The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 7 (November 1, 1927)
Training a Dog
Training a Dog.
Mr. F. Roberts of Epsom, whose interesting model railway was described in a recent issue, writes recalling another incident in the life of Guard Sam Cameron, whose daily round on the New Zealand Railways seemed to consist of just one humorous incident after another.
When Cameron was busy one day loading the van of a long mixed train at Mercer, a Maori came hurrying along to join the train, bringing with him the usual Maori mongrel dog moored at the end of a long chain. He handed the chain to the guard, with the remark: “You train him to Pokeno.” Cameron accordingly tied up the dog to the van handrail while he finished loading up. Having completed this work Sam blew his whistle for the driver to start and then gave his attention to the “kuri.” As the Maori's destination was the next station Sam evidently intended to take the dog in the van instead of wasting time putting it in the dogbox. But seeing the owner watching him anxiously from the front carriage and gesticulating wildly lest his “kuri” should be left behind, Sam-just as the van started to move-nonchalantly tied the dog chain to the rear end of the van, and himself jumped aboard.
The track for some distance was good between the rails, so before the train had attained much speed Cameron opened the back door of the van, leaned out, and lifted the dog inside, where it lay down quite contentedly until the train neared the next station.
In the meantime, in his capacity as guard, Sam went through to the carriage to collect the Maori's fare. One can just imagine the frenzied state of the Maori who, as the train rounded the first curve had seen his poor dog trotting along behind the train just before it began to gather speed.
Cameron, knowing that the dog was safe, was quite unconcerned, nor was he troubled about his own fate at the hands of the Government when the Maori had finished telling of all the things he was going to do about it. By this time the train (approaching the dog's destination) was slowing down. Returning to the van, Cameron dropped the dog on to the track where he ran along happily until the train stopped. Sam then walked leisurely to the back of the van, untied the chain and, handing it to the now thoroughly amazed Maori, passed a remark about the railway test for a good pedigree.
If that Maori is alive to-day he is probably still talking about his pedigree dog that streaked all the way from Mercer to Pokeno tied to the back of the van.page 41