Lauren In Tokyo

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

It's his dog, after all

Today in Shibuya station I failed a moral test.

After withdrawing some money to pay for my rail pass, I returned to Shibuya station via the escalator nearest to Shibuya Mark City. At the top of the escalator there was a man stuffing a Sheltie into a suitcase. The dog was alive and quietly ducked its head when the man closed the lid.

Several minutes before on my way to the bank, I had seen the two walking outside the station. The dog ran happily before the man and looked back now and then to make sure it wasn't getting too far ahead. It's actually pretty uncommon to see a dog as big as a Shetland Sheepdog running untethered in Shibuya. The dog knew its owner and didn't seem scared of him.

With the lid snapped shut, the man hoisted the suitcase upright and rolled it along into the Inokashira Shibuya station. No yelping or whimpering was at all audible. The dog seemed to know what the plan was and was accustomed to this sort of handling, judging by its behavior.

Should I have said something? Confronted the man? Told the station attendant?

I didn't do anything... Should I feel guilty about it, though? My failure of this test isn't because I didn't act, it's because I don't know what I should have done.


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