MOST mutts are not averse to learning a trick or two but one Olton dog has taken it to a new level after learning how to catch a train.
Crossbreed terrier Finn was discovered on a Midland Trains service in Dorridge after making an audacious escape from his Barrington Road home.
And the first his owners, the Smith family, knew about it, was when they were told he had been found by a member of the public - on a train almost ten miles from home.
Simon Smith, aged 40, said: “I was at work when I got a call from Network Rail saying ‘we’ve found your dog, he’s on a train in Dorridge. Can we send him back to Olton and you pick him up’.”
Explaining what had happened Simon said his wife Roisin had let Finn out into their back garden first thing in the morning on January 27, where he took advantage of a badger run to escape through the fence.
“He got through the fence then went along the canal towpath, up the ramp to Richmond Road, around the corner to Olton station, up the stairs to the platform and managed to board a train,” said Simon.
“Someone spotted him - I don’t suppose you get many dogs travelling on their own - and told the guard.”
After speaking to Simon, Network Rail staff ensured Finn got safely back to Olton and when Roisin went to collect him he was enjoying a bowl of water and a snack courtesy of the station staff.
Roisin said: “He probably looked at the carriage door opening and thought he would go and have a look - he’s that sort of dog.
“Everyone who knows us has found it highly amusing, asking daft questions like ‘did he have a Rover ticket’ and ‘was he bound for Barking’.”
Finn seemed none the worse after his adventure, but as Roisin admitted it is not the first time he had gone off on a solo adventure.
He regularly gets out and gets discovered by neighbours but once went missing for 24 hours.
“We were going out of our minds with worry and telephoning every kennel and animal rescue centre around,” added Roisin.
“The next day a girl who had found him in Olton Hollow brought him back. It turned out while we had been worrying about him he was being fed and watered and tucked up in a comfy bed.”