Friday, April 8, 2016

In Which I Conquer My Claustrophobia

Yesterday I ventured out with a vague plan of birding, sketching, and keeping His Adorableness, AKA Hairy Truman, entertained, as well as to enjoy the beautiful sunny (and warm!) weather as long as possible.

We began at the Montlake Fill, where we admired a Great Blue Heron, who, in return, gave us the Stink-Eye.


Next we found several Common Mergansers hanging out on Mud Island.

This one seemed displeased with a new arrival.

The new arrival persisted, and eventually detente was achieved.

We went around most of the Loop Trail before taking a slight detour over the wooden bridge to the slough road, which Truman objected to strongly, as it was not the direction for the parking lot and the car that would take him home.  So he got put into his stroller.

At the end of the slough, I decided to do something bold.  We were not far from the new station for the light rail train that now runs between the UW and Capitol Hill.  I had heard good things about how fast it was -- a matter of 3 or so minutes.  But it went through a tunnel...and I have issues with tunnels and anything else that  makes me feel enclosed.  Elevators.  Crowded venues.  (I can handle Safeco Field because the stadium itself is open and airy and once I'm in my seat it's fine -- it's the crowds on the concourse that are irksome.)

But since we have bus tunnels and light rail tunnels that get us where we want to go a whole lot faster than surface streets, I figured I ought to get used to them.  After all, it will be much easier to get to Safeco Field on the light rail.  So I trundled Truman to the station, where we went down an elevator to the train.

He seemed concerned.  So was I.  We got on board and found a stroller-parking spot, and off we went, through the tunnel that goes UNDER A CANAL and THROUGH A HILL.  I spent some anxious moments wondering what would happen if the Big Quake occurred RIGHT NOW.

We were very, very brave.

And then we were on Capitol Hill!  We rushed out and up and back into the lovely sunshine.  Boy howdy, it was fast.

It was only a couple of blocks to Cal Anderson Park, where we wandered around a bit before I settled down to do a quick sketch (not shown, as it wasn't that great).

Then we walked another block to the fabulous Dick Blick art supply store, which does NOT have a sign anywhere on its entrance saying "service dogs only" so we tootled right on it and made a purchase and tootled right on out.  We went back to the station and zipped to the UW station and strolled down to the Fill -- where we saw another Great Blue Heron.

We did not startle the bird -- it was completely disinterested in our presence, but then a family in a canoe paddled by and set it off.

Here we are at the wooden bridge again.  Truman is happier because now we are headed towards the CAR.

Ha!  Little did he know that we were taking yet another detour to the perennial garden on the other side of the parking lot (we went right past the car) so I could eat my lunch and do another quick sketch which is also not shown.

Here is Truman giving me his "why are we here?" look:

He has mastered this expression.

Hey, he survived.  Eventually we headed back to the car and back home where he got to jump in his wading pool and then lounge around the yard to his heart's content.

Happy Friday!


  1. I heard about the new light rail - very cool. I'm sort of surprised that they allow dogs that aren't service dogs, let alone a dog in a stroller - ha! That's awesome. You were both very brave - good job!! That would be a fun way to go to the ballpark.

    1. Dogs (not just service dogs) are allowed on Seattle Metro transit -- don't know when that policy started, but it's been that way ever since I moved here in 1988. One of the perks of living here!

  2. Wow seems like a big day out today. I'm wondering when did you start putting "Hairy" Truman in the stroller and is it because he can't walk far. I'm surprised that you can take dogs on public transport in Seattle. I think I remember someone saying about taking a dog on a bus. Also it appears you can take them into some shops. Maybe I should live in Seattle, much nicer if you can take your second best friend with you everywhere. Cool you faced your fears today and went in a tunnel and underground, it's a hard thing to do.

    1. I had a stroller for my previous dog Georgie (also a dachshund, who lived to 16) because he had a bad back the last few years. I also always used it to take my dogs on retirement home visits as it was was easier for the residents to reach them without having to bend over. Truman liked it the first time I tried it with him. Turned out he hated walking away from his home so I would stroll him ten blocks away, turn around, take him out, and he would be happy to walk *towards* his home.

      It's also handy for keeping him safe/contained on public transit, and in stores or crowds. There aren't many stores you can take dogs into, I've only found a handful. On the whole though, Seattle is a very dog-friendly city.