?All aboard: Retiree builds dog train to give rescues a barking good time

By Masaki Sugimoto

By Domingo Ramirez Jr. Tribune news service

FORTH WORTH, Tex. — Doggone it, Wally loves his ride.

So do Buddy, Daisy, Jack, Mickey, Ms. Nell, Chubby, Bonnie and Clyde, all former stray dogs who belong to 80-year-old Eugene Bostick of Fort Worth.

The ride, which Bostick built himself, has made the retired Union Pacific railroad employee and his pups viral superstars.

After a video appeared on BuzzFeed recently, Bostick and his dog train have attracted thousands of views and calls from all over the country.

“We got a call from New York one morning telling us the video had gone viral,” Patricia Bostick, Eugene Bostick’s wife. “The phone hasn’t stopped ringing.”

All for a dog train built with 55-gallon fiberglass barrels.

Twice a week, with the help of his 87-year-old brother, Walter “Corky” Bostick, Eugene Bostick cranks up his John Deere riding mower, uncovers the cars on the train and takes his nine pups on an hour-long ride.

“Oh, they just love it,” Corky Bostick said. “Every time he takes the covers off, they start jumping and barking, ready for the ride.”

The dogs seem to have a great time, barking and looking around as if they’re taking in the scenery. Eugene Bostick has had the train for about 15 years, since an idea hit him when he was out deer hunting with a friend.

“He (the friend) had one of those barrels and used it to haul rocks,” Bostick said. “I had been using a trailer hooked up to my riding mower to take the dogs for a ride. I thought I could make cars for the dogs, put wheels on them and drive them around.”

It worked.

The Bosticks have plenty of room for the train tour on their 11 acres just north of the Sycamore Creek municipal golf course southeast of downtown Fort Worth.

The Bosticks collected the dogs over the years as strays were abandoned around the property, which is on dead-end streets, or elsewhere.

One stray is named Wally because he was found in a Wal-Mart parking lot.

Two dogs stay in the house, two are allowed in the yard, and five stay in a horse barn.

The dog train is stationed near Eugene Bostick’s home. Each car is furnished with pillows, and there is assigned seating.

Elderly Buddy sits right behind Eugene Bostick, while rowdy Bonnie and Clyde ride in the last two cars. Jack and Mickey go together in Car 3. (Mickey was under the weather the day a reporter visited, so he didn’t make the trip.) Wally, in Car 4, has the loudest bark. Eugene Bostick hooks a wooden ramp to the cars to help some of the older dogs get in.

Bonnie and Clyde, sister and brother, have been known to jump out, so he uses leashes to keep them in the cars.

“The rest have always stayed in their cars for the entire ride,” he said.

The dogs are not the only recipients of the Bosticks’ kindness.

Every day the brothers feed and water goats, rabbits, geese, ducks, fish, cats, squirrels, raccoons and coyotes.

They leave out food for more than 30 animals, depending on the season.

The dog train is a passion for Eugene Bostick, who is out with the dogs every week, even if there’s a little snow on the ground. But he doesn’t go out in thunderstorms.

“Oh, I’m in good health,” Eugene Bostick said. “So I guess I’ll be driving them around for as long as I can.”