Doggone mystery as pooch sneaks ride

Duncan Reyneke

A PORT Elizabeth boerboel took an unusual approach to running away from home yesterday when he snuck aboard a bus in Bridgemead and enjoyed a 20km ride to the depot in Korsten.

The boerboel male, which is about four years old, hopped onto the Algoa Bus Company bus and made himself comfortable on the floor behind the back seat.

Port Elizabeth municipal dog control unit spokeswoman Estelle Timms said the dog was “in a very good condition” when inspectors arrived to collect it.

Animal control inspector George Swart was called out to collect the boerboel at the bus depot yesterday morning, after the driver discovered him en route and decided to bring him in.

“The dog was not at all traumatised, aggressive or scared and was not wearing a collar or tag,” Timms said. The unidentified canine hitchhiker – with brindle colouring – is being kept at the SPCA office in Uitenhage for now.

Dog trainer and animal behaviourist Donne Lucas gave her opinion on its seemingly nonchalant attitude towards the bus.

“No dog is just going to get into a vehicle unless it’s used to it or knows the people in it,” Lucas said.

“This dog may have followed someone it knew, or thought it knew, onto the bus from the stop.

“You’ll often see this kind of behaviour in a dog that is lost. Dogs are problem solvers, and following a person they know into a vehicle might seem like a logical move.”

Bus unit manager Jimmy Jonas said the driver had asked his passengers if the dog belonged to any of them. “When they said no, he decided to let it stay on the bus and drive back with it to the depot, rather than let it out on the street.”

Port Elizabeth wildlife specialist Mark Marshall said he had not heard of anything like this happening before, but “dogs who are lost and confused typically will do strange and unexpected things”.

Readers with any information concerning the boerboel’s owners can contact Rose Connell on (041)506-1743.

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