'Lucky Dog' Races Through BART Tunnels

Categories: Public Transit
black poodle toy.jpg
Black poodle 1, BART 0
A black, 10-pound poodle managed to bring BART to its knees this morning, as it ran wild through the tunnels, snarled rush hour service, and, so far as anyone can tell, got away clean.

The animal exited the train at Lake Merritt Station around 7:30 a.m., then decided to take a subterranean morning constitutional. The dog headed for West Oakland Station rather than 12th Street, ran about a quarter of a mile underground, and emerged into daylight. He or she has not been seen since.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson speculated the cat-sized dog must have had nine lives -- it leaped over the electric third rail and was fortunate that BART curtailed service during the dog run, as the creature could have met its doom from an oncoming train. Had the dog relieved itself near the third rail, it's more than likely it would have received a lethal shock (Experts question stories of people doing the same -- but dogs, unlike people, tend to stand in their urine as it puddles up).

Commuters cooled their heels for about 10 minutes during the abortive search for the beast.

It is not yet known how an unattended dog apparently found its own way onto a train. The owner is either nonexistent, has not yet realized his or her dog is missing, or -- like your humble narrator's mother chose to do when her dog stole the ball from a New York City Little League game and ran off into Central Park -- has disavowed ownership in the face of certain public scrutiny.

Johnson reminds BART users that only seeing-eye dogs and service animals may be allowed free roam of the train -- and even these creatures must be leashed.

Update: Johnson notes that during the course of the dog's pursuit, BART cut power in the tunnel just as it does when people run in there. So the animal couldn't have electrocuted itself. That being said, it could have easily done so in the minutes before the agency cut the juice.

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