She didn’t have a bus pass, but the driver let it slide.
border collie sitting on front porch
Credit: Anda Stavri Photography / Getty

Pepper the border collie is a bright little dog, even for a breed that's known for their high intelligence. So it should come as no surprise that, when she found herself separated from her family one morning during a walk through a park in the English town of Stevenage, she did what any bright little dog would do and just caught the bus home.

Two-year-old Pepper was out for a walk with Julie Jones—owner of the Knebworth Dog Training Club and mother to Charlotte Jones who, along with her partner Saffron Caps, adopted Pepper at the age of 5 months.

Pepper and Julie Jones were having a grand time walking through the park, until they came upon a flock of geese who needed chasing. So that's just what Pepper did.

"Her natural instinct is to go and herd them and chase, so she bolted," Charlotte Jones told the Daily Mail.

Julie Jones lost her grip on Pepper's lead, and the border collie was off to the races, giving those geese what for, until the dog was out of sight. Charlotte Jones and Caps, once they were informed of the situation, started posting online and searching the neighborhood for their lost pupper, coming up empty handed.

But it turns out they needn't have worried, because Pepper had this all under control. Having made the trip with her humans before, Pepper apparently knew that the bus was her friend and made the nearly 3-mile trek from Fairlands Valley Park to a bus stop for the town center bus station and hopped right up onto the number 7 bus.

She couldn't pay the fare, because she is a dog and therefore has no pockets. But another bus rider recognized Pepper and sussed out that she was probably trying to get home. The Good Samaritan explained the apparent situation to the bus driver, who allowed the plucky pup to stay onboard and ride for free. 

Fifteen minutes later, Pepper—ever alert and on top of the situation—stood up and got ready to exit at her stop, hopping off the bus as soon as the doors were open. Once off the bus, Pepper recognized that she'd done all she could to remedy the situation, and waited patiently at the bus stop until Jones and Caps found her. (The Good Samaritan had texted Pepper's owners, alerting them to Pepper's bus location. She also got off at Pepper's stop and waited with the dog till Jones and Caps arrived.)

"She knew when to get up when the bell rang. We have done that bus ride for so long, the doors opened and she jumped off," Charlotte Jones told the Daily Mail.