Most Taxi Drivers don't like Me (Dogs)
Common excuses (taxi drivers told Rane and Mage) include:
"Your dog is so Big!"
Hey mind you, I am only a medium size dog and you called me Big!
"Your dog will scratch my seats!" &/or
"Why didn't you wear socks for your dog?"
"Your dog will run around the taxi!"
"Your dog will distract me when I am driving!"
I was never allowed on the taxi's seat. I am always hugged tightly while seated on either Rane's or Mage's lap. Sighs. I have never known how it feels to sit on the seat of a car.
"Your dog will stink my taxi!"
Though I am not the best-smelling dog, I dare admit that I smell pretty decent; decent enough to not stink up the entire taxi.
"I am allergic to dogs!"
I understand that some people are genuinely allergic to dogs, but I guess most people just use it as a convenient excuse.
"Why didn't you put your dog in a bag or a carrier? " &/or
"Especially when your dog is so big!"
Doesn't it answer your question? Precisely, it's because I am 'big', there's no bag that can contain me! All the stitches will probably give way when the big is lifted up from ground. Even if Rane were to get a container that fits me well, I guess there will be great difficulties trying to fit the container into the taxi.
And the list goes on.
There was once a taxi driver drove off immediately upon seeing me and there was another time a taxi driver brushed us off with a bad attitude. On average, we have to hail for 8 taxis before they are willing to fetch me.
Most of the drivers that we approach are Chinese, and the rest are Indians. To avoid any misunderstandings, Rane and Mage never approaches Malays, as most of them are muslims. Most often than not, the Chinese taxi drivers are the one who display great unhappiness upon hearing that they have to fetch a dog.
Just last week, when Rane was approaching a queue of taxis, a malay driver winds down the window panel asking where she had wanted to go. When Rane explained that "It's okay. I am travelling with a dog." The malay driver actually declined politely with a smile. This was a behaviour that few drivers displayed; to decline Rane/Mage politely. (Please do not be mistaken. I am not being racist. I am just sharing what I have experienced.)
Most Taxi Drivers don't like Animals
If you think that only dogs (like me) have problems trying to get on a cab, then you are wrong. Rane was rejected countless times by taxi drivers when she wanted to bring the cats and the rabbits (which are always contained in locked carriers) to the vet.
There was once, a taxi driver agreed to fetch Mage, Rane and Dopey (a lop ear rabbit) from Sunset Way to Choa Chu Kang. However, midway during the journey, the taxi driver got unhappy with the fact that Mage and Rage had a furry animal with them, and started being grumpy. By the time they alighted, the taxi driver was having really bad attitude. That left Rane really sore at the end of the day.
The Few Taxi Drivers who love Animals
Despite the many bad experiences, I do have some good ones to share too. I remember this Chinese taxi driver who was very happy to see me. Mage, Rane and the taxi driver started discussing about dogs, with the uncle explaining that he has always wanted to get a dog, but he has no time for it. Now that his timing is more flexible as a taxi driver, he is considering getting one. Mage and Rane started telling him the various welfare organisations where he can adopt a dog from, and that not all dogs can be licensed under the address of a HDB flat. I will always remember him turning around to look at me when the taxi stops in front of a red light.
There was another time when an Indian taxi driver drove us home. He started saying how he used to train dogs as a police officer, and his experiences with them.
Another Phillipino taxi driver was more than happy when he was told that he needed to pick me up along the way, when Mage brought Piyo (another lop ear rabbit) from Marine Parade to the vet in Choa Chu Kang. The uncle started sharing about his life and love with dogs when he was back in Phillipines.
If you are wondering why didn't we book for a pet taxi instead of a normal taxi meant for human, the reason is pretty simple. Cost.
Rane has enquired several companies which offer pet transportation. The cheapest she found was $30 per trip, and $50 for round trip, regardless of the location. Some companies even charge more upon knowing that 2 human beings will be tagging along.
Hiring the service of a normal taxi cost an average of $8 when we head for lessons, and $6 when we head back home. (Price difference is due to additional charges incurred during peak hours.) For a round trip, it would have cost us approximately $15.
Should we hire the service of the pet transportation companies, it would have cost us at least $500 on transportation alone. That is $350 more than what it would have cost us to take a taxi.
Though not all taxi drivers are willing to have dogs as their passengers, I will like to believe that they are the minorities. After all, everyone has a right to what/who they like or dislike.
Meanwhile, I just hope that I will meet taxi drivers who love me and my fellow paw friends, and that I have my own transportation too. Only then can I command Rane and Mage to drive me wherever I want to go.