Marley, affectionately known as Marbles, walked on to the train at Rouge Hill GO station, a place he’d frequented with his owner, Dorte Petersen, and rode it all the way to Union station.
Petersen said she recently had knee surgery and had just moved from a wheelchair to crutches, both requiring her to use the elevator at Rouge Hill Go station in order to access a waterfront path.
“I was using the GO elevator all summer to get over to the pathway by the water. I’ve just gotten to crutches but we’re still using the elevator,” she said.
“So I think he got outside and was like ‘Where’s mom?’ And that was where we usually go.”
Marley had been on a walk just before he went missing. In fact, Petersen didn’t even know he had gone missing until she received a call from customer service representatives at GO.
“You can’t make this this up,” she told Global News. “I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when I got the call.”
“That’s the thing that astounds me — I’d seen him within seven minutes of them calling and I wanted to say ‘I’m sorry, I think you have the wrong person.’ My brain was just not cluing in — like they had my cellphone, it had to be him.”
Anne-Marie Aikins, spokesperson for Metrolinx, said it’s ironic because the policy allowing dogs onto the train was recently changed.
“We just changed the policy to allow leashed dogs onto the GO train, like we literally just changed it last week,” she said.
“So it’s kind of odd timing but you have to have a human with you — he missed that part.”
Though he wasn’t accompanied by his human, that didn’t stop Marley from having quite a day out on the town featuring many pats, makeshift leashes, and treats.
“They were all so nice, saying, ‘Oh, we’ve given him treats, I hope that’s okay. He’s all fine, he’s not nervous.’ And I said ‘oh no, he’s living a life, he’s having his best day,'” Peterson said.
Aikens said that he only had a collar on and no leash but people were quick to offer up alternatives.
“First a customer offered a tie so he was walking around with a tie, and then a belt, so they fashioned together a leash for Marley. So well behaved and just wanted belly rubs. That’s all he wanted,” she said.
And the GO Transit staff, dog lovers it appears, took no ‘paws’ in ensuring Marley got those rubs.
It seems that Marley, the six-year-old border collie-shepherd mix, has previously taken an adventure or two.
“This isn’t the first time he’s gone looking for me,” Petersen said.
“My son was walking him a few years ago and he was sitting in front of a Shoppers. I had left them and went and done my shopping. I came out and there’s Marley sitting there right by Kingston Road, like a bunch of busy streets.”
A woman nearby informed her that Marley had also taken a walk through the nearby Scotiabank. He looked at each person before deciding the one he was looking for wasn’t there and then high-tailing it to the next location where Petersen found him.
Petersen said she just can’t say enough about the GO Transit staff.
“I felt mortified that my dog was lost and I didn’t even know it. So then for them to be so kind about it, it was just so sweet,” she said.
All in all, Petersen is in good humour about the ordeal.
“I got up this morning and asked him if he had any plans today that I should be aware of. Like, are you going to Ribfest? What are you doing today, buddy?”