The Smart Dog (almost) on the 33-Stanyan


Good Afternoon:

“Excuse me, ma’am, do you have a leash for your dog?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“You have to keep your dog on a leash, even if it’s a service dog.”

The Muni bus operator driving the 33-Stanyan bus (the intersection of 16th & Guerrero, heading west) looked a little impatient; I think he was running behind schedule. He spoke to the 50-ish heavyset woman in tank top and Capri pants. She looked at him as if he was a bit off his rocker.

“I don’t have a dog.”

“Then who’s that?”

She turned around. Behind her, waiting on the steps, was an above-average-sized dog of unknown and unknowable parentage, caramel colored coat with a white belly, waiting patiently, waiting as if to pay the bus fair, waiting as if wondering what was causing the delay. The woman turned back to the driver.

“That’s not my dog.”

“Then what’s he doing following you?”

“Hey, there you are! That’s my dog!”

This was a 20-something woman on the sidewalk with short straight hair parted on one side and Ray-Ban Wayfarers.

“Hey, you, what are you doing? You can’t go on the bus, we still have a long walk home. Come on, come on!”

The young woman with the Ray-Bans ordered her dog off the bus and made it follow her down the street. The 50-ish woman and the bus driver looked at each other.

The driver said, “That dog didn’t want to walk no more. He wanted a ride home.”

She said, “One helluva smart dog.”

They laughed, and we moved on, cruising past the young woman and her tired furry friend.

Vonn Scott Bair


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