80-year-old man builds a 'dog train' to take homeless pets on adventures
Kind-hearted retiree in Fort Worth, Texas takes homeless dogs for "walks" in his custom-built puppy train
With apologies to Taylor Swift's crew, an 80-year-old man from Fort Worth, Texas just redefined #SquadGoals with his adorable entourage of train-riding rescue dogs.
Meet Eugene Bostick: retired farm owner, friend to homeless animals, and conductor of the Fort Worth "dog train."
Already somewhat of a celebrity in his hometown, Bostick's story is been blowing up around the world this week as footage of the inventive contraption he built to "walk" nine dogs at once spreads online.
Animal news blog The Dodo reports that Bostick started taking in stray dogs at his farm in Fort Worth after retiring about 15 years ago.
"We live down on a dead-end street, where me and my brother have a horse barn," he told The Dodo. "People sometimes come by and dump dogs out here, leaving them to starve. So, 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."
While Bostick said the dogs had plenty of room to run and play around his farm, it wasn't long before he reckoned that they might like to go into town for walks.
Walking nine dogs at once is a challenge, however — even for the most skilled of pet-sitting professionals.
"I started out with my tractor. I had a little trailer and I put four or five dogs in there and took them riding," he told Fort Worth's NBC DFW in April, 2014. "Then more dogs started to show up and I said, 'Uh-oh! That's not enough room!'"
So he got creative.
"One day I was out and I seen this guy with a tractor who attached these carts to pull rocks. I thought, 'Dang, that would do for a dog train,'" he said. "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 resulting contraption was a hit amongst Bostick's adopted pets, who reportedly run towards the train when they hear its tractor approaching and jump into their "cars" without hesitation.
Locals have also been charmed by the dog train, which currently runs through town once or twice a week with a cargo of nine happy pups barking and wagging their tails.
A Fort Worth resident appears to have turned Bostick into a viral sensation by posting photos of the dog train on Facebook.
"This is the coolest guy," wrote Tiffany Johnson in a public status update last week. "He rescues stray dogs and every morning he takes them for a train ride by our building. I finally got the courage up to ask if I could take his pic! Love this and had to share!"
Johnson isn't the first to have shared photos of Bostick's train, however. Other photos can be found on Imgur dating back at least 8 months.
Bostick told The Dodo that he enjoys conducting the dog train, though he's unsure of how much longer it will run.
"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," he said. "The dogs have a great time. They just really enjoy it."