A true story by Seattle Metro Transit Operator #8194, Darold Andersen
Driving Route 73 (Jackson Park to Downtown METRO bus), at 5:47 am, I noticed a white little fur ball running down the road towards the bus. I pulled the bus into the zone at 15 NE at Northgate Way, south bound. As this little dog ran by the door, I asked, Are you lost? To my surprise he stopped and jumped onto the bus. I asked the passengers on the bus if anyone had time to try to find the owner, thinking the dog might not be far from home. The dog had no collar or ID. Everyone said that they had to get to work. I held the dog for about 5 minutes, calming him down, and looked for anyone out walking that might help. All the houses were dark and not a person in sight. I made the decision not to let him run loose at this very busy intersection, knowing that he was someones treasured companion. I named him Buster and passengers held him, to keep him calm, on the way into downtown Seattle. I thought this would give me some time to figure out what to do next.
As I continued my work shift, driving the Route 73 back and forth to downtown, different people sat with Buster. As one passenger got off, another passenger would hold and comfort him. This continued throughout the morning rush hour commute until I returned to Central Base at 8:45 am. Buster made two round trip trips to Downtown and was the perfect gentlemen.
At the Base, I filled out a lost and found tag and recorded the information for METRO, telling Margo, Base Chief that I would try to find Busters home and owner. My work shift at METRO was now finished.
I carried Buster to my truck and drove to the Veterinary Clinic at 125th NE at 15th NE to check to see if Buster had a microchip implant. None was found. I also thought, maybe the Veterinary would recognize him because the Clinic was close to where Buster got lost. They didnt. Then I went to 15th NE at Northgate Way and started to knock on doors of houses. I went to approximately 15 houses without any luck. I left my name and phone number with several people and a nice lady named Cindy said she would put up signs in the area and took a picture of Buster for her signs.
It was getting close to 11:00 am and I had to get to my second job at Morts Cabin. I drove Buster over to the Animal Shelter on Elliot Ave and filled out the rescue paper work… Case #11662, Mike (206)386-4294. Buster will stay at the shelter for 3 days, hoping his owner will call. On the 4th day Buster will be put up for adoption after being neutered first.
I have asked to be the first person to have an opportunity to adopt Buster and will continue to search for the owner until Buster Comes Home to his original owner.
Next, I dashed across town to open Morts Cabin at noon and contemplate the fate of this little dog that touched so many lives.
I returned to my Green lake home at 9:55 PM, after a busy day of imagined unaccomplished tasks. The light on the answering machine was blinking. Messages 3..Beep..This is Corry at the Seattle Animal Shelter, 206-386-PETSThe dog that was rescued this morning has been redeemed by its owner and is with his owner now!…Beep.
What was that adventure like for you, Buster? Did you just hop on a Bus for the sheer joy of the experience? Not caring where the road would lead….new sights, sounds, and smells. You showed me, it was scary and new at first, and then it became fun and interesting. You allowed the touch of many strangers with pats on your head along with their gentle words of encouragement. Your morning mischief slowed the busy world of commuters, as hundreds witnessed your Big Adventure. People put down their cell phones and iPods and watched you, if only for a moment. Oh, how your owner (Mom) must have worried about you being gone all those hours.
We will keep your abandonment of all the rules our secret and let Mom think you JUST got side tracked in the nearby bushes and didnt go far. After all, Mom is usually the last to know of a childs mishaps, anyway. Your secret is safely kept in our hearts. We will allow that illusion of the perfect-do no wrong child stay alive and well in her heart.
Buster, you took the plunge and survived. Yes, even your man-hood stayed intact when threatened. Pleasant dreams, little prince and thank you for your message.
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