Thursday 19 July 2018

Appeal as 'twinkling' dog travels on train alone

Allison Bray

Allison Bray

Call him Irish Rail’s version of the Littlest Hobo.

This friendly little terrier was found wandering alone in the first carriage of the Drogheda to Dublin Connolly train this afternoon.

Passenger Hannah Harris from Dalkey said when she got on at the Balbriggan stop around 3:30pm she was met by a pair of beseeching brown eyes.

“He was greeting us at the door,” she told

“He’s a twinkling little dog, very happy and friendly. I assumed he was with someone,” she said.

But she soon realised that the dog was on his own as the carriage was empty, aside from a young man who got off at the next stop. So he turned the dog over to the driver who took him under his wing after the dog made a beeline for the door at Skerries.

The driver took little ‘Boxcar Willie’ into his cab for the rest of the journey into town, where he or she nestled comfortably at his feet.

“I think he originated at the Drogheda station because the train was stopped there for 45 minutes,” he said.

“I think he just hopped on and then the door closed.”

The driver took the dog back to the station in Drogheda where he will be kept until the owner comes forward.

And if he isn’t claimed, Ms Harris said she would happily adopt him.

Irish Rail spokeswoman Jane Creegan said it’s unlikely the dog was abandoned, although he could have inadvertently been left behind by a passenger.

But it’s not the first time that a pet has hopped on the rail line as a stowaway.

Last December, another stowaway pooch named Patch, boarded a train at Portarlington and was discovered by Irish Rail workers before being handed over to Kilmainham garda station.

He was eventually reunited  with his owner following an appeal on social media.

Then in 2010, a grey tabby named Lilou became an internet sensation after CCTV footage showed her boarding a DART at Malahide and was found wandering around Pearse Station.

She was not only reunited with her delighted owner following a social media campaign, her sojourn to the  city was the subject of a short film by a French filmmaker who was intrigued by her story.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the ISPCA said no one came forward reporting a missing terrier yesterday afternoon.

But if the dog is microchipped, which is now required by law, then the owner can be easily tracked down.

“Hopefully he is microchipped and any vet, dog warden, rescue centre will be able to scan him for a chip which is the best chance to be reunited with his owners.  Often the dog collars or tags can be easily removed or lost,” she said.

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