Orlando, Florida – Move over drivers, there’s a new operator on the road… and they’re cute and have no working thumbs.
Mr. Whiskers, a mutt from Orlando, Florida, recently earned the distinction of being the first dog to get his drivers license. Predictably, this required Mr.Whiskers (and his owner, John A. Williams) to overcome a number of hurdles… and the pair might not be finished with those obstacles.
For starters, the idea came to Williams when he found that he was too inebriated to drive his dog to an important vet appointment. At that moment, the owner decided that it made more sense for Mr. Whiskers to simply drive himself to any necessary dog-related errands.
“I understand I made a commitment to care for the dog,” Williams told The Lemon. “But it also doesn’t make sense that I have to reorganize my entire life to accommodate all of his needs. Ultimately, if he was capable of getting himself to the vet or to Pet Supply Plus, why shouldn’t he go by himself?”
First, Williams looked into acquiring a license for his dog… to no avail. Somewhat shockingly, the state of Florida doesn’t allow animals to operate vehicles. However, Williams found a loophole, but it required that he purchase a specialized vehicle that could accommodate the dog’s every need.
That’s where Buick came in. After debating between the 2019 Buick Encore vs 2019 Chevy Trax, Williams decided to team up with the former company to create a vehicle that was specifically made for dogs.
While Williams is keeping many of the details about the vehicle private, we were able to learn about several of the more notable amenities:
- Instead of pedals, a mechanism is built into the back of the chair. Mr.Whiskers then relies on his tail to accelerate or decelerate the vehicle.
- The seat comes with a built-in puppy pad, meaning the dog won’t be inclined to make constant pit-stops.
- The climate control system can blow out specialized smells, and it will even simulate the odors of sights that the dog will drive by. For instance, if Mr.Whiskers drives by a fire hydrant, you can bet he’ll instantly smell the piss that’s ingrained itself into the utility.
- The windshield comes equipped with a Squirrel-monitoring system. The dog will be alerted if a squirrel is about to cross the vehicle’s path, and autonomous settings will take over if the vehicle senses that the animal is losing mental control.
Of course, there has been some opposition to Mr. Whisker’s driving prowess. While most individuals are simply concerned about an animal controlling a vehicle, a recent group (with an unorthodox agenda) has specifically made their voice heard.
WFCD (Women for Cat Drivers) is launching an investigation into the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. The president of the organization, Mary Devers, claims the FDMV is specifically catering to dogs while neglecting cats’ wants and needs.
“It’s not fair that Mr. Whiskers gets these opportunities and our cats do not,” Devers said in a statement. “That’s why we’ve decided to launch a full investigation against the FDMV.”
While this vocal minority does cause a headache, Williams said he won’t let this deter him from allowing Mr. Whiskers to hit the road.
“I haven’t seen him this happy in years,” Williams said. “Even if some cat lady is jealous, it won’t stop Mr. Whiskers from taking the wheel.”