Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Now that's one well-trained dog

Here's a story about a dog who was smart enough to take a train back to its home:

from BBC News World Edition, August 29, 2005

Labrador Archie takes train home

An impatient dog caught the train home in Aberdeenshire after becoming separated from his owner.

The black labrador, Archie, boarded the First ScotRail train from Aberdeen to Inverness at Inverurie Station.

Mike Taitt, 60, from Oyne, feared the worst after his headstrong eight-year-old dog disappeared.

But he received a phone call to say Archie had stepped off the train at Insch Station and was waiting for him - just three miles from his house.

Mr Taitt said: "Archie is very intelligent and definitely has a mind of his own.

"I think he got on that train because he thought I was on it.

Train enthusiast

"I couldn't believe it when I got the call from the station saying: 'We've got your doggie'."

Mr Taitt, who has an interest in trains, had been driving home when he decided to stop at Inverurie Station to look at the Royal Scotsman train, which was in the station.

He left Archie on one of the platforms and went across the bridge to look at the train but by the time he returned his dog was already on the 2005 BST service to Inverness.

Archie got off the train when it stopped at Insch and was spotted by a signalman, who found his contact details on his collar and phoned Mr Taitt.

The incident, which happened earlier this month, has now been recorded in the official log-books of First ScotRail, British Transport Police and Grampian Police.

SSPCA spokeswoman Doreen Graham said: "I think it is quite easy to underestimate the intelligence of animals.

"The fact that Archie got on the right train was probably a coincidence, but he probably knew which stop to get off at because he recognised local smells which made him know he was close to home.

"I think it is quite amazing - Archie obviously doesn't like to be kept waiting."