Brisbane, QLD

Friday, January 27, 2012


The people of Peterborough erected a statue of "Bob The Railway Dog" in memory of this adventurous little dog believed to be a German Collie Dog mix. His story is below taken from Wikipedia.

Bob first experienced the railway life, when, as a young dog, he took a fancy to the railway workers building near Strathalbyn and followed some of the navvies to the line. He was brought back to his owner, the publican of the Macclesfield Hotel, two or three times before finally disappearing; he was about 9 months old at the time.
Bob was, it was believed, picked up as a stray in Adelaide. His true railway career appears to commence not long after he was being consigned from Adelaide along with fifty other dogs to Quorn, to be used to exterminate rabbits. He "broke pack"and was obtained as a stray from the Police in Port Augusta by William Seth Ferry, then working as a Special Guard at Petersburg as Peterborough was then known. Ferry "registered him right away" and is recorded as noting he acquired Bob on 24 September 1884.
Bob was known to travel on trains to and from Petersburg often sitting in the front of the coal space in the locomotive tender, travelling many thousands of miles. According to the Petersburg Times: " His favourite place on a Yankee engine; the big whistle and belching smokestack seem(ed) to have an irresistible attraction for him....he lived on the fat of the land , and was not particular from whom he accepted his dinner"
Every time he heard the train whistle he would run and jump onto the footplate of the engine. Some say he died in Adelaide others say Peterborough. He was 17 years old. His body was displayed in a local pub.
His collar is on display in the National Railway Museum, Port Adelaide, along with photographs and other artifacts. Bob is remembered today by railway workers and historians alike.

The following poem was published in the Advertiser on 17 August 1895:
Home-keeping dogs have homely wits,
Their notions tame and poor;
I scorn the dog who humbly sits
Before the cottage door,
Or those who weary vigils keep,
Or follow lovely kine;
A dreary life midst stupid sheep
Shall ne'er be lot of mine.

For free from thrall I travel far,
No fixed abode I own;
I leap aboard a railway car;
By every one I' know;
Today I am here, tomorrow brings
Me miles and miles away;
Borne swiftly on steams rushing wings,
I see fresh friends each day.

Each Driver from the footplate hales
My coming with delight;
I gain from all upon the rails;
A welcome ever bright;
I share the perils of the line
with mates from end to end,
Who would not for a silver mine
Have harm befall their friend

Let other dogs snarl and fight,
And round the city prowl,
Or render hideous the night
With unmelodious howl.
I have a cheery bark for all,
No ties my travels clog;
I hear the whistle, that's the call
For Bob, the driver's dog.
This post is for Taphophile Tragics #5 meme.


  1. Oh, a truly terrific taphophile post for Julie's meme. How wonderful, and what a cute little dog.

  2. Yep, yep ... I reckon that be a fine post, Diane. I cannnot believe the wierd and wacky things that you and Bill encounter on your travels.

    To see this dog sitting up at the front of the coal car, acting like Jacky, would be a wonderful sight. I know how dogs adore travelling in a car with the window down. And the sheer excitement of it all ...

    I do not mind how late in the week you post for Taphophile Tragics. I check each morning and each evening. Thanks for keeping the meme in mind. Hopefully, some of the trauma in my life will ease as the next few days progress, and I will return to reading everyone's blog posts. That is the aim, anyways ...

  3. This is a fascinating post about Bob. We had a similar dog over hear, Owney, who road in railroad post offices over a hundred years ago. He was adopted by the railway post office workers who made a vest to hold the medallions which commemorated his trips. A stamp in Owney's honor was issued late last year.

  4. Yes, I was going to tell you about Owney, but since George did it, I won't repeat it... Certainly did remind me of Bob the Aussie Railroad Dog.....

    Great post... Thanks!!!

  5. This is another wonderful dog story. There is the statue of the Dog on the Tuckerbox 9 miles from Gundagai in New South Wales - about the dog who guarded his master's tuckerbox from all comers even as his master lay dead nearby. There is the Louis de Berniere story 'Red Dog' of the Kimberley region - now a film, and now this, and clearly so many more. Australians and their dogs!!!

  6. Brave Bob has carved out his life to be extraordinary and certainly not boring. Like the poem too. Thank you Diane, I liked this post very much, I like dogs! Ciao T♥

  7. Brilliant post about the Bob the Railway Dog, Diane and an excellent one for Julie's meme Tragic Taphophiles. You certainly do find wacky sights on your travels. In South Africa we also have a famous dog called Just Nuisance and hopefully Grant and I will stop at his statue and visit the museum with all his memorabilia when next ride down to the Western Cape. (I still have to inform Grant!) Have a great weekend. Jo

  8. Dogs are such amazing loyal creatures, aren't they.
    Beautiful story.

  9. I love these doggie stories!

  10. Lovely post Diane, I love stories of heroic little dogs.

  11. that's a very special dog story !!
    I have read another one about a very similar looking dog but the story happened in the UK and a policeman's dog (also called Bob) became famous because when his owner died, he lived on his grave ! I don't remember on what Blog I have read this story.

  12. As I was reading this I thought this would be a good contribution for the taphophiles. Then when I saw it was I got really confused as to what day it was ... that's the trouble with public holidays in the middle of the week.

  13. What a sweet story, dogs can be so faithfull doing things.

  14. Lovely Diane,
    Thanks for sharing, photos are lovely...left you message on my blog comments...

  15. Yes - dogs are more faithful to owners, than human beings are to each other. Sad, when you really think about it.
    Look after them properly and you have a friend and companion for life. A protector, so to speak.
    In my lifetime - a great dane, then heaps of cattle and sheep dogs, a loveable but stupid Cocker Spanial, Phillip, who loved getting burrs in his hair and then carrying on as if the World was about to end when the burrs were removed! The most spoilt dog in the 1950's that existed!
    Dogs in PNG and then the last, a deserted labrador pup, found in the car park next to our hotel. Monty, the loyalist of the loyal.
    When the hotel was sold and my parents retired we left him with the new owners, their kids adored him. Two years later I went back to this hotel, Monty ( and dogs have smell sense) went mad at seeing me. His excitment resulted in my trousers being drenched with his "you can imagine what"!

    Unfortunately many people do not respect their dogs.

  16. Like Rogers and Hammerstein said, "There is nothing like a dog".
    A really great story!

  17. I thought the song was "There is nothing like a dame" etc etc.
    Delightful movie - "South Pacific".

  18. hubby bob will like this bob story. so cute and sweet

  19. That's a great "tail" Diane - great photo of immortalised Bob as well.

  20. I always liked to give Bob a 'pat' when we'd visit there :)

  21. Somewhere in the vast empty spaces of my brain, that a familiar story. And I still like it.

  22. What a sweet story!
    I really enjoyed your sharing of this remarkable little dog. I think Bob knew exactly what he liked.

  23. It sound like an amazing dog.


  24. What a wonderful story! Some dogs are so intelligent and Bob was certainly one of them. I take a train ride every day over staying home, myself, if I had a choice :)

  25. Hi Diane, what a cute story about Bob the dog. Bob led an exciting life with all the traveling he did. Great post!

  26. dogs are such adorable creatures!

    loved the story about bob the dog.

  27. My mum was traveling from Toowoomba, back to the Southport. Somewhere before Ipswich, She met with a car accident. She never came home.

    The family was so upset, and went to Ipswich for the two weeks. They never notice her dog had gone looking for her. He never came home.

    3 weeks later, they searched every where. he was never found.

  28. Oh what a cute little railway hobo Bob was!! Sounds like he made a lot of friends as he traveled up and down the line.

  29. We've got a proud tradition of dogs with their own minds, haven't we?! Love this story - the poem is lovely!