Roxy, the Long Island Railroad Dog

In 1901, a young dog later named Roxy was taken in by a conductor for the Long Island Railroad. Roxy made friends easily, and was soon traveling by train anywhere he wanted to go. He had favorite conductors, favorite passengers, and favorite stops across Queens. On Thursdays, he would go to Montauk Point for a seafood dinner, then spend the night at the Jamaica station. Other nights, he'd be at the YMCA or in Garden City with another conductor. He knew every train and its schedule, and how to get where he wanted to go.

The conductor would say, “President Peter’s orders are that Roxy has the privilege to occupy a seat in any car at any time.”

Sometimes he’d sit with the passengers, while other days he preferred riding in the baggage car or with the fireman. He was known to spring from the open cab while the train was going 40 miles an hour. But he could also sit patiently still on the platform while waiting for just the right train to bring him back to Jamaica or Long Island City.

On several occasions, Roxy traveled in a private car with President Roosevelt to Oyster Bay. Sometimes he’d visit the president’s home there. The Roosevelt children reportedly loved him.

We also know that he spent the Easter holidays in Merrick in 1905. Whomever he stayed with put a blue ribbon on his collar that read, “I spent Easter at Merrick and had a daisy time.” Perhaps this was Miss Elsie Hess, a school teacher who lived across the street from the Merrick station. Miss Hess always gave Roxy a drumstick at Christmas, and he’d also go to her house for care whenever he was ill. She even had a wicker basket just for him in case he stayed the night.

Then the day came in 1911 that Roxy got on the wrong train -for the first time ever- and ended up in Philadelphia! That adventure made the papers. Read about the life and times of Roxy the Long Island Railroad dog at The Hatching Cat.


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