My girlfriend has a dog whom she loves. This weekend we're invited out to Long Island for the 4th of July and, of course, we have no car. In addition, any ' cars are out of commission for the weekend. After contacting the Hamptons Dog Jitney service, we found out that her dog is apprently too big (30 lbs.) to fit in a carrier as required. Another service we tracked down, Hamptons Express, appears to be a Pilates Studio when called. Do we need to shell out hundreds of dollars for a car rental, or are there other, hidden pet transportation services out there?

2004_06_askdogsign.jpgAs cat owners, it never dawned on us that there might be a demand for such services. Getting your dog from place to place is an interesting challenge. No worries, though, it looks like it would be pretty easy to take your dog to Long Island this weekend.

First, it depends on how you're getting there. We've seen dogs on the MetroNorth and LIRR trains. The MTA rules say: "No person may bring any animal on or into any conveyance or facility unless enclosed in a container and carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers." If your dog is small enough to fit in a crate, that might be an easy and cheap way to go. (If not, ask the conductor before getting on the train. They'll probably allow it, as long as the dog doesn't bark too much or bother other passengers.)

If that's not a viable option, though, it turns out that there are a number of pet transportation services in the city. We did some research and found two that look pretty good: Pet Chauffeur and Pet Taxi. Both charge $2.75 per mile to take your pet out of town (plus tolls and tip... kind of like a regular taxi). Both services would accomodate a 30-lb. dog (there seem to be some options - the dog might be transported by crate or can be strapped into a seat via seatbelt or harness).