It wasn't until the dog got off the train at 16th Street that I realized he'd taken it by himself.
I saw him first at the 24th Street stop. I thought he was a rat. He's a tiny thing.
He was wearing a nice, new-looking collar, so when he boarded the train behind a young woman, I assumed he belonged to her. Then he began prancing up and down the aisles, balls proud and in tact, sniffing the feet of the passengers.
An older gentleman with a sour yellow shirt sat beaming at the small dog. He was obviously delighted by the pup's presence, and looked about the train car for faces of recognition, people who were as happy as he was about this small animal with free rein.
I wasn't going to be one of those people.
I didn't pet the dog when it sniffed curiously at my shoe. I didn't smile back at the man in the sour yellow shirt, either. I wanted no part in the pet sitting that was being forced upon all of us in that train car.
Watch your dog. Use a leash.
The train halted. For the first time I noticed that the dog's nails were either curled and long or jagged and broken.
The doors slid open, and eight blocks away from where he boarded, the tiny dog looked out to the right, then out to the left, then trotted off the train alone.