There are several things one doesn’t expect to see while riding the subway, among them: wheelchairs, pets, people having sex, aerobeds, Santa Claus, and rain inside the station. I’m not saying that these things never appear on the subway, but it’s rare. So when you happen upon one, you are stirred out of your general comatose-like state and take notice.

I awoke yesterday to find, instead of the torrential downpour predicted, nary a drop on the ground, so I was already in a good mood when I got to Grand Army Plaza, not having had to trudge through it all. Then the train came quickly and I got the last seat in the car. Monday was off to a kick-ass start.

The man on my left looked impeccable tailored trench coat, cuff links peeking out from the sleeves, wing-tipped shoes. His hands rested on a monogrammed duffle bag on his lap. I would have sworn he had a manicure.

I had my book open (Amy Bloom’s latest Away), but felt my lids were sinking, sinking closed. (This is in no way a commentary on Ms. Bloom’s novel.) I thought I felt something brush against my thigh, but nothing alarming. Then I felt it again, a little harder. My eyes flicked open. Generally, touching of a fondling or pick-pocket nature doesn’t happen while one is sitting and usually only on very crowded trains. My mind wasn’t grasping what was going on.

A dog a ten-pound, brown dachshund had his two front paws on my leg and his two back paws on the man to my left. First thought: “Whaaa?” Second thought: “Awww!”

The man, flustered, attempted to lift the dog off of me. “I’m really sorry. He just leapt out.” He pointed to the duffle bag. Then, he talked to the dog. “Pickles, you have to stay in the bag. You know that.”

Pickles did not want to go back in the bag. He resisted in the style of a Tom and Jerry cartoon where Tom splays all limbs across a doorway to avoid being pushed through. I’ll admit I was a little flattered that Pickles was interested in me.

“Don’t worry. He probably just smells my dog,” I said. I returned to my book, trying not to stare at adorable little Pickles.

But Pickles was a sly one. He lay down on the man’s lap and gave him a don’t-worry-about-me-I’m-just-resting glance. The second the man relaxed, Pickles was up like a shot and sniffing all around my legs, leaving gobs of drool on my coat. This was going too far Pickles and I barely knew each other.

The man was trying to rein him in a sort of lackluster way while Pickles was pointing his long snout in my pocket, rooting around. I tried to grab his collar to pull him off when he backed away all on his own, triumphant in his victory. From my pocket Pickles emerged with a rawhide I must have forgotten to give to my dog before I left the apartment.

Note to self: Prior to entering the subway station, empty pockets of all keys, money, cell phone, and dog treats.

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