RATTY, the bus-hopping York dog who loved taking a trip to the pub, has died.

The ten-year-old Jack Russell became a media celebrity after The Press revealed how he would wander onto First York services near his home on a Dunnington farm and make solo expeditions to his favourite hostelries.

But now his owner Gary Kay says he is devastated after his beloved terrier died when he was hit by a car yards from where he lived, and close to the bus stop where he used to catch a ride.

Passengers waiting at the York Road shelter raised the alarm and Ratty has now been buried in the garden at Undergate farm, where he used to accompany Gary on his pick-up truck and tractor.

His independent exploits emerged in 2006 when we reported how he would pad onto the Number 10 service near the farm and get off at The Black Bull in Hull Road to search for sausages. When animals were banned from the premises, he then switched his attentions to The Rose and Crown in Lawrence Street. Ratty’s pub-going escapades captured the attention of national newspapers and earned him a GMTV appearance, while he was also filmed for a Japanese TV show about amazing animals.

“He’d probably only done it once or twice in the last few years, but he’d still always go out on his own – I believe keeping a dog chained up is unnatural, and he was very crafty and had never had an accident before this,” said Gary, who had owned Ratty since he was eight weeks old and used him to keep the farm’s rodent population in check until he went lame.

“I am absolutely gutted and will miss him such a lot,” Gary said.

“He had a good life, he was a very loyal dog who knew how to stand his ground, and because of what he did he had quite a big fan club – everybody knew him. The people at the bus stop who saw what happened were mortified. It didn’t matter where I went on the farm, he would follow me if I left him on his own. I’ve got other terriers, but nothing like Ratty – there was something different about him.”