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Meet Boji, the dog who daily travels 30 km

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Istanbul, a city known for its rich history and vibrant culture, is also home to an extraordinary canine commuter. This particular

street dog

, affectionately named Boji, has garnered attention for his unusual routine of traversing the city using

public transportation

. Each day,

Boji

embarks on a journey covering up to 30 kilometers, utilizing the city’s

ferries

,

trams

, and

subway cars

to navigate his way through the urban landscape.

Boji’s story began when municipal officials noticed a street dog frequently using the city’s ferries, trams, and subway cars. Intrigued by his behavior, they started tracking his movements and discovered that Boji travels up to 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) a day, navigating through dozens of metro stations and taking at least two ferry rides. According to a Getty Images photographer who followed Boji, the dog simply loves to ride on transportation. Whenever he sees a bus, van, or any form of transport, he wants to get on it. His adventures have made him a beloved figure, with many residents and visitors sharing their encounters and selfies with him on social media. Boji’s adventures suggest that he travels not out of necessity, but rather out of enjoyment and perhaps a desire to interact with the many people who have come to love and cherish him.

Boji

Boji travelling on a ferry without any inconvenience. He is a well mannered dog with a high level of intelligence who never causes trouble. Source: Reuters

Municipal workers have also observed Boji’s behavior and conducted a behavioral study to ensure that his interactions with humans and his extensive travels do not pose a problem for him or those around him. They found that Boji knows where to go and seems to have a purpose in his travels, although what that purpose is might not be entirely clear to observers.

Boji’s name is derived from the ‘bogie,’ a system that enables the movement of wheels on vehicles, which is fitting given his affinity for transportation. His fame has grown to the extent that he now has his own Twitter and

Instagram

accounts, with tens of thousands of followers. Through his posts, Boji encourages public transportation users to follow city safety rules, becoming an unlikely advocate for responsible commuting.

What sets Boji apart is not just his use of public transport but his demeanor and the way he has integrated himself into the daily life of the city. Passengers who have met Boji describe him as quiet and well-behaved, a polite traveler who respects the rules of the road. He never crosses the yellow safety line at metro stations, setting an example for his fellow commuters.
The

Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality

embraced Boji, ensuring he had all the necessary vaccinations and a

GPS

tracker to monitor his whereabouts. They even set up a little kennel for him at one of their metro stations and provided him with food whenever he chose to return.
However, in a wonderful twist of events, Boji was adopted by businessman Ömer Koç in 2022. Since then, Boji has found a home where he can roam and run freely, while still enjoying his occasional jaunts around the city. In March 2024, Boji was even spotted in London with his owner, taking a ride on a London bus. It seems that Boji’s love for travel continues to be a significant part of his life, even after finding a permanent home.
Boji’s tracking device data reveals a penchant for historic tram lines, alongside regular subway rides. Owner Erol notes Boji’s adherence to public transport etiquette, waiting for passengers to disembark before boarding the train—a testament to the dog’s respect for transit norms. Through his unique lifestyle, Boji has become a symbol of Istanbul’s inclusive spirit, showing how a city can embrace all its inhabitants, human or not.
Boji’s story is a heartwarming tale of a wandering spirit finding a place to call home without losing his zest for exploration. As he continues to travel, even with a permanent home, it reminds us of the words of T.S. Eliot: “The journey not the arrival matters.” Boji’s adventures, from the streets of Istanbul to the buses of London, embody the joy of the journey, a sentiment that resonates with many who find solace and excitement in the act of traveling. His story continues to inspire and captivate those who hear it, a proof of the enduring spirit of adventure that lives within us all.
Dogs continually amaze with extraordinary tales, from remarkable rescues to unwavering loyalty. Their instincts and bonds with humans lead to astonishing feats, defying odds and capturing hearts worldwide. These stories underscore the profound connection between dogs and humans, showcasing their enduring impact on our lives.

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