit in it by barking like crazy. The station masters and guards all knew him by name, so they left him to his own devices. At night he followed the engine driver home for a warm meal and soft place to sleep, then returned to the train the next morning. For most of his life, Bob went where he pleased, and as his fame grew so did his reception when he rode into town. He was allowed to attend banquets as a guest of honor, was given a special bracelet with his name on it—with an engraving telling anyone who read it to let him go where he wanted—and when he was seen riding on trains by local children they ran after him as if he were the Pope. Bob had many adventures in his short life and died the most famous dog in Australian history.