13

Driving Miss Doggy

So, today, one of my Facebook friends shared this fun news report, which you may have seen, about Eclipse the Dog, who rides the bus like a person does.

Eclipse, a black lab-gold mastiff mix, knows how to ride the D-Line in Seattle without her owner. <span class=meta>Photo/KOMO</span>

The dogs on the bus go arf, arf, arf…

It was just the thing to perk up my morning. I had to watch the video a few times, because this dog is adorable and smart, and has better public transit manners than most riders of the Madison bus system.

Apparently, it started when her owner took her out to catch the bus to the dog park and took a smoke break. When the bus came, Eclipse was tired of waiting and was so ready to get on with her day that she left her owner behind and took the bus herself, recognizing the stop at the dog park. Her owner, Jeff Young, said that “if we get separated, she gets on the bus without me and I catch up with her later” (Hayden, McRady).

I’m no expert in psychology, it’s probably not that difficult to figure out why Eclipse does what she does. Ever since Pavlov, we’ve known that animals such as dogs can respond well to classical conditioning, which leads to recognizing patterns. What impresses me more is the spatial and geographical knowledge that this dog seems to possess. The variables of travel vary every day, and so many things could lead the dog astray. For example, the dog could be distracted by a small animal, someone on the bus could offer her a treat and cause her to miss her stop, or the bus could get caught in heavy traffic, prolonging the ride, making Eclipse get off a stop too early because she feels that she has spent enough time on the bus that day. The fact that she sits in a seat and allows people to pet her, potentially distracting her from her task, definitely puts her in the top percentile of non-human intelligence. I mean, think about it; she can’t see color, read words, or ask directions. That would be like putting me on a bus full of locals in Thailand without my glasses and telling me to get off at “the square with the big tree.” I would probably end up either in Cambodia or attempting to make conversation with local trees.

Now that I’ve spent about an hour watching videos of animals on the Internet, here’s something I found about other animals who use public transportation. Spoiler alert: some of the stories don’t have happy endings 😦 but it does go to show you that maybe we’re underestimating what our animal friends can do.

Oh, and today has been my first six-continent day of the year! Thank you so much for coming and visiting today: from North America – USA and Canada, South America – Venezuela and Chile,  from Europe – Ireland/Germany/UK/Czech Republic/Cyprus/Austria/Turkey and Gibraltar (for the first time!), from Africa – Kenya and Egypt, from Asia – Israel/Azerbaijan/Philippines/Kuwait/Bahrain/India/Taiwan/UAE/Jordan (for the first time!), and Armenia (also for the first time!), and from Oceania – New Zealand and Australia! Thanks for reading, come again soon!

Ron Weasley applauds you!

Works Cited

Hayden, Jan. “Seattle dog masters public transit, rides bus alone to the dog park.” The Daily Kos. 13 January 2015. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/01/13/1357476/-Seattle-dog-masters-public-transit-rides-bus-alone-to-the-dog-park?detail=facebook

Lammle, Rob. “Public Transportation is for the Birds (And Dogs And Goats).” Mental Floss. 18 August 2010. http://mentalfloss.com/article/25504/public-transportation-birds-and-dogs-and-goats.

McRady, Rachel. “Dog Rides Bus to Dog Park in Belltown, Seattle By Herself: Watch Eclipse’s Viral Journey!” Celebrity News. US News. 13 January 2015. http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/dog-rides-bus-dog-park-belltown-seattle-video-2015131.

2

Three Times I Have Fallen Asleep in Public

Maybe it’s because I haven’t been eating well, or I’m behind on work, or I’m just…I don’t know, overwhelmed, maybe…but I haven’t been inspired by anything lately. I always say one of two things about blogging: a) I’ll edit this entry later, and b) That’s a story for another entry.

So I looked back at some previous posts, and since I could use a good story anyway, here are…

Three Times I Have Fallen Asleep in Public

It should be noted that, as a child, I had a horrible time trying to sleep anywhere but in my own bed, so none of these events occurred until I was at least in high school.

SeaTac Slumber Party

In between my sophomore and junior years of high school, I went on a cruise to Alaska with my dad, aunt, and sister. As it is, Alaska fucks up your sleeping schedule, especially if you are only there for a few days, like we were. So with an already destroyed body clock, we disembarked the ship in Seattle with a whole day before we had to fly home, so we went to explore the city. It started off all right, but after the Space Needle and Pike Place Market, something within me began to unravel. I don’t even quite know why or how it happened, but I just started crying. Nobody did anything to upset me, and I was not hurt, but there I was, sitting in the rental car somewhere in downtown Seattle, bawling for no reason. Unusually, my dad was being very supportive and comforting, telling me, “it’s okay, you’re just overtired, you miss home, you’ve had enough vacation for now, we’ll be home soon.” I can’t remember where my aunt and sister were at the time, but I do remember that I wished that they were around to see my dad being so nice.

After I had cleaned myself up, pulled it together (as much as I could), we returned the rental car and went to the airport. I was still a little shaken up from sobbing my eyes out so hard that I couldn’t breathe, so my dad bought me a book or something in the terminal. Next thing I knew, I was on the plane. Apparently, I had fallen asleep so deeply that I didn’t even remember where I was or why I was sad. And to make it even funnier, I was sprawled out on the floor on my stomach and people were walking over me. I only found that out after I got home; on the ship I had made some friends and exchanged email addresses with them, and two of those friends, a mother and daughter from Tennessee who had arrived at the airport after we did. On their way to their gate, they walked past the gate where we were and they recognized my dad. According to their email, they walked over to say hello/goodbye and asked my dad where I was, at which point he directed them to look towards the floor.

Sleeping Beauty in Boston

In 2008, I attended my fraternity’s national convention, held that year at a Hilton in Boston. I helped out on the workshops committee, participated in events all day, and also had a lot of late nights hanging out with brothers; basically, very little sleep for me for a few days. It was the final day of the convention, and my roommates and I had just checked out of the hotel, and along with some other brothers, were storing our luggage in a small conference room while waiting for the closing event of the convention, the final banquet. Someone started talking about how tired they were, and how they were going to skip out on the final banquet and take a nap instead. In response, someone else crawled under the large conference table in the center of the room, and thinking it was funny, a few others (including myself) joined them and continued the conversation while sitting under the table. I guess I became bored or something, because I crawled over to my bag, got the book I was reading, and crawled back beneath the table.

The next thing I know, I open my eyes to a darkened and empty room. Putting on my glasses, I get up and turn on the lights. Then, I remember about the banquet, and was horrified to think that I had possibly already slept through it. I look around the room for a cell phone or anything, and of course there’s a huge wall clock which lets me know that two hours have gone by. Two hours. Which means that the banquet…is in about fifteen minutes. And I still need to get dressed. Needless to say, I threw on my outfit and booked it to the banquet hall, managing to make it just in time to get a seat.

The convention ended, and I spent the next few days hanging out with Dan, ringing in the new year at his place, hanging out with them, and flying home in January, when plane tickets are cheaper. A few days later, my Facebook becomes clogging with tagged pictures of me from convention. Most of them are fun and happy, but then I get to a picture and see myself passed out on the floor of the conference room, lying on my stomach with my book and glasses lying next to me in a neat little pile.

Whoops.

I was kind of hoping that kind of picture wouldn’t have existed, but at least I was fully clothed and nobody decided to write on me.

One Long Clinic Wait

This happened sometime during the brief period between Israel and Houston where I lived at home. One day, I went with my mom to visit my sister in her classroom in Rockville. She happened to be terribly sick that day, so after following her home, she got into the car with us and we went to a 24-hour urgent care clinic somewhere in the DC/Rockville area. I did not expect this activity, so I didn’t bring any books or my laptop. As my mom and sister are seeing the doctor, I sit in the waiting room…waiting…waiting…waiting…

…And then I’m awake, still sitting in the clinic, but about an hour has passed, it’s gotten a bit darker outside, there are different people sitting around me, and my mom and sister are nowhere to be seen. At first, I think that they’re probably still with the doctor, but then realizing that I had already been waiting a long time before I fell asleep, other thoughts enter my mind. I’m already picturing the headlines: “Have You Seen This 22-Year-Old?” or “Mother Enters Clinic With Two Children; Leaves With Just One.” So my curiosity gets the better of me, and I head outside. At first I had trouble finding where I was because I was in a strange city and disoriented, but after a few minutes of walking around, I found my mother’s car, still in the spot where we parked it. Okay, I thought, so they’re around here, somewhere…but where? There are a few stores nearby and a Dunkin’ Donuts, so I spend a little time poking around there, and then head back to the clinic to wait some more.

Of course, the expected story would end with them being finished with the doctor just as I left, and then leaving to look for me as I came back, but really, it was just a long appointment and they didn’t even know I had fallen asleep or had left the clinic for a good ten-fifteen minutes.

So, yeah.

Not much of a point here, but hey, more stories, and even though I shouldn’t, I actually feel like I’ve been productive for the last hour.

Wow, I have issues.

Here’s a fuzzy bunny.