August 28, 2005
Lost dog catches first train home

When Archie the black labrador lost his owner on a lonely Scottish station, he jumped aboard the first train home.

Not only did the dog catch the right train, he got off at the right station, the Mail on Sunday newspaper reports.

Owner Mike Taitt lost sight of Archie at Inverurie Station near Aberdeen in eastern Scotland and was hoping someone would spot the dog's tag and return the much-loved mutt.

"He is a very intelligent dog," Mr Taitt said.

"When he could not find me, he simply took the right train home. He's been on that train before. I am convinced he knew it was the right one. But who knows?"

Closed-circuit television footage shows the dog waiting for his master at the station before watching the Aberdeen to Inverness train pull in.

Unable to find his owner, the black labrador decided to avoid a long walk home by nipping aboard the 20:38.

He got out at the right stop, Insch, 12 minutes along the line, to the bemusement of signalman Derek Hope.

"There was a train conductor standing with Archie on the platform saying he had got on at Inverurie but didn't have a ticket," Mr Hope said.

Two police forces, the national rail operating system and the local train service have all logged the incident.