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No Car Go, Dog, Go!

April 25, 2011

Ah, the Suess memories.

I’ve been thinking a lot about dogs lately.

Mostly, I’ve been thinking about dogs, because my boyfriend just adopted one from the Denver Dumb Friends League. He’s a black lab/pointer mix, and we’re convinced he was sent from the dog gods to train us how be good dog parents.

When we’re most clueless, it feels almost like he’s talking to us, coaching us through:

  • “Mornings are for walks, afternoons are for naps, and evenings are for cuddles.”
  • “If you let me eat grass, odds are good I’m going to puke on your carpet.”
  • “Saying goodbye when you leave for work is probably more difficult for you, you old softie, than it is for me.”

Anyway, all this dog-fulness got me thinking about the role cars play in a modern dog’s life.

Cars take dogs to the vet, the groomer, the grandparents’ house at the holidays. People load their dogs in the car to go to the park, for a hike, even out to eat. Dogs ride in cars about anywhere their owners want to go that’s farther than a mile or so from their homes.

I’m beginning to think if I ever want a dog of my own, I’ll have to get a car too.

You might say, “But, Amy, people have children without having cars.”

The big difference is: You can take human children on the bus. As far as I know, most public transit systems only allow service animals to ride.

I guess I could get a bike trailer for them to ride in or use a carshare every now and then.

Any car-free dog owners out there? I’d sure love to hear how you do it!


11 Comments leave one →
  1. Melody permalink
    April 26, 2011 6:59 am

    Ok, so I am no expert seeing as how addicted I am to my four wheeled vehicle, but I must say DON’T GIVE IN! Is there really no vet within walking distance? When you want to go to the park or on a hike, call up a friend to join you (and who has a car). I think you’re overestimating how often dogs need a car because you are looking at people who use their car for everything, and why not bring the dog. Stay strong, and call me if you want to go to the park (we’re missing a dog in our life).

    • avaerewyck permalink
      April 30, 2011 10:40 am

      Thanks for the encouragement, Melody! You make good points. I’m not in a place (as far as housing) where I can get a dog yet, but these are great ideas for the future.

  2. April 29, 2011 9:19 am

    I think the size of the dog is important. I can’t imagine hauling a Great Dane around in taxis, but a little terrier wouldn’t be a problem. You could probably even get a small dog onto a bike. And I don’t know what kind of area you live in, but there has to be parks and maybe even a vet within walking distance.

    Or learn to like cats. Cats are awesome. ^-^

    • avaerewyck permalink
      April 30, 2011 10:42 am

      Hey Erica – Thanks for your input! I’m a dog-lover at heart, but I’ll try to give cats a chance too. 😉 Ever run across any cool dog-carriers for your bike? I bet they’re out there.

  3. Ramona Roush permalink
    May 2, 2011 7:25 am

    I own a quite large dog and run into similar situations. Here are a couple of suggestions.
    1. find a park close to you for your dog. walking there is good for both of you.
    2. When I have to go to the vet I either get a taxi (they take dogs), rent a car from Enterprise (good Friday thru Monday rates), or I have friends who will take us in their cars for gas money.
    3. I would like to use eGo car share, but they also don’t allow dogs in the cars near me.

    • avaerewyck permalink
      May 25, 2011 9:27 pm

      Thank you SO much for the suggestions, Ramona – very helpful! Too bad eGo doesn’t accept them. I understand that there could be allergy issues though.

  4. pawl permalink
    May 24, 2011 7:04 pm

    Google ‘service animal patch.’ Order one to fit your dog.
    Viola, on the bus.
    You don’t need a special permit for a service animal patch, but most people don’t know that. Might help to get a weird leash too.
    If you get on the bus and someone’s all whatever about your dog, make strange moaning sounds and start shaking your hands very rapidly. Do this for about 10 seconds, then hug your dog, take a deep breath and act normal again. No more questions asked.
    Jus sayin’

    • avaerewyck permalink
      May 25, 2011 9:30 pm

      I suspect that, most times, when people type “lol,” they’re lying. Laughing out loud doesn’t happen as often as texts and other digital messages would have us believe. But believe me when I say that I totally lol-ed at your comment, Pawl.

    • July 12, 2011 2:18 pm

      Pawl I came here looking for advice on the issue because I too take the bus everyday. I am wondering if I can get away with your plan (very sneaky by the way). I don’t want to act handicapped, but maybe say I have to take the dog to her owner when I do need to use the bus and what not. Do you think this would really be an option?
      Thanks !

  5. February 13, 2013 11:38 am

    This blog entry came up when I did a Google search for getting a dog with no car… I’m in the same dilemma. I don’t have a dog (yet) but I’m also car-less. All of the vets within walking distance have awful reviews on Yelp. The Car2Go program in my city does not allow pets in the car unless they are a guide animal.

    I would also like to say that “getting a patch” to pretend your dog is a service animal is complete fraud and illegal.

  6. May 12, 2014 6:32 pm

    I googled this post similar to June.. I wanted to hear the stories of other dog owners that may be car-free. I ride my bike and take the bus and live in a small town that is 12 miles from the county seat. A vet within walking distance is much more expensive than the vet I used to drive 8 miles to. When I walk with my two dogs I tend to add utility and visit a store or pickup some takeout.. my community is friendly and I feel safe leaving a dog unattended for 10-15m, and usually will go visit a park afterwards. The best dog food is in the city away.. which has lead to me doing bike excursions to pickup a 50lb bag. However traveling out of town I haven’t yet tackled with dogs.. I’ve had pet sitters and a quality dog kennel to turn to (who will pickup and drop off if they can). Some companies design pretty good bike trailers for dogs and I’ve read some blogs of people doing bike tours with their dogs, but I wouldn’t subject the animals to intense heat or cold (myself, on the other hand…), and would have difficulty pulling both my dogs, who would weigh close to 90lbs, long distances.

    Check out Burley or Wike trailers for some pup-friendly trailers. A builder in Vancouver even has harnesses for your workbreeds to pull groceries or whatever.. check out if you’re curious

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