Cacao, a 16-year-old mixed-breed dog, from Milan, Italy, that likes to travel by bus to his favorite spot in the city. He has commuted on bus 54 almost every day for the past few years. Cacao leaves his guardian’s home and heads for the bus stop on Arrgone Bouleverd. There he sits alongside the other human commuters, waiting for bus 54. As it approaches the station, he prickles his ears and takes a good look at who’s sitting in the driver’s seat. He’ll only take the bus if it’s driven by the driver he’s known since he first started his secret trips. After he makes sure the bus has the right driver he gets on and waits until he reaches his destination – Lambrate Station in north-eastern Milan.
When he arrives he relaxes in the public garden for a few hours and when he’s tired he takes the bus home. Luckily, his old friend the bus driver always ignores regulations, at his own risk, and allows Cacao to ride on the bus. His secret trips were unknown to his guardian for a time. When his guardian, Ms Nicoletta, who owns a bar in the Arrgone area, first heard about her dog’s strange habit, she couldn’t believe it. One of her regular customers told her she watched Cacao take the bus. So she followed him one day and saw it was true, she realized her pooch was much more independent that she originally thought.
Nicoletta adopted Cacao after she saw him wandering the streets as a stray, and in just six months time she taught him to cross the street, recognize the green light, and respect people and animals. She let him walk around the neighborhood without a leash and collar (although he has a microchip). She never imagined he would ever learn to take the bus by himself. But she believes Cacao memorized the route they take every Saturday, on the way to the market.