It's easy to forget that it’s been almost a year since New York City banned big dogs from the subway system.
The official edict came down from city officials last October: No dogs allowed unless the animal fits in a carrier or bag.
The idea was, presumably, to make other passengers feel safer — and maybe give them one less reason to smile or look up from their phones on that long, dark commute of the soul.
So you might think only pugs and chihuahuas and other portable pooches would be left to chew up the subway scenery.
Well, it turns out that many New Yorkers walk softly and carry a big bag. Big enough for a best friend or two.
the New York City Subway banned dogs unless they fit in a bag and the people of New York did not disappoint. pic.twitter.com/vluNcZHBmW— Christian (@meanboysclub) June 6, 2017
Rather than curb big dog sightings, the ban has turned the subway system into a carnival of canines. People are coming up with the most hilariously inventive ways to make sure their dogs abide by the letter of the law.
My favorite picture EVER of someone bringing a dog "in a bag" on the subway 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/4PTUNofv68— Pamela🏳️🌈🇨🇴 ||-// (@PamelasRageLove) June 7, 2017
And, along the way, the ban may actually be bringing people together.
My dog has gotten so heavy that when I carry him on the subway in his tote bag I start pouring sweat 😓😓 and people offer their seats to me— Tom Stern (@TweetsByStern) December 14, 2016
According to the New York Times, only 219 riders were issued summonses in 2015, compared to 261 the previous year.
Does that suggest the ban wasn’t necessary in the first place? Does it even matter?
Because this seems like a winning situation all around: Dog owners get to keep calm and carry-on, subway travelers get something to smile about … and bureaucrats still get their bone.