Eclipse, a dog who gained fame for riding Seattle’s city bus alone, died in her sleep on Friday, according to her owner-run Facebook account. She was 10 years old.
The big red bus with three doors had been a fixture of Eclipse’s daily routine for years, owner Jeff Young told USA TODAY. Several green and yellow buses stopped right outside of Young’s apartment, but Eclipse knew to take the red one to the dog park in Belltown because she had done it “a million times,” Young said. He adopted Eclipse when she was just 10 weeks old.
In 2015, the black lab-bullmastiff mix dog began commuting without Young two to three times a week after sneaking on the bus alone while Young was smoking a cigarette. Eclipse knew exactly where to get off the bus by looking out the window, Young said. Eclipse would hop off the bus and “fly” straight to the dog park about a block and a half away.
“She would break off whatever conversation she was having or whatever interaction, jump down, go to the back door and start banging on the glass,” Young said.
And since that first solo ride in 2015, Young had to keep a closer eye on Eclipse.
“The celebrity kind of got out of hand,” Young said.
Young said Eclipse has been his “best friend” for the last 11 years.
“Missing her doesn’t even cover it,” he said.
Young said that while all people say their pets are special, Eclipse really was, to him. Eclipse was diagnosed with cancerous tumors prior to her passing, Young said.
“Even on bad days, I could turn over and look at her and it never did seem so bad.”
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Eclipse rode the King County Metro, which paid tribute to the dog on its Twitter page.
Camille Fine is a trending visual producer on USA TODAY’s NOW team.