Cacao, a 16-year-old mixed-breed dog, from Milan, Italy, has taken canine independence to a whole new level.
Furthermore, his can-do attitude has made him somewhat of a celebrity in the city. Local papers have devoted many column inches to the fact Cacao likes to catch the number 54 bus and journey to his favorite spot in the city, a public park close to Lambrate Station, in north-eastern Milan.
Cacao’s home is with a Ms Nicoletta, a bar owner in the Arrgone area. 54-year-old Nicoletta adopted Cacao after she saw him wandering the streets as a stray. He was a quick learner however, and in just six months of living with her, Nicoletta had taught him to cross the street on a green light, and know to walk only on the pavement.
So confident in his skills she allowed him to walk around the neighborhood without a leash and collar (although he has a microchip), while she was at work.
Fast-forward a few years and it transpires Cacao has been using this freedom to exit his home and head straight for the bus stop on Arrgone Bouleverd.
There he patiently sits alongside other human commuters, waiting for his bus. As it approaches the stop Cacao pays close attention to the person in the driver’s seat.
He will only hop on the bus if it is the driver that he likes – i.e the first one that ever allowed him to begin his crafty journey.
Happy that the person behind the wheel is his friend, Cacao leaps onto the bus and waits until he reaches his destination.
And there in true Milanese style, he likes to wander around the gardens, loitering in the public space for a few hours soaking up the afternoon sunshine. When he’s tired he walks back to the station and takes the same bus home again.
When Nicoletta first heard about her dog’s strange habit, she couldn’t believe it. One of her regular customers in the bar had said that she had seen Cacao take the bus.
Nicoletta then decided to follow her pooch, witnessing him hop on the bus at the station close to her home. She believes he must have memorized the route that they take every Saturday, on the way to the markets.
Thankfully she did not stop Cacao from enjoying his routine, and the driver carried on turning a blind eye to the regulations. The happy dog continued to be a regular on the number 54 bus.[h/t: Milano Chronicle, Angelovaira.it, Oddity Central, Dogheirs.com]