The story is blowing up all over social and regular media: A dog in Seattle rides the bus alone to the dog park. What’s not to love? A dog, lazying around the house, decides to get some fresh air. She opens the front door, trots down the street to the bus stop, waits for the bus, gets on it, and gets off a few stops later at the dog park. Her name is Eclipse.
Of course, the story isn’t quite as great as everybody wants it to be, but it’s pretty close. Eclipse does sometimes get on the bus by herself — because she gets separated from her owner, Jeff Young. The first time happened when he was finishing a cigarette, the bus came, Eclipse on got on, and Young watched her go. The duo go to the dog park a lot, and the dog knows the routine.
“We get separated. She gets on the bus without me, and I catch up with her at the dog park,” Jeff Young told KOMO News. “It’s not hard to get on. She gets on in front of her house and she gets off at the dog park, three or four stops later.”
Still, what a sight: a dog riding the bus alone. Local radio host Miles Montgomery of KISW-FM saw the event firsthand.
“It doesn’t really appear to have an owner. The dog gets off at the dog park. I just look out the window, and I’m like, ‘Did that just happen?'” Montgomery told KOMO. “She was most concerned about seeing out the window, and I couldn’t figure out what that was. It was really just about seeing where her stop was.”
Commuters told KOMO that they’ve been seeing the dog riding alone quite a bit in the past few weeks. Eclipse roams the aisles, accepts pats, hops onto seats, and generally has a great time on the bus. At least people are looking out for her there.
“All the bus drivers know her. She sits here just like a person does,” said commuter Tiona Rainwater. “She makes everybody happy. How could you not love this thing?”
As for the drivers, thus far they’re letting it slide. A spokesman for Metro Transit told KOMO, “It makes their day,” he said, referring to the drivers and the other bus riders. “It’s a good part of their day, and it works out for her, so I just let it go.”
He did, however, have some good advice: “She would be much safer in the world if she had her owner on a leash.”
And that, of course, is the sad truth. As much as we all love the idea of a dog playing people and riding the bus alone to the dog park, it shouldn’t happen this way. Dogs shouldn’t wander unsupervised. Dogs shouldn’t ride buses alone. The transit agency and more importantly the dog’s owner should put a stop to it.
That owner, however, will do no such thing. His dog is a free spirt. He allows his dog to wander and actually shuts down people who find the dog and try to return her to him. He’s that guy. Really:
“She’s been here the last two years, so she’s been urbanized, totally. She’s a bus-riding, sidewalk-walking dog,” he told KOMO. “Probably once a week I get a phone call. ‘Hi, I have your dog Eclipse here on 3rd and Bell.’ I have to tell them, ‘No, she’s fine. She knows what she’s doing.'”
She’s fine. She knows what she’s doing.
This is exactly the wrong guy to reward for letting his dog wander.
Read more dog news from Dogster: