Peripatetic Pets

An Iarnród Éireann commuter train in the Repub...
“A cat with a hankering for the city lights has been reunited with its owner after taking a trip to Dublin on the DART.

Iarnróid Éireann sent out an appeal via Twitter seeking the owner of the cat, which had been found in Pearse Street train station. Staff took care of the kitty and used CCTV footage to trace where she had begun her journey.

It turned out that the cat had got on at Malahide station and travelled into the city centre. After the rail company sent out its appeal for the cat’s owners, the lucky cat was reunited with her owner Eric Bieci, who thanked everyone involved.

After dodging the fare, Lilou has been issued with a rail card by Iarnród Eireann for any future journeys she wishes to take.” (RTÉ News)

This item grabbed my attention because, more than thirty years ago, I had a very very footloose dog named Sashi. Before I went to medical school, I was living near Harvard Square and one morning he apparently followed the stream of working people who walked down to the Square and got on the Red line, one of the branches of Boston‘s subway system, the MTA or ‘T’. Several hours later, I was called by someone to say that he was wandering the platform at Braintree Station, at the other end of the Red Line. I considered asking them to lend him 50 cents to get back on the T and travel home, but I did in the last analysis drive down to Braintree to pick him up.

At another point, Sashi and I lived in a house further out in the country with a golf course out the back door. After the golfers were gone in the evening, I would let Sashi out to congregate with the other local dogs on the golf course at the summit of the hill. He would come back sedate and satisfied from what I imagined had been several hours of romping in the field. Several months later, I happened to be walking him past the ice cream shop in the center of town, about a half mile away. One of the local skateboard kids who hung out in front of the shop greeted Sashi by name. I asked him how he knew my dog. “How do I know him? He’s here hanging out with us every evening eating our leftovers!”

Sashi also used to swim along with me and friends as we kayaked. Once he got himself stranded on a rock in the Cohasset Rips as the tide was rushing out, prompting my one and only daredevil rescue experience.

Later, during my medical schooling, Sashi ran away from a friend of mine who was boarding him one summer in rural Maryland while I was on a volunteer medical project in Appalachia. When I eventually located him three months later through ads I ran in the Maryland newspapers, he was flown home to me in Boston by the high-powered consultant with whom he had been living, under an assumed name, and gallivanting around the country in his foster owner’s private plane. Footloose indeed!

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