Dog Takes Bus by Herself (So Why Don’t We Let Our HUMAN Kids Do This?)

Wait! Did i forget my cell phone?

Wait! Did i forget my cell phone?

Considering we have municipalities making it illegal for kids to walk home by themselves from the bus stop, this doggy story from Seattle should give everyone…paws:

“Did that just happen?”

That’s the reaction one bus rider had in Seattle, after realizing a dog had just joined him for a ride through the city, traveling several stops to her destination: a dog park.

The story comes to us from Seattle’s KOMO 4 TV, which reports that Eclipse, the black Labrador who is winning fans for riding a city bus by herself, lives very close to a bus stop.

Eclipse is owned by Jeff Young, who does not seem to be a control freak.

“It’s not hard to get on” the bus, he tells KOMO. “She gets on in front of her house and she gets off at the dog park, three or four stops later.”

It all started when Eclipse refused to wait for Young to finish a cigarette before getting on the bus that takes them to a dog park they regularly visit. Then she took the bus by herself again.

Read the rest here. And let’s remember Eclipse next time we wonder if our human children can possibly get themselves anywhere on public transit, or even walk home from the school bus stop.


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41 Responses to Dog Takes Bus by Herself (So Why Don’t We Let Our HUMAN Kids Do This?)

  1. CWH January 14, 2015 at 10:31 am #

    Funny you should post this – a friend already shared it with me after I was complaining the other day about how Amtrak won’t let my 15yo ride the train into the city for a class (technically they allow 13-15yos but the rules are so onerous it won’t work for us).

  2. Buffy January 14, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    But remember, there aren’t dognappers behind every bush and dogophiles lying in wait to have sex with dogs and force them into dog sex trafficking.

    I don’t think.

  3. Sheila January 14, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    I was just going to email this article to you!!! too funny!

  4. SKL January 14, 2015 at 11:02 am #

    Now that’s cute. 🙂

    Of course the answer is that while a person might forgive himself for losing a dog, no parent could ever forgive herself if anything happened to her kid ….

    FTR I used to ride the bus alone by age 9 if not younger. But for such a short distance, we would have walked it, and at a younger age.

    This reminds me of the trip we just took to South America. We took a ferry between Buenos Aires and Uruguay. I let my kids hang out “alone” in the kids’ section (there were other kids there) for an hour or so. Needless to say, this was questioned. Someone could steal them! Steal them and take them where? (And, why?) Sigh.

  5. Brooks January 14, 2015 at 11:12 am #

    Dogophiles! That’s funny!

  6. Eric January 14, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    Best animal in the world. I love dogs.

  7. Donna January 14, 2015 at 11:47 am #

    SKL – Whenever I talk about the freedom kids have in A. Samoa, I get comments about how lucky it is that they are not all taken by child traffickers and I am always like “Trafficking to where? It’s a small island surrounded by thousands of miles of Pacific Ocean and not much else. Who wants to be stuck on a boat with a bunch of seasick stolen kids for the weeks it takes to get anywhere other than another small island that has plenty of its own kids?”

  8. Papilio January 14, 2015 at 11:56 am #

    There was a similar story from Moscow a couple of years ago, also a dog on the bus, or tram maybe.

    @CWH: Again that Amtrak?? What’s PT for if they don’t allow even a *fifteen*-year-old on the train?
    Next they demand you have a driver’s license before they let you in.

    @Buffy: Caninophile maybe???

  9. Tricia January 14, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

    While this story warmed my chilly heart, I will admit it shocked me. It’s the sad state of society that I was truly surprised that this wasn’t immediately forbidden – not because of the dognapper possibility, but because someone’s precious Percival might be afraid of dogs.

  10. Ice Cream January 14, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    Did the dog pay the fare? How much is bus fare for dogs these days?

  11. Donna January 14, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    Don’t be too quick to negate dogophiles. I’ve had more beastiality cases than kidnapping cases. But, much like other sex crimes, it is usually their own dog and not one they pick up on the bus.

  12. SKL January 14, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

    Oh Donna, how I wish I had not read that. 😛

  13. lollipoplover January 14, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

    The comments on this are hilarious too.
    My favorite:
    “Tomorrow’s story: Cat hijacks bus, demands to be taken to Pike’s Place seafood market”

    Labs are awesome dogs. I’d much prefer to share a bus ride with one than the guy loudly talking on his cellphone. Probably has better manners too.

  14. Emily January 14, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

    @Papilio–Amtrak technically DOES allow people age 13 and up to ride alone, but only between 5:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m., they have to be at the station an hour in advance, with a parent or guardian 18 or older, and then picked up by another adult at their destination, and the adult has to show photo identification, they can’t make transfers, both the station from which they’re departing, and the destination station, must be staffed, they have to wear special coloured wristbands, they have to be “interviewed” before departure to ensure that they’re “capable of travelling alone,” and to add insult to injury, unaccompanied minors (or, at this point, less-accompanied minors) have to pay the full adult fare. The full list of rules is here:

    Anyway, you can see how these rules pretty much defeat the purpose of “independent” travel for teenagers, but technically, Amtrak can turn around and say, “We do allow 13-to-15-year-olds to travel alone; you just don’t like the conditions.”

  15. Warren January 14, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

    Those rules for Amtrack are insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Hell, I would just have my 15 yr old, go up and pay for a ticket, and if asked…………..lie.

  16. Leila January 14, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

    I posted and article about this dog on Facebook the other day thinking about how heartening it was that the dog was allowed to ride and not hauled off the clink instead!

    While many people “liked” and reposted it, I mush share with all of you, the ONLY comment it generated (from a friend of a friend, someone I don’t know…):

    “As cute as this is, not a fan of allowing this furbaby out on his own. Too many postings and stories of missing and lost pets.”

    OMG OMG OMG! What is wrong with people? Not mention, this white scuffed dog is not a “baby.” I’ve lost a few cats to coyotes in my day, but I still won’t suffer the argument that they must forever be locked inside lest they become lunch. Same for kids.

    As always, thanks for what you do!

  17. Donna January 14, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

    I HATE the term “furbaby.”

  18. Eric S January 14, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

    Selective fearing. 😉

  19. John January 14, 2015 at 5:18 pm #

    Quote: “Don’t be too quick to negate dogophiles. I’ve had more beastiality cases than kidnapping cases. But, much like other sex crimes, it is usually their own dog and not one they pick up on the bus.”

    OMG Donna, is that ever sick! But my question is, would that be considered a “sex crime” or more like “cruelty to animals”? I would think the latter would make more sense. Either way it would be very embarrassing needing to contact a Lawyer to represent you over something like that!

  20. MichaelF January 14, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

    wow Amtrak sure has changed…I used to regularly take the train from Staunton VA, to the DC terminal and then up to Boston every summer and winter vacation from 8th grade until Sophmore year in high school. This was in the 70’s though. I met some awesome people on the train and had a great time reading books.

  21. Emily January 14, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

    @Warren–you’re right. I mean, what’s stopping a parent from saying “Junior is sixteen,” just to get around the rules? Or, what’s stopping a parent from purchasing an adult ticket online, and handing it off to Junior, who may only be fourteen or fifteen? Kids that age don’t have government I.D., and student cards don’t always show the student’s age; just “Jamie Smith, Blahhblah High School, Student #1234.” Anyway, Amtrak’s rules MIGHT work for, say, a teenager taking a direct train trip from one staffed station to another, during daytime hours, if they’re going to be dropped off at one end, and picked up at another (like, say, a teenagers visiting an out-of-town relative, or a group of teenagers travelling to summer camp, where they counsellor’s meeting them on the other end), but they wouldn’t work for boarding school students from out of town, who might visit their parents on the weekends, if the school doesn’t do train-station pick-ups, or teenagers going into the city to take a class, as CWH’s teenager wants to do, but can’t. It’s more of the same “treat kids and teenagers like checked baggage” syndrome, and the parallel is even more visible here. I mean, you check your suitcase before flying, and then pick it up at the other end, and Amtrak is mandating the same procedure for anyone under the age of sixteen. The last I checked, a typical fifteen-year-old had a LOT more mental faculties than a suitcase.

  22. Donna January 14, 2015 at 6:41 pm #

    John – It is actually considered a sex crime in my state. You don’t have to register as a sex offender, but the crime is in the sex crimes chapter of the code. I assume that in states without a separate bestiality statute, sex with animals is prosecuted as cruelty to animals.

    The cases really don’t happen often, but they are fodder for years of great entertainment when they do.

  23. BL January 14, 2015 at 7:32 pm #

    “I’ve had more beastiality cases than kidnapping cases.”

    Do the animals press charges? Do they testify at the trial? Can the defendant claim the dog is 18 (in dog years) and consenting?

    The mind boggles.

  24. Donna January 14, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

    BL – We had to draw the line on the dogs bringing comfort animals to court though.

  25. Jessica January 14, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

    So I had always heard that pigs are smarter than dogs, then the other day I heard on one of my kids’ shows that most scientists believe pigs have the mental capapbilities of a 3-year-old. So what we’re saying is an animal who has less mental capability than a 3yo is allowed to ride the bus by itself, but a 15yo cannot? As was said previously, the mind boggles.

  26. Warren January 14, 2015 at 9:33 pm #

    I don’t know how Amtrack works, but you don’t show ID for most VIA Rail tickets. You just walk up, request and pay. That easy.

  27. Puzzled January 14, 2015 at 10:28 pm #

    Does the dog know how to pull the cord to signal for a stop?

  28. Emily January 14, 2015 at 11:00 pm #

    @Warren–We don’t have Amtrak here either (I just Googled Amtrak’s age restrictions, so I could see for myself how onerous the rules were that CWH alluded to), but the commuter bus companies have “unaccompanied minor” policies that are almost as restrictive as Amtrak’s rules. They don’t do wristbands, or pre-travel interviews, and as far as I know, the parent and child don’t have to arrive at the station an hour early, but the “adult at each end, no transfers, and limited to certain staffed stations” rules are the same.

  29. Harley January 14, 2015 at 11:34 pm #

    I’ve seen several stories about stray/feral dogs riding the Moscow subway from where they sleep to where they scrounge. There’s even info in Wiki –

  30. Papilio January 15, 2015 at 1:40 pm #

    @Emily: Just reading that makes me tired… All that dumb bureaucracy at the cost of what they’re actually for: transporting people.
    So basically this railway company pretends it’s an international airport and all minors under 16 are either flight-risky or too dumb to do anything on their own. Sigh.

  31. William C Bonner January 15, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

    This story annoys me for several reasons, but mostly because the number of people who seem to think it is their right that their dog goes everywhere with them.

    Seattle has a leash law. The dog roaming free without a leash should be taken to the pound.

    The buses in Seattle have a service animal rule. This dog is clearly not a service animal.

  32. Puzzled January 15, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

    Yes William, it is indeed horrible that a dog goes where it wants without causing anyone any trouble. I don’t know how people there can live with such a blight on their society, but they manage. I assume jewelry sales are up, since such a thing is certain to cause much pearl-clutching and attacks of the vapors.

  33. JKP January 15, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

    William, a 2 sec google search shows that the Seattle buses do in fact allow pets on the bus, not just service animals. The only difference is that service animals cannot be turned away and ride for free, and pets can be turned away at the discretion of the driver and pay a fare depending on size.

    Just like children, well behaved dogs are only well behaved because they have been socialized properly out in public with strangers and know how to behave themselves.

  34. Harrow January 16, 2015 at 1:12 am #

    @Ice Cream: “Did the dog pay the fare?”
    Dogs, and service humans accompanying a handicapped dog, ride for free.

  35. Ilya S. January 16, 2015 at 8:42 am #

    I think there should be a meme for things we are amused that animals could do, but we would never let our children even attempt.

    My submission: a pet monkey buying himself (herself?) a drink.

  36. chris January 16, 2015 at 11:18 am #

    the humanization of dogs is waaay out of control!

  37. chris January 16, 2015 at 11:19 am #

    The humanization of dogs is waay out of control.

  38. pentamom January 16, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    There are probably a lot of good reasons why there should be a policy that unhandled dogs shouldn’t ride public transportation. But that’s not the point Lenore’s making.

  39. Alex January 16, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    Dogs used to routinely travel around town on their own (admittedly, not on the bus). My mother, for instance, had a dog who would meet her at school and walk home with her at the end of the day in the 1950s. Dogs would go out, meet up with other dogs, wander around smelling things, and generally had a doggy daily routine separate from their humans. As with children, they have lost a lot of that independence over the past 50-60 years.

    Of course, dogs are now much safer in the age of leash laws, dog parks, and doggy play dates. I wouldn’t let mine wander alone because they are not smart about cars. But I do think they’ve lost an important chunk of their independence. Luckily, unlike children, they will never have to grow up and learn to take care of themselves.

    Oh, and I have been warned that there are nefarious dognappers who will steal your dog to sell to a research lab if you let it out in your fenced yard without going out there yourself the whole time. Seems unlikely– research animals would need to have known health histories.

  40. tinfoil hattie January 17, 2015 at 8:48 pm #

    Aww! So sweet!

    Re: Amtrak – oops, I sent my son to Trenton from DC on Amtrak when he was 14. Just never thought about it! He was picked up by a relative at the other end. My cousin used to ride the bus from MA to Port Authority to visit us in NJ when she was 14 and 15. I rode to MA to viait her once, too. Sigh. Fun times.

  41. Sarah J January 24, 2015 at 2:19 pm #

    I like to say that if a sufficiently intelligent animal that learn/be taught to do something, so can a child. Like a chimpanzee that knows how to make a PB&J sandwich, and uses *gasp* a knife to do so.