What's that you say? Airplane? What are we doing mom? (Checking in) I don't know about this.... Well if your legs are up I am pretty comfy...
Finally off the plane! Well it looks like a dog... But it doesnt smell like a dog.... I guess not a dog... Just sittin' around. Look how far me head can turn! My new cousin Clooney! Sophie all grown up. Ah, the sea! I even saw a seal, but mom wouldn't let me jump in. Newport! BIG ball! Too big to play with.
Sorry it has been awhile since my last post, it has been a little crazy lately. After Sterling's birthday we spent a wonderful weekend working (I had to cover shifts for a co-worker). I also got a new car! I got a used Toyota Rav4; the Subaru just could not get crates in it the way I needed! Now I can get two LARGE crates, a medium, and a small crate in there. This has made work mush easier, not to mention driving safer as I do not have Marley trying to jump from back to front or vise versa.
Last week was more working and school, and on Saturday I went to California. Sterling went with me so he could experience the 'miracle' of flight. I started this journey by calling the airline 10 days in advance so that I could reserve bulkhead seating. The first time I called I was answered by someone overseas whom I could barley understand, much less explain to what I was trying to do. Another call ended the same way. Finally 3 days before we were scheduled to leave I was able to talk to someone who spoke English here in the US! That call was quick, easy, and finally had results. My mom and I both got bulkhead seating there and back so Sterling would have a little bit more room.
Saturday morning we got to the airport nice and early so that I could have plenty of time if there were any issues. We went to the check-in counter, checked our bags, and only got smiles from the staff. Sterling maintained a beautiful down-stay during this process and was complemented on his calmness and manners when we left. They could not believe he had just turned a year old!
Next we had one last stop to relive before heading into security. The line was fairly long, and we patiently waited as we inched forward. After being in line or about 5 min, a security officer came over and pulled us into the fast track line (you know the one for "Gold" members and crew.) They said they wanted to make sure they had plenty of time to check over Sterling if needed. After practically stripping down (don't you love flying these days) we went through the metal detector one at a time. I placed Sterling in a sit and went through, and then called him to me. He made the alarm go off, and went through the obligatory pat down. He was great, except he started licking the guy as he checked him over! The agent just laughed and said he liked to get a dog fix for the day. Then we continued on to our gate (after putting back on my belt, and my jacket, and my shoes, and my hat...you get the idea).
The flight was great! After getting on the plane (which was little, we had to walk out on the tarmac) and settling down, the only thing that let me know he knew it was different than a car ride was that his eyes dilated when we took off. After that he just slept.
The trip was short, but good. We saw relatives and just visited and hung out. My aunt has a very cute new dog who she got through rescue last week. He is a longhair dachshund, and is 11 months old. She also has a pup (who is now all grown up) that I had found and started for her in the spring of 2007.
We also enjoyed a trip to the Pier at Newport beach before heading to the airport on Monday. The check-in was mostly the same, and the plane ride was again uneventful. It was larger this time, and my mom and I had a three seats to ourselves so Sterling really got to stretch out. At one point he was so relaxed he rolled on his back and let his legs stick up in the air. I got comments on this flight from other passengers about his wonderful behavior.
Saturday was the first home game for my school's football team. We played UNLV and won 42 to 21! Sterling went to the game with me; we got there at half-time and stayed for about an hour 1/2.
When we got there, I gave my tickets to the gatekeeper, had my bag checked, and started to walk in. A ticket taker from another gate ran over to me and asked this brilliant question. "Is that, a dog?" The women who took my ticket quickly informed him of the bright white lettering on Sterling's vest proclaiming him a Guide Dog in-training. Yay for literacy!
Sterling did great at the game, the climb to our seats in the nosebleed section no doubt tiring him out. Even with cheering, feet stomping, and general excitment Sterling was more focused on watching me stand up, sit, stand, sit, stand....wait, modified puppy pushups?
Anyway, he wore his vest for the event, and did a great job! Slowly he is getting over his irritation with his vest!
In two weeks Sterling, my mom, and I will be flying down to California to visit my relatives. Sterling will be flying down with me! I have never flown with Sterling, though I have flown with Dante before (as a carry-on!).
Any advice for flying with a pup in-training? It is a 90 min flight, so pretty short. Thoughts/stories? Thanks!