Olwyn M Parker’s ‘The Railway Dog’
Posted on: Mon 24 Aug 2020
Bob the Railway Dog, also known as “Terowie Bob”, is part of South Australian Railway folklore. He travelled our trains extensively, by himself, in the late 1800s, and became widely known to railwaymen and the general public of the day. The story goes that Bob was living rough off the streets in Adelaide and was caught by the dreaded dog catcher. He was sent by train along with around 200 other dogs to be used to kill rabbits near Carrieton, around 300km north of Adelaide, but ended up with a freedom and reputation to be envied, without killing a single rabbit.
Audiobook excerpt used with permission of Olwyn M Parker, August 2020:
Main Photo: State Library of SA ‘Bob, the railway dog’ sitting on top of the driver’s car of a stationary locomotive at Port Augusta Railway yard. Circa 1887. Bob travelled hundreds of thousands of miles by rail. His cheery bark and wagging tail greeted thousands. Children in particular would exclaim ‘There’s Bob! Good old Bob’, as the trains went by. There was not one permanent way man’s kiddie who did not have a wave for Bob at one time or another. He once did a steamer trip from Port Augusta to Port Pirie by mistake. A Pirie engine’s whistle was enough for Bob. He was on the way to reach it almost before the boat touched the wharf. For many years he wore a collar, placed on him by friendly enginemen, inscribed: ‘Stop me not, but let me jog, For I am Bob, the Driver’s Dog’.