Tag Archives: service dane

Vacation: Part I

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!!

The Snake Incident

We recently had another great adventure at Marland Mansion. I know that Casper wants to tell you all about it, but first I have a story to tell. It is really a funny story, and an embarrassing one, but the most important thing is how pawesome Casper was through the whole thing. (Of course.)
Part of our tour led us onto the grounds of the mansion. There was a small lake and a lot of lawn. As we walked down a sidewalk on our way to view one of the outbuildings another member of our group says to me, “Look what you stepped on!”
Well, there was a lake nearby so my thoughts were that it was goose poo or maybe a tiny frog. I picked up my left foot. Nothing.
“No, there,” she says as I begin to pick up my right foot, “A snake!”
People who know me know that I am afraid of snakes. Not just kind of afraid, but panic-attack-freak-out afraid!
Before I even saw the snake a scream rolled out of me. I say rolled out because this scream came from so deep within I had no control. It was not from my mouth, my throat, my gut. No, it was from my very soul! I screamed and began to shake and noticed that the snake under my shoe was about 5 inches long and very apparently already dead.
Do you think that mattered? Nope. Big Nope.
At this point I am flapping my arms, screaming, hopping and generally acting like a raving lunatic. Meanwhile, I am watching this all happen from a distance like some kind of out of body experience. It was like the rational me was standing there watching this maniac completely humiliate herself and she was saying, “Woah! Slow your roll! It was a tiny dead snake. It’s over now. CALM DOWN ALREADY!”
Crazy me heard all this and wanted to do what I was told, but still was screaming. I could hear the poor woman who told me about the snake laughing and apologizing and I managed to tell her it was ok, I think. My girls are laughing hysterically at their crazy mom and grabbing me and telling me its ok. Then I realize that Casper is probably freaking out too!
The thought of how he might be reacting to my panic made me immediately start to calm down. I got the girls in line and patted Casper, saying it was ok. He was fine, a little worried, but really doing amazing. I am completely shocked he did not pull down Dan trying to help me, but he was as professional as possible.
Then all this clarity was lost when my youngest decided to touch the dead snake and then come touch me. I told her to stop. I tried to tell her I was serious and that this was not ok. I started to panic again. I wanted her OFF OF ME, but I didn’t exactly want to shove the poor kid to the ground. Besides, I had many witnesses. I had to be a good mom!!! She took a while, but finally got it and stopped.
At this point the whole group, about 8 others and the tour guide, are either laughing or staring. That poor guide. I apologized as much as I could muster, still a bit shaken by the whole incident. It was maybe a minute and a half, but seemed like an eternity, and still does.
The whole thing was horrifying and hilarious, but since I am the type of person I am the hilarity won out and I had to share. Oh, and the worst part was later. As we walked back to the mansion a dread came over me. It was really windy out. I could just imagine the snake being blown up by a gust and smacking me in the face! Well, that didn’t happen. No, it was worse. The snake was gone. I realize that it could have been blown away or a bird took him away, but in my head it had been alive all along and now wanted revenge. *cringe*
**********************************

Woof! Casper here, and I wanted to tell you what I thought about the whole thing.

It was doggone funny!

Mama just barked as loud as I have ever heard her. My first move was to put myself in front of dad as a leaning post and to block him off from the group. Then, I stopped to look around and make sure I wasn’t in trouble for chasing a cat or somethin’. Once I did that, I checked in with dad to see if I needed to save her from drowning in her invisible simmin’ hole. I was ready to help but we figured out rather quickly that she wasn’t drowning on dry land or about to have a heart attack, although the latter might have been a judgment call. Dad was laughing after he decided she was in no real danger, so we stood back and enjoyed our interpretive dance break of the day. (I was wondering why Alyssa didn’t join in; she usually does.)

As we began to walk-on and dad said it was Okay so I asked dad why Mom didn’t like such a little snake? He explained her fear and that it is the same as if he stood me in front of a grocery store meet freezer when I was first released for service. I told him I understood. Of course, I suggested that we get her more snakes and bring them to her a couple times a week. Then, after a few weeks she will be less scared and she won’t forget how to human when she sees one. Dad laughed, and said No, buddy, that works for our training together, but in this situation, we don’t need to find her a fix. I’m sure she will at least like the cookies she’ll get out of the deal but I guess that’s more treats for me!