Seattle’s famous bus-riding dog has a secret.
Eclipse, who’ll be at the Lacey library’s fourth Animal Video Festival, commutes solo to the dog park in Belltown, but she doesn’t make the return trip without company.
“She does not come home by herself,” said Jeff Young, Eclipse’s owner. “Somebody has to go get her from the park.”
Maybe the 5-year-old Lab-mastiff mix doesn’t know how to manage the return trip, or maybe she’s just in no hurry, since she has plenty to do downtown. She visits a nearby tobacco shop and 7-Eleven, too.
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Eclipse knows enough to stay out of the street. “If she crosses the street, she crosses at the cross walk,” he said. “She’ll huddle up with the people and then when they go, she goes.
“She’s urbanized,” he added. “She just adapted to her environment like all of us do.”
Eclipse’s skills have been celebrated on TV shows, in newspapers and on websites nationwide. She filmed a commercial for King County Metro that says dogs may ride buses at the bus driver’s discretion. She’s the subject of a children’s book, “Dog on Board,” by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent and Young.
And she makes plenty of guest appearances at events, including her upcoming visit to the Lacey library, where she’ll be available for photo opportunities on an Intercity Transit bus.
Animal guests are a yearly highlight at the festival, which last year hosted Amy Trotter, a pig who was a star student at dog obedience school, said Kelsey Smith, the librarian who curates the event.
Amy was a hit but was distracted by snacks the library serves at the festival — in particular, the kettle corn. “As a very treat-motivated pig, she kept swerving out into the audience,” Smith said.
One year, a woman arrived with her leashed cat. “Not technically OK, but still pretty funny,” Smith said.
The event typically attracts between 60 and 120 animal-loving humans of all ages, said library associate Kerry Martin, who helps to organize the festival. “We always get a really good turnout, and people are super-excited,” she said.
Smith said, “Sitting in a room packed full of all different kinds of people who are laughing together at animal videos has a kind of magic that can't be described without experiencing it yourself.”
Animal Video Festival
What: The fourth annual festival features abundant cute and/or funny videos plus a guest appearance by Eclipse, Seattle’s famed bus-riding dog, who’ll be available for photo opportunities on an Intercity Transit bus.
When: 7-9 p.m. Friday
Where: Lacey Timberland Library, 500 College St. SE, Lacey.
More information: 360-491-3860, trl.org
Start the festival now
If you can’t wait for the festival, check out these picks from festival curator and librarian Kelsey Smith and library associate Kerry Martin. Some will be included in this year’s festival; others are favorites from previous years: