Dobbey the reindeer riding in the taxiIt is not a sight you would normally expect to see in the back of a taxi. So shoppers do a double take when grandfather Gordon Elliott squeezes his pet REINDEER in the back of his cab to go Christmas shopping.

The 68-year-old stuns shoppers when he pulls up in his local high street and Dobbey the reindeer jumps out of the car.

The pensioner hand-reared eight-year-old Dobbey from birth and regularly takes him out and about on the bus and train and even to his local pub.Dobbey the reindeer causes a second glance

"We get lots of people staring. I guess a reindeer is a bit of a strange sight wandering around the town centre," said Gordon, from Enfield, North London. "It's a bit of a squeeze getting him into the cab. I open the door and he just jumps in. I put him on a lead and take him for walks down the high street and we go to the burger bar or the pub. I've even taken him on the bus and tube. He loves people and is always very well behaved."

When Dobbey was a baby he couldn't feed from his mum so he was bottle fed by Gordon and slept in a cardboard box in the kitchen.

"We developed a strong bond and now he will follow me round just like a dog," said Gordon, who has 12 reindeer on his farm. If I call his name he comes over and loves going out and about with me. The only problem is for about three weeks during rutting season when I have to stay well away, the rest of the year he is as gentle as a little lamb."Dobbey the reindeer getting out of a taxi

At Christmas Mr Elliott takes Dobbey to visit local schools, nurseries and Santa's grotto.

"On Christmas morning I dress up like Father Christmas and take Dobbey out through the town to see the children and to raise money," he added. I even taken him to church on Christmas morning and everyone loves seeing him. Lots of people stop to take photos."

Mr Elliott, who also has pet camels, emu, donkeys, sheep and wallabies, keeps his animals in a six acre field and two-acre wood. The reindeer have a special diet of carrots, greenery, grass and small amounts of bread.

"My wife Marion thinks I'm crazy", he added.

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