Monday, 27 June 2011

life with a dog but no car

I've been reading about the efforts in Europe to persuade people to abandon their cars and move around on foot or by bicycle. I'm all in favor of this, as I worry that our present use of private transport is unsustainable.

But I'd like to know how those governments are planning for people to travel with their dogs.

In Melbourne, for instance, we are allowed to take dogs on trains, but not on trams, buses or country trains (unless they are small enough to be carried in a container). The dogs are supposed to be muzzled, but I've never seen that happen.

Today I went to the Royal Botanic Gardens, to take photographs and meet fellow enthusiasts. I left Penny at home, but I saw quite a few dogs there. So I thought perhaps I'd go there another time, by train.

And according to the signs, dogs are welcome, as long as they are on lead. There was even a dog drinking bowl at the outside tables of the cafe. There was no water in it, though, and the cheeky mynahs seemed to think the bowl belonged to them.

The gardens are extensive and beautiful. I'm sure Penny would enjoy sniffing around these palms, for instance.

At least twice a week, if not many times more, I put Penny in the car and head off to a walking spot some distance from our house.

But should we all be conserving fuel by only walking around our own localities?


curator said...

That's a tough one - particularly in countries such as Australia and the US where the necessities of life are miles apart more often than not. Besides, nor can we take our dog on public transport. That being said, I would love to rely less on my own car for my daily life!

Honey the Great Dane said...

Yes, I agree with you - governments often have these "good ideas" without thinking things through to provide for everybody! And I really do think dogs should have more access to public transport - and as you can imagine, the size discrimination rules that often apply make my bloog boil!! Especially as I have seen many times small dogs behaving atrociously when I know Honey would have just lain quietly in the corner, despite the fact she's 10 times the size of the smaller dog!

When we lived in the UK, we saw people with dogs using the trains a fair amount - I remember once meeting a man with the most gorgeous German Shepherd who spent the whole trip lying so nicely & quietly under his seat! (yes, under! He squeezed in and stayed there, out of everyone's way) I think dogs CAN in theory go in the Underground in London, I think, but they are not allowed on the actual escalators leading down to the platforms (unless they are carried) so in practice, this means most dogs can't go since the escalators are REALLY long and steep and unless you have a Chihuahua, you wouldn't really want to carry your dog the whole way down! Having said that, by law, they have to allow Guide Dogs so they will open the emergency staircases for people with Guide I don't see why they can't do that for all dogs!


parlance said...

Yes, Curator, it's a big issue here. On the other hand, I remember being taken aback at how large the distances are between places in Spain and France. I wonder what they're doing about public transport?

parlance said...

Hsin-Yi, we don't get lots of dogs on public transport, but at least it's allowed, not like up there in NSW. Yesterday there was the most beautiful LARGE white bulldog (I think that's what the owners said) on the train, and a woman opposite ate a souvlaki wrap. It was so funny. The dog sat up, despite obviously being a calm and well-behaved dog, and stared at her - and stared at her.

Luckily she was dog -owner too.

Everyone who got on did a double-take when they saw him, but went around him. It was a nice trip.

Maggie and Mitch said...

We hope you get to go to the botanic gardens next time, Penny! You're such a well-behaved girl and it would be such fun for you!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

parlance said...

Maggie and Mitch, I think she would enjoy it!