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.
All in all it was a great trip!