No Ordinary Gravy Train

Written by James Wilkey
Written by James Wilkey

His name is Eugene Bostick. Twice a week, for the last 15 years, he and his trusted canine companions have made an hour-long trip in and around Bostick’s 11-acre farm near the Sycamore Golf Course. Once upon a time, they could simply hitch up a trailer and take the tractor, but as more stray dogs joined Bostick’s pack, they needed a new way to cover the terrain.

Doggy Train Image CROPBostick’s canine family grew to include nine rescue dogs. He and his 87-year-old brother, Corky, live on a street with a dead-end, and many locals use the area as a place to abandon their unwanted pets. “People sometimes come by and dump dogs out here, leaving them to starve,” Bostick said. Over the years, Bostick has given several of these abandoned animals a home. “We started feeding them, letting them in, taking them to the vet to get them spayed and neutered. We made a place for them to live,” Bostick told The Dodo.

The 80-year-old retired Union Pacific railroad employee from Fort Worth, Texas was determined not to leave any of his dogs behind, so he set to work. “I’m a pretty good welder, so I took these plastic barrels with holes cut in them, and put wheels under them and tied them together.” The 55-gallon blue fiberglass barrels make up the cars to Bostick’s nine-car doggy train pulled by a John Deer riding lawnmower.  “Oh, they just love it,” Corky told The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Every time he takes the covers off, they start jumping and barking, ready for the ride.”

Bostick said the idea came to him when, “one day I was out and I saw this guy with a tractor who attached these carts to pull rocks. I thought, ‘Dang, that would do for a dog train.'” Bostick’s train, however, comes with a few extras. Each car is numbered, has assigned seating, and is equipped with pillows to make the trip more comfortable. There’s even a wooden ramp for the older and less agile passengers to get onboard.

Doggy Train Image 2The train has attracted quite a bit of local attention, and thanks to a photo taken by Facebook user Tiffany Johnson, Bostick’s story has gone viral. Now, Bostick is becoming famous across the web for his part-time position as the conductor of what is possibly the world’s most adorable train. While the fame has been helpful to Bostick and his furry friends, inspiring a gofundme.com page to help Bostick care for his rescue pets, the train’s biggest fans remain its passengers. “Whenever they hear me hooking the tractor up to it, man, they get so excited,” said Bostick. “They all come running and jump in on their own. They’re ready to go.”

The only one who may love the train more is Bostick himself, who is pleased with what he does for man’s best friend, and plans to keep the train steaming as long as possible. “I’m getting up in age. I’m 80 now, so I suppose it can’t last too much longer, but I’ll keep it going as long as I can,” said Bostick. “The dogs have a great time. They just really enjoy it.”

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