As a taxi driver in Bogotá, Colombia, Dagoberto Rojas Buitrago is used to transporting passengers across the city. So, when a man with a black bag asked for a ride to a local mall last year, Rojas Buitrago was happy to be of service.
The ride was like any other — the two men chatted briefly until they pulled up to their destination. Then, the passenger unhooked the bag from his arm and made an unusual request.
“The guy said that he didn’t have money and that he was going to go to an ATM,” Rojas Buitrago told The Dodo. “But when he left the car, the bag started to move.”
Shocked, Rojas Buitrago put his hand on the bag and, when he knew for sure that there was someone inside, he decided to open it.
“I opened the zipper and saw a dog and a note,” Rojas Buitrago said.
To his surprise, not only did the passenger leave behind an unsuspecting dog, but the tiny pup came with instructions.
“Walks: 5:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.,” the note read. “Clean paws after every walk.”
The note then described the pup’s feeding schedule, his tendencies to escape through open doors and when to give him treats.
Rojas Buitrago lifted the dog from the bag and placed him on his lap. He waited for the passenger to return, but after an hour went by, his worst fear was confirmed.
“I waited for about an hour, and then I knew for sure that he was abandoned,” Rojas Buitrago said. “He was nervous. When I took him out, he was looking around desperately for the guy. But the guy never came back, so I brought the dog with me to work for the rest of the morning.”
After a few hours of working together in the taxi, Rojas Buitrago realized that the dog was special. That’s when he decided to take him home for good.
“We didn’t have pets at home, so I thought, ‘Well, I’ll adopt him!’” Rojas Buitrago said. “We named him Toby Taxista.”
As nervous as he was that first morning, Toby Taxista calmed down as soon as he realized he was safe in his new home. Rojas Buitrago’s family quickly learned all about Toby Taxista’s personality, aided by the note his previous owner left behind.
“We followed the instructions exactly as they were written in the letter,” Rojas Buitrago said. “He starts his day at 5:00 a.m., and he goes out with the family multiple times a day.”
It’s been a little over a year since Rojas Buitrago discovered the dog in the back seat of his taxi, and the two are now closer than ever. Sometimes, Toby Taxista will accompany his dad to work, where he happily greets all the passengers. And when he’s not in his dad’s car, Toby knows just what time to expect him at home.
“He knows I get home around 10 p.m., and he waits for me to get home,” Rojas Buitrago said. “I open the door, and he’s already there.”
Toby Taxista’s life has changed for the better since becoming a part of Rojas Buitrago’s family. The pup’s days are now filled with love and adventure, and neither he nor his family would have it any other way.
“He’s spoiled — we all love him so much,” Rojas Buitrago said. “He’s a part of our family now, and we’ll never give him up.”