Yesterday we took a trip in Van Cortlandt Park. As usual, in order to take the dog on the subway, we put her my daughter’s old baby carrier. She got used to it – she is very mellow in it, especially since we are loading her outwards.I alwso saw recently dog carriers done on the same model – only without holes for feet. But I digress.

As we sat down in the A train going uptown, this black guy in a while robe and white knitted skullcap starts making snake noises at Boongo from across the aisle. Boongo always get pettings, smiles and “is it a boy or a girl” when in the carrier.

I did sense that those sounds were made to rile the dog up, but Boongo totally ignored it. The effect on the guy was instant: he started riling himself up, spouting a long monologue that went on from 14 street to 34 street in a crescendo:

“Why are you keeping the MR dog in a MF baby carrier? It’s not a baby. It’s a dog. it should be in a bag. Or a cage. I’ma call the police on you’ ass. The United States police. As soon as we get to 34 street I am getting the police.(repeat 10 times)

I know about dogs. I in fact fought dogs in New Jersey. Why should you be allowed to carry a dog in a baby carrier? Just because you are white? What makes you so special?”

At that point the black guy sitting next to me started shaking his head in embarrassment “please tell me you’re not going there”

He got out of the train on that resentful note, continuing to yell at people in the station while pointing at the window where I had been sitting – I had moved since.

It had been perfect silence during the tirade. After that, people started being nice to me – one woman told me not to worry. Another guy offered me a napkin to wipe some water I spilled, without even asking.

For people thinking of blaming the heat, the train was air conditioned and not  crowded at all – everyone had seats.

As for Boongo, she had a terrific trip – and got in the first puddle too cool off

But for me, that train ride was the 2008 elections all over again.