Sporty the 8-year-old Golden Retriever walks around downtown Chicago with his leash in his mouth because this independent pup don’t need no human to walk him. His owner, David Duncan, has him trained to look before crossing the street or parking garage pedestrian crossings, and to stop whenever he says a word. Sporty’s antics have made him a city legend.
Chicagoans love Sporty. Some people even know where he’s going to be on his daily walks and wait up for him to give him a pat on the head, according to a feature about the pup in Chicago Magazine.
David told the magazine:
It’s crazy how smart he is, anywhere he goes in the city.
Everywhere Sporty goes there are water bowls and biscuits waiting for him and people greeting him on the street by name. Sporty has also become Internet famous – with more than 1,400 Instagram followers and people asking about him on Reddit.
Whenever David sees a small child or a dog who looks like he might be uncomfortable with Sporty’s freedom, he’ll get the leash. But there hasn’t yet been an incident.
On Reddit, David said:
I wouldn’t let him walk himself if I wasn’t 100% certain he will stay off the streets. To see the amount of smiles he puts on people’s faces as we walk the streets is something few people can probably understand, it’s like a virus of happiness and we’ll keep spreading it as long as he insists on holding that leash!
Duncan adopted Sporty when he was 6 years old. One day, the Golden decided that he was going to carry around his own leash. It wasn’t a human-enforced trick, it was all Sporty’s decision!