The ups and downs of riding on elevators with dogs

(May 1, 2019)

By Jon Cohn

Let’s talk for a minute about man’s best friend. No, not the cell phone, but instead our beloved fine, furry, fluffy friends.

We all know dogs are part of the neighborhood scene in Chicago. Most love the idea. The unique connection of man and dog goes without saying. Who amongst us hasn’t reached out at times to pet a nearby stranger’s dog?

But, we have to be respectful of the fact that not everyone shares this close connection with dogs. Especially when it comes to riding the elevator.

So we offer some quick friendly reminders for dog owners when their beloved pets are joined by other passengers in a sometimes very-close-to-each-other elevator ride:

Try and keep your dog sitting, and as far from the other riders personal space as possible. If Mr. or Mrs.  Elevator Stranger asks about the dog or wants to pet it, be as open as you (and your dog) feel comfortable.

When the elevator door opens, and this requires a little reading of the body language of the other riders, let them go out first. Most will signal you with your dog to go first—but just in case, be ready to step back.

Of course no sniffing, barking or worse yet growling—from you or your pet. Those go without saying and are the trademarks of a well trained dog (or well trained owner).

The issue while insignificant to some, can, in fact,  be problematic for others.

“There are definitely a few people in our building who are terrified when they get on the elevator and there is a large dog, said Harbor Point resident Monica, who is not a dog owner. “Sometimes even the small dogs are afraid!”

Aqua building manager Alana said, “We have no written policy about dogs riding on elevators, and really in my years here we have had very few complaints.”

Bottom line, gang? We are all in this together. Strangers, often thrown together for a brief moment in time.

With a little common sense and basic respect we can all enjoy the ride down to the ground floor, and that includes man’s best friend.