Hi friends –
It is good to be back at the keyboard. I skipped a nap on my sofa for this, the first chapter of my trip to the left coast. Yes, I am a dog and I do, in fact, know my left from my right. It’s one of the many skills I learned as a pup. This may not seem impressive but it allows Dad and I a way to weave through a crowd as if we were connected. (We are connected by a lead and a service vest but you know what I mean.) I’ll get back to the directional commands in a minute, let’s get this story back on track. I feel like I got distracted by a cat or somethin’.
The whole reason for our travel plans was so that I could meet dad’s sister, my Aunt Carrie, and her human puppies. Okay, well that’s not entirely true. We went because my human cousin was celebrating her Bat Mitzvah. There was no way we could miss that! Everyone meeting me is a happy by-product.
This trip required some planning because it was my first time on those big influenza incubators everyone calls airplanes. Mom and Dad did their research on airline policy to confirm which particular flu carrier (Oh,I mean airline) we’d choose. It was decided that we’d fly Southwest. There were several factors, one is that Mom worked for them a few years ago so she knew they’d love me. Another, was that general seating could actually work since we knew the bulkhead would be the best spot for Dad and me. This along with a pre-boarding pass would be the ticket. (ha-ha see what I did there? Airline? Ticket?) With that settled the day arrived for us to head west. We drove to the Tulsa airport, along with boarding passes I brought my ID card to prove that I had training from an accredited organization as well my current shot records and city registration verification. I know that many people are not as current on the laws as we are so I brought what I thought people may hassle Dad for, just in case it became a topic. (Good news, no one asked. They must know their stuff!)
We parked my truck at the airport and met a van to take us to the gates. The driver watched me hop out of the back along with our luggage; with a puzzled look he asked Dad, “Is he coming with us?” Dad answered with a definitive, “yes” and we climbed aboard. He shrugged and smiled. As we unloaded at the gates, he watched me closely and told Dad what a great dog I was. Dad thanked him with a nod and a few dollars for helping with the bags.
We let Mom and the human puppies take the bags we were checking, and we headed for the security lines, not knowing what could be in store for us there. Dad was telling me that every TSA check is a little different. We both emptied our pockets into trays and walked together through the big scanners. Dad was calm, and reassured me that we wouldn’t be hurt, they just need to ensure we are not carrying things we shouldn’t. I walked on, but when the big box beeped I got nervous. I thought for sure they wanted my cookies. I can keep those right? Dad explained that he was not willing to take off any more of my working gear, so they agreed to “wand us”. Once we made it through three agents all complimented us, one even shared a story of Danes he knew, while a second told us that the first agent came to our check point especially to help us when he saw us come in the door. It was a nice easy experience.
After we met up with the family again we stopped for coffee and breakfast, then headed to see where our gate was. Since we were close with a long time before we needed to load-up Mom got our pre-boarding pass and Dad and I went outside for a “business” break. Of course that means we needed to go back though security but that was easy enough.
We boarded the plane like we’d done it a million times and Mom helped with my Mutt Muffs. The flight attendants were shocked to learn that this was my first flight and couldn’t wait to take my picture. I just can’t get away from the puparazzi, but I do like to please my public!
I was perfect, OF COURSE, during the fight. I slept through most of it. People thought that was pretty amazing. If they think that is good they should see how well I sleep on my own couch!!! There was plenty of room for my by Dad’s, Lily’s and Alyssa’s feet and they brought a fluffy for me to lay on. Mom had to sit across the aisle, but she was able to get us stuff whenever we needed it.
We had to change plane in Las Vegas. I have heard a lot about that place and even though there were slot machines near our gate I didn’t think it looked all that impressive. Dad said there was a lot more outside the airport. Whatever. We got on our second plane there and I did great, again. But Mom and Dad messed up. They forgot my Mutt Muffs this time! The noises made me a little nervous this time. Once we were in the air I was fine, though, and had another nice nap.
San Diego, here I go!!
Tagged: airlines and disabilty, casperthefriendlydane, disability and travel, great dane, mutt muffs, san diego, service dane, service dog, travel
Casper I love to read about your adventures with your human and family! You are such a GREAT Service Dog!!
Casper you are super service dog !!!! There was no question you would do awesome on the plane and we were right. Am waiting on pins and needles to hear about the rest of your trip.
Way to go, Casper!! You flew with ‘flying colors!!! ‘ So proud of you. You never cease to amaze me….love you, buddy boy and look forward to part deu!! ❤
Casper, you are truly amazing and do so well in new situations. Cannot wait to read Part 2. We have missed you since you have moved.
Casper, without a doubt, we knew you would pass your first flight with flying colours! You are a special secret service Dane after all…with an extra special partner and family. 🙂 Looking forward to reading more about your trip. Rest up so you can share more of your story. 😀
We all knew that you would do great on your first airplane ride. Casper, you have learned so much and each new experience helps you learn more. Looking forward to the “rest of the story”.
Glad to hear you first plane ride was ok! Going through security can be a little scary even for us humans!! Can’t to read Part 2!!
Aw, what a great update, Casper! Exciting to hear about your travels, and I’m thrilled that your trip was so seamless. Can’t wait for your next report. You’re one heck of a writer. 🙂