Cool or Cruel? Black Lab Boards Bus Alone to Visit Dog Park

dog rides seattle bus aloneEclipse, a 2-year-old Black Lab, is a regular on a Seattle bus that makes a stop at a local dog park, where she, uh, disembarks.

There’s nothing especially newsworthy about that — except for the fact that Eclipse usually makes the journey alone.

“All the bus drivers know her. She sits here just like a person does,” bus rider Tiona Rainwater told KOMO News yesterday. “She makes everybody happy. How could you not love this thing?”

Eclipse is not homeless. She lives near a bus stop with her dog dad, Jeff Young, who told KOMO News, “She gets on the bus without me, and I catch up with her at the dog park. 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.”

Young said his dog’s solo rides began when she became too impatient waiting for him to finish a cigarette at the bus stop. When the bus arrived, Eclipse hopped on board by herself.

“She’s been here the last two years, so she’s been urbanized, totally,” Young said. “She’s a bus-riding, sidewalk-walking dog. 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.'”

A Metro Transit spokesman told KOMO News, “She would be much safer in the world if she had her owner on a leash.”

I have to agree with that spokesman, which is what puts this story in the “Grrr” category instead of “Awww.”

As Robert Pregulman writes on his Seattle Dog Spot blog, “While I think Eclipse is an incredibly smart dog to have figured out how to get to the dog park safely by herself, Young should have her on a leash and ride with her to the dog park, not just because it’s the law, but more importantly, it’s just not safe for her to be alone in the middle of a major city.”

To ensure Eclipse doesn’t get hurt or stolen — and to avoid a fine for breaking Seattle’s leash laws — here’s hoping Young starts joining his dog on her bus rides.

Photo via Facebook