Monday, October 3, 2011

The dog who took the train home--by herself.

In Sweden--where dogs are allowed on trains, but not typically as solo passengers. This particular dog being a four year old black lab named Eira--wonder if she's any relation to Fort Washington Park's Aries (shown above)? He's been known to arrive on the scene as much as ten minutes ahead of his person.

Eira was left at her new day kennel in the southern Stockholm suburb of Hökarängen last Thursday by her owner but struck with home sickness she decided take the matter in her own paws and head out for home.

She evaded her carers and walked the kilometre to the local metro station, ducked the barrier and jumped on a northbound train, according to a report in the Dagens Nyheter daily which has been confirmed both by her owner and the police.

The dog stood patiently among the other morning passengers and waited in the six stops between Hökarängen and her home station of Gullmarsplan - a busy bus, road and metro junction.

But on alighting the train at Gullmarsplan she was met by station staff who took her into their care. The staff report that Eira succumbed to their approach without resistance.

In accordance with routine, the staff called the police and handed Eira over.

"If she hadn't been detained she would probably have been waiting for me by the door," her owner, named only as Caroline, told the newspaper.

The only mishap to befall the capable canine is that she is thought to have caught her paw in the door of the metro train, leaving her needing an ice pack.

What's remarkable about this is that it's not a feral dog, like the ones in Moscow that routinely use the Metro to get from Point A to Point B, who have been observed actually listening to station announcements over the PA system, so that they know what stop to debark at (heh--debark).

No, this was somebody's pampered pet, who obviously had ridden the train with her person on many occasions, was probably taken to the hated kennel by train, and managed to memorize the route. She wasn't trained to do this--she wanted to. She chose to go home by train. She made just one miscalculation, leading to a minor injury. Given a second chance, she probably would have known to stand clear of the closing doors.

In the course of arguing with people about the feasibility of allowing dogs on mass transit here, I frequently meet with the argument that dogs don't even want to go on trains, and it's just a handful of stupid people who want to drag them.

To which I respond--är att så?

(Swedish for "Is that so?")


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