Another True ‘Tail’ of Dogs on Trains by Neil Ewart, Trustee, Seeing Dog Alliance
In 1875, a clerk, who worked at the parcel office of a railway station in Manchester, received a visit from a highly irate man. He asked if a dog that he had previously brought to the station to be sent on to the Liverpool Dog Show had been despatched to Liverpool on the 11.15 train, as requested. It was not uncommon for unaccompanied dogs to be sent off in this way.
The clerk looked over the entries in his book and found the dog duly entered for the train named. He informed the dog’s owner that all was in good order. However, in response he yelled, “It’s a damned lie!”
So the clerk offered to locate the porter who had put the dog on the train. The porter appeared and stated that he did put the dog on the right train.
‘Well,” retorted the still annoyed owner, “How come he turned up at my house when he should have been on his way to Liverpool?”
It turned out that the porter had been curious to see the dog, so had opened the hamper which was its carrying box: the inevitable had happened! The dog had made a hasty exit and disappeared out of the station. The porter and a mate had set off in hot pursuit, but failed to catch their quarry. So it was decided to find another dog of a similar size and replace it on the train.
At this point, the owner saw the funny side, and after administering a mild rebuke, decided to try and send his dog to the show on the next train.
The sequel to this story is that twenty-four hours later, a rather brassed off dog of uncertain breed was returned by the railway company to Manchester from Liverpool, with the following label: “The Secretary of the Liverpool Show declines to exhibit the animal contained herein – cannot classify!”