Monday, September 12, 2011


It seems like a lot of friends are going on trips; some need dog-sitters, some are taking their dogs with them. It made me think of the times I flew with my boys.

This specific trip was a few years back when I took Swift home to Ohio. I was a bit worried about taking him on the plane. I had a dog carrier, but at the time, Swift was a little more vocal than Kool, so I was worried he'd whine or bark on the plane and annoy everyone. (Kool had done excellently the year before - no one even knew there was a dog on the plane.) Getting through security with Swift a bit of an ordeal. Luckily, I was checking my bags, so all I had was my purse and Swift's carrier. I had to take him out of the carrier (in addition to all the crazy other stuff we have to do - take off shoes, coats, etc) and carry him through the metal detector with me. This was before the full body scans - I wonder how that would work nowadays?

We got through without any problems, found our gate, and settled in to wait. Swift did a bit of whining because he could see me through the mesh, so I ended up holding the carrier on my lap while we waited. On the plane, though, I wasn't able to do that. But Swift seemed to know it was different and didn't whine at all on the plane. We actually had two layovers (because it was cheaper), and one of the layovers was a few hours long. Swift got really annoyed and kept whining. I took him to the family bathroom, so we would have some privacy and let him out of his carrier. I thought he might have to go potty, but he didn't. I let him wander around for a bit, but I didn't want to keep the bathroom occupied too long.

Eventually, I got sick of the whining and let him out of his carrier. He was doing pretty good just sitting on the floor next to me. I think he was happy not to be in that carrier. Of course, he was his usual charming self and tried to make friends with everybody. He did his little "prairie dog" stance. I was able to keep him out for about an hour until I got caught. Some random airport employee told me to put him away. I, of course, apologized and put Swift back in the carrier. That little bit of reprieve did more harm than good, though. Since Swift knew the taste of freedom, he wasn't having any of this carrier stuff anymore. Finally, we boarded the plane, and he settled down. All-in-all, it wasn't really that bad of an experience. It was just too long of a layover for him to be stuck in that little carrier.

Swift being a good boy, sitting on the floor

Swift the Prairie Dog

One of the most vivid memories of that trip is when I took a nap one afternoon while my mom was at work. I lay down on the couch. I had a zippered cardigan on, and Swift literally crawled inside my cardigan to sleep next to me. We probably napped for one to two hours. I love my little cuddler. I wish I had a picture of his head peeking out the top of my sweater...while I'm wearing it! He has never done that since. Sometimes I try to encourage him, but he doesn't do it. Maybe Swift just needed the comfort and closeness of his mama in a strange place.


  1. We actually flew with Tag to Houston when he was 7 months old. He actually just barely met the weight limit (14 pounds) for flying on the plane with us. He was SO good in his carrier, never complained once and was really cooperative. But, I was a wreck because the plane was really hot and I could see he was getting overheated and I felt SO GUILTY. I got a magazine and fanned him for hours trying to keep him cool.

    I bought a little battery powered fan for the flight home, and it helped a lot, but he did end up throwing up towards the end of the flight, so I guess his tummy wasn't handling the flight very well. I kept his carrier on my lap and unzipped the top so he could stick his head out and look around and get some fresh air, and fortunately the lady sitting next to me was a dog lover. The flight attendants, however, were NOT. They said he HAD to stay under the seat, so I had to keep an eagle eye out for them when I had him up on my lap and then hurry and put him back under whenever they came close.

    I was really glad that all my family in Texas got to meet him (and fall in love with him!), but it was just too much stress for us both to ever want to fly with him again. Not to mention, he's a "tad" over the 14-pound weight limit now! :)

  2. I think I might like to try flying with the dogs someday but I, too, worry about what kind of disruptions they might cause on the plane.