Friday, 10 February 2012
Lona wrote in from Copenhagen to say that she was planning to bring her dog on her next visit and she wondered if it was possible to take dogs on trains and buses. On her last two visits she stayed in La Cala and used the buses and train from Fuengirola several times but had never seen any dogs. "Do they allow dogs to travel on buses?" Lona asked "Mine is not a small one but a large poodle."
I contacted the Avanza Bus company right away to ask them then wrote back to Lona saying that the only dogs or animals allowed to travel on buses are guide dogs for the blind and the owner will need to show proof that the animal is a guide dog! All other animals have to travel in the compartment under the bus.
Lona and I compared notes about dogs in Germany and Denmark. In both countries dogs welcome almost everywhere and restaurant owners often actually put down bowls of water for visiting dogs, something which never happens in Spain. I told her that once at Düsseldorf airport when I was flying home once, I looked down the row of check in desks and saw four German women dog owners checking their pets in for a flight.
Although Lona was not really eager to rent a car and drive herself she said she would consider it. I couldn't resist asking her to please remember the great carhire options available from Malaga airport at www.gomarbella.com and anywhere else in Spain!
Lona is not alone in wondering about travelling with her pet on a Costa del Sol bus. On the Avanza bus website I saw another traveller had written in saying: "I have a 6kg dog and I don't really want it to travel in the luggage compartment under the bus. Can it not sit between my feet?"
Avanza Bus wrote back to say that the dog could travel but it would have to be in a proper pet travelling cage and only in the luggage compartment. In addition she would need to fill in a form thirty minutes before the bus left declaring herself as the person responsible for the animal and accepting that the bus company was in no way responsible for anything that might happen to the dog.
Avanza Bus also explained that their company was dedicated to transporting regular passengers by road and according to current law, only guide dogs are authorised to travel in the passenger compartments and should be on a lead. The guide dogs should also have their papers in order!
If anyone is interested in more information about why dogs can't travel on buses on the Costa del Sol, I recommend checking out the following Spanish law: (Ley 23/1998, de 21 de diciembre).
Sorry about that Lona, I don't like to think of dogs and their owners being separated for long!
PS: Would you put the precious dog in the photo above into a dark noisy luggage compartment under a bus for any length of time?