Darwin, Australia resident Richard McCormack thought nothing of it when his dog, Woodley, sat in the passenger seat and watched him drive his recreational vehicle.
But little did he know his two-year-old German koolie, wasn’t just sitting there enjoying the view and being friendly—Woodley was learning the RV’s controls.
The 62-year-old McCormack parked his large mobile home on Winnellie Road, which runs down a slight hill, and popped into a yard to inquire about repair work.
He was surprised when he looked back to see his double-decker motorhome rolling down a hilltop driveway with Woodley at the wheel, reported NTNews.
He’d only left the vehicle for a couple of minutes to talk to a mechanic about the RV when Woodley popped the handbrake, put his paws on the wheel, and took off.
Sales assistant Phil Newton could not believe his eyes when he saw the dog driving the 20-ton, double-decker bus through Darwin’s industrial zone.
“I thought, ‘What the…’!” he said.
“This was weird, even for the Territory.”
Newton, 30, said the dog was sitting in the driver’s seat with its paws on the steering wheel. He chased after the runaway bus, leapt through an open window, and rammed on the handbrake.
“It ran about 700 feet, swerved across the road, and traveled up a footpath. It was about to run into a parked car when I managed to stop it,” Newton added.
McCormack says he’ll be Woodley-proofing the handbrake to stop Woodley from doing a repeat performance before he sets out on the cross-country trek around Australia he has planned.
“He’s still my best mate,” he said.
Woodley, on the other hand, was unrepentant.
Your travel life has the essence of a dream.
It is something outside the normal, yet you are in it.
It is peopled with characters you have never seen before and in all probability will never see again.
It brings occasional homesickness, and loneliness, and pangs of longing.
But you are like the Vikings or the master mariners of the Elizabethan age, who have gone into a world of adventure, and home is not home until you return.
—Agatha Christie, British mystery writer