Thursday 19 October 2017

Reunited: Stowaway dog Monkey back home with his owner after 100km train journey

Monkey back home with his owner James Gough
Monkey back home with his owner James Gough
Allison Bray

Allison Bray

A stowaway dog who made a hundred kilometre journey from his home after hopping an Irish Rail commuter train has been happily reunited with his owner.

The corgi-terrier cross, appropriately named ‘Monkey’ was found wandering  alone on the first carriage of the Dublin-bound Northern Commuter train from Drogheda on Wednesday afternoon.

A concerned passenger alerted the driver and Monkey travelled with him in his cab back to Drogheda where he thought the dog may have hopped aboard while the train was stationary for almost an hour.

He was turned over to the Lough County Council dog warden overnight for safe-keeping while efforts were made to trace the owner.

In the meantime, his owner James Gough, (75), was frantic with worry after his beloved 11-year-old pet whom he raised from a pup went missing from his six-acre property adjacent the Gormanston train station.

“It’s most unusual for him,” he told Independent.ie.

“He sticks to me like glue, he won’t leave my side,” he said.

When Monkey didn’t respond to his calls and whistles around 9am on Wednesday, the retired hotelier feared the worst, especially since Monkey – so named for his sense of devilment – has a heart condition.

“I thought he either went down a rabbit hole, or died of a heart attack or went off with a bitch in heat,” he said.

It never dawned on him that his dog might hoof it into town.

“I never in my lifetime thought he’d get on a train,” he said.

But after posting Monkey’s photo and details on a website for missing pets, Mr Gough got a call from Irish Rail informing him that a stray dog matching his description had indeed hopped onto the train.

The fact he was missing since early that morning made Mr Gough wonder if his pooch had spent the day riding the rails.

Ironically, the dog is the only one in the family to use the commuter train.

“I’ve only taken the train once in my lifetime,” he said.

But he was delighted – although somewhat bemused – to get Monkey back home where he was reunited with Mr Gough’s nine other dogs.

“I laughed but I was delighted,” he said. “It was totally out of character for him. He stays in the house and sleeps on the bed. He’s like the king of the castle,” he said.

“When they go missing it’s very traumatic, they’re like my children,” he said.

But after his adventure, Monkey seemed to be happy to be back home, he added.

“He danced when he saw me,” he said.

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