A Street Dog Who Travels Around His City On Ferries, Trams And Subways Cars

A Street Dog Who Travels Around His City On Ferries, Trams And Subways Cars

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Boji the dog rides a historic tram in Istanbul’s Kadıköy neighborhood.

A street dog named Boji has become something of a celebrity in Istanbul, where he travels around the city on its ferries, trams and subway cars.

His adventures came to light a couple of months ago, and municipal officials began to track his movements. They were amazed at his resourcefulness.

“He knows where to go. He knows where to get out,” said Avlin Erol, the head of customer relations at Metro Istanbul.

Boji is estimated to travel up to 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) a day, passing through dozens of Metro stations and taking at least two ferry rides.

“He’s such a free spirit,” said Chris McGrath, a Getty Images photographer who recently spent a day following Boji around the city. “All he wants to do is ride on transportation. Every time he goes past a bus or van or any form of transport, he just wants to get on it. It’s really quite bizarre.”

Boji rests on a subway train in Istanbul. The tag on his ear, commonly seen on stray dogs in the city, means he has been neutered and vaccinated. Boji rides a ferry to Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district. McGrath first learned about Boji on Twitter, where people post their pictures and selfies with the mixed-breed dog. Now the dog even has his own Twitter and Instagram accounts with tens of thousands of followers.

“Everybody knows him now and everybody’s seen him,” McGrath said.

For many, the dog has become a beloved member of the community.

“He went into one restaurant and two men sort of shooed him away, yelled at him,” McGrath said. “And then you hear someone else, another restaurant owner, yelling at those guys going: ‘It’s Boji! It’s Boji! Don’t shoo him away!’ So he’s definitely got celebrity status now.”

People take selfies with Boji as he rides the ferry to Beşiktaş. Municipal workers are also protective of Boji, and they have been looking after him. Earlier this month, they brought him in for some grooming and a medical checkup. They also did a behavioral study to make sure he was OK and that all the human interaction isn’t a problem for him or those around him.

“They took him to a training camp sort of thing and gave him some some TLC, some grooming, some shots,” McGrath said. “They watched him interact, fixed his tracking collar, and that took about a week.”

The municipality also created a little kennel for him at one of their Metro stations, and they feed him whenever he wants to come back.

But Boji prefers to roam.

Boji walks through a subway station on his way to catching a train.

Boji passes through the subway station’s turnstiles.

Boji knows exactly where to go, photographer Chris McGrath said, and he wasn’t always easy to keep up with.

Boji runs next to an arriving subway train.

Municipal workers keep tabs on Boji from afar, using a mobile app to track his movements. McGrath linked up with them last week for his day following Boji.

“He knows exactly where the doors are for the trains,” McGrath marveled. “He’ll stand on the side of the platform, and as soon as he hears the vibration of the train coming, he goes to the very end of the platform and then basically chases the train back and waits by the door. He knows exactly where the doors are. He’s quite pushy actually; people are trying to get off, he tries to get on.”

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