Paws for thought

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LEFT: Tia, owned by Stagecoach Yorkshire Commercial Director John Young is every bit as spoilable as she looks. A rescue dog, she’s been part of John’s family for 10 years. “Everyone at work loved her – even a lady who was a bit unsure because she had been bitten by dogs twice before,” he recalled. JOHN YOUNG

Jade Milnthorpe showcases a selection of cats and dogs who’ve spent time at coach and bus depots

We all know how our four-pawed felines and canine companions can make the perfect side-kicks. Therefore, it should be no surprise that there are many cats and dogs working around the clock to keep workplace morale high in various coach and bus depots.

The team at Leicestershire coach operator Nesbitt Bros of Somerby, Melton Mowbray, know this only too well. Recently featured in CBW, as a family-run company, established in 1852, they provide all aspects of coach travel to the local area and beyond. With three dogs manning the depot from 0700 to 1800hrs, Monday to Friday – as well as on a Saturday – they are keeping unwanted human visitors at bay. The trio of German Shepherds are rescue dogs, hence the rather quirky names – Cody (male), Beau (male) and Sassy (female).[wlm_nonmember][…]

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Joe Nesbitt told CBW: “I’ve had Cody for a couple of years, while Beau and Sassy have clocked up six years’ service.

“They know all our drivers and they recognise the sounds of our coaches. They are also quick to identify a strange vehicle or person. Their presence can help to deter unwanted guests.

“Cody normally sits under my desk, while Sassy stays at the side of Ian, my dad – and Beau prefers to hang out in dad’s old police dog unit van that is located by the entrance gates. The three dogs keep a careful eye on all goings on.”

Some of our canine companions are too busy to dedicate their full working week to the depots but, much like Tia, a Collie Cross Labrador, they pop in when they can. Recalling her ‘day at the office,’ Tia’s owner, John Young, Stagecoach Yorkshire’s Commercial Director, said: “She only came to work once as there was nobody at home to look after her, but she loved it and made lots of new friends. Every time someone entered the office, she went to check/greet them. She struggled to understand why she had to be excluded from a conference call, but still made a contribution by barking from the main office. As someone who had never had a dog before, she is now my dog and my best friend – apart from my wife that is!”

Millie is in her element – spoilt by employees and visitors alike at First’s Kernow Truro depot

At the opposite end of the country, Deb Hart, who works in First Kernow’s Coaching Unit at Truro depot, doing administration and coach driving told CBW about the self-appointed on-site ‘pest controller,’ Millie. Deb wasn’t always a cat-lover, but when Millie appeared at her workplace, demanding to live at the depot, she became very fond of her, as did her colleagues.

“Millie’s been here 18 months,” explained Deb. “She turned up one day – we saw her wandering around the depot. She then started being friendly – she’s very soft.

“She used to go into the garage to the engineers. One of the engineers took her to the vets to be scanned in case she had got a chip. When her owners, who lived half-a-mile away, were contacted, they took her home, but she returned here. However, when her owners said they were happy for us to look after her, we clubbed together to get her chip updated.”

Staff at Truro depot have now set up a pot in the office to help pay for any future veterinary bills. She is, quite frankly, living the life of luxury – beginning her day with a tin of tuna from the engineers, she then wanders off to find the cleaners for a few treats and a cuddle. After finding her way into their cupboard, the cleaners have provided a bed for her where she sleeps each night.

Deb added: “Our pest controller has effectively been put out of a job as he finds the bait boxes untouched. It’s enough to say she provides evidence of her work around the site.”

Millie will be spending her well-earned four-day Christmas break with one of the engineers – she is certainly well taken care of.[/wlm_ismember]