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A bus in Alaska that picks up puppies is a fan fav on social media

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

In the small city of Skagway, Alaska, there is a unique bus service, but it's not for people. The passengers can be loud, but they're pretty well-behaved.

(SOUNDBITE OF DOGS BARKING)

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The puppy bus is run by a local dog walking and training service called Mo Mountain Mutts.

MO THOMPSON: Thank you for riding with Mo Mountain Mutts. Would you guys like a complimentary chicken liver with your bus ride?

INSKEEP: The puppy bus takes the dogs to spots for off-leash walks or hikes and even a swim.

THOMPSON: I never set out to be a dog walker.

MARTÍNEZ: That's Mo Thompson, who runs the business with her husband, Lee. The dog walks started off as a favor for Mo's co-workers and eventually became a full-fledged business.

THOMPSON: It just kind of turned into, like, all right, guys, I'm going through a lot of treats and a lot of poop bags. Can you guys, like, throw me some money?

INSKEEP: Woof. The Thompsons have captured many people's hearts. A TikTok video shows the dogs boarding the puppy bus, greeting their pals and jumping into their assigned seats. This has been seen almost 55 million times. And some dogs have become fan favorites, like Jake.

THOMPSON: Somebody made a comment about, I bet you Jake buckles himself in. He gets on the bus. He says hi to his friends. He does a circle, and then he gets in his seat every morning.

MARTÍNEZ: Then there's Amaru, who waits for the bus on his own.

THOMPSON: He's just laying in the snow, waiting for the bus. And you pull up, and he starts wagging his tail. And he gets on the bus, and he's just covered in snow.

INSKEEP: One of many personalities, if that's the word, for a dog that keeps viewers hooked.

THOMPSON: There's so many different dogs, and there's so many different breeds and ages. There's plenty of dogs on the bus that you can relate to. So people are like, oh, my dog's like Lola, or I'm like Carl. They identify themselves with the dog.

MARTÍNEZ: The business has come a long way. Before the puppy bus, there was a van. And before the van, Mo corralled the pups on her bike.

THOMPSON: I've been known, like, in my community for a while, but not on the internet. That took the bus.

INSKEEP: The bus made her famous in the world of mass transit. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.