19 October 2010

Air travel tips for small dogs.

Can I cut to the high point of our mega flight marathon?

I am bedraggled, wrinkled, and lurching with a curious sideways pitch gait due to my day of dragging around tote bags, one containing, like, my entire life, and one containing Otterpop. We are done with our VERY LAST flight, number three. We never actually signed on for 3, but you know how that goes. One plane leaks hydraulic fluid. One has vanished. Las Vegas is lovely this time of year and a squeaky voice gentleman in a navy blue sweater stuffs a piece of paper in your hand and sends you off on a speedy trot down to yet another gate in your effort to get home.

It was a long day. And at the very end, is the long, long, long hallway of shopping in the swanky new San Jose Airport. I don't think I can walk through another set of Gate B's or C's or D's. I'm done. I'm so close to that end, it's like the light at the end of the tunnel, where besides meeting Jesus, you can also conveniently buy a bottle of water for $3.

So I stick Otterpop's tote down. She borrowed it from her friend Tag. It has little wheels. She has informed me already, earlier in the trip, Don't Use The Wheels. Unless it's for entertaining Chinese tourists in the Las Vegas airport by pushing it across the seating area with her back feet. I should have put a tip jar out. She ran through her trick repertoire multiple times, in multiple airports.

It's hour 12 or 15 of what should have been about 7, and I just have to make it down one more corridor, to where it's pretty much a sure thing that my luggage will not be appearing on the happy little merry go round of baggage carnage. One last corridor.

Now, I should let you know that Otterpop was a travel star. Basically not a peep in all her air travel. I left her bag open, under the seat, and she just napped her way across the country with her head hanging out the opening. Let her be out and hang out and play in the gate areas. She did have a rough time through security, which she went through not once but twice in Louisivlle.

"THAT one gonna bite ya' fer sure," says the lady indoor sunglasses security agent to the jovial man indoor sunglasses security agent in rubber gloves, as I drag my Otterpop bag along the endless security line.

My bag barked.

But passed the screening.

That was the only bark in the airport. Oh, and the one in the Starbucks where the girl behind the counter almost dropped her steaming latte milk. "Ya'all gotta DOG in there?" A nice Kentucky lady I sat next to on one of the flights thought she was beautiful, I had the door unzipped and she was curled up like a little monkey ferret at my feet the whole way. Truly a model citizen of the airways.

Until the end.

Lurching along. We'd both just had it. And I stick that bag down to roll it the 9 mile stretch of airport to get the baggage claim. And it happened. What I'd been waiting for the whole way out there, and eventually just figured wasn't going to be an issue.

My tote bag started to howl. At first I just pretended I couldn't hear it. I really didn't want to pick her up and carry her all that way. So I just kept walking, pulling my poor little dog along behind me.

People are staring, and I just look straight ahead. And talk to my tote bag. I told her to embrace the wheels. And she starts howling more. And louder. The bag is shaking because she's doing god knows what in there to accompany the howl, and I just keep going. It's been too many hours to stop now. I hiss at her. I beg. Knock it off.

The easiest thing to do in this situation, is keep on walking. Hold your head up high, roll that tote bag, and every time someone looks at you funny, you just look 'em back in the eye and go, "I KNOW," you say nodding, "my totebag is totally howling." And keep walking and rolling.


Lisa B. said...

I was looking for the "like" button after reading this ;-)

Amanda said...

Just reading this entry makes me want to curl up and take a nap. Sorry it took you so long to get home, but Otterpop still gets an A for not howling on any airplanes.

Elf said...

That's the way to leave us rolling with laughter first thing in the morning! Er--rolling--um, sorry, didn't mean to give you flashbacks. Glad you're home safe and so glad that Otterpop wasn't checked luggage--not so bad not to get your clothing home with you, but otterpop would've had a lot to say about being rerouted without you.

katie, Maizey and Magnus said...

Thankfully Magnus likes the rolling bag of fun so he just slept most the time on his flight home. As for a response to the howling, how 'bout, "Howling? What howling?";)

One thing about flying with a nine week old puppy: I never in my life had so many people talk to me in the airport. One guy showed me the best picture of his eight year old son in his Rottie's crate and the Rottie standing outside watching him. Totally funny. Glad you made it home!