Journal excerpt dated 12/19/2007:
Noah may have built an ark and populated it with two of every kind, but did those animals have NWA’s Priority Pet status? I’m guessing not… and maybe that’s why they actually got a seat on the ark! Yeah, you guessed it. The cross-country flight began as cross-country fright when Chris and I were informed upon our arrival at Palm Springs International Airport that the temperature in Minneapolis was too low, and the the dogs could not travel in the hold…
“Oh, we called earlier and left you both a message. The dogs can’t fly. You’ll have to fly another day. Sorry.”
As the moment moved from sheer amazement to shock to nausea, Chris took control with a simple statement:
“We have to get on that plane. We’re moving today. We have nowhere to go. And we received no messages. At all.”
Now anyone who has read Chris’ blog about our business dealings with the developers of the ill-fated Mozaic mixed-use condominiums (www.ourmozaicblog.com), knows that he is first and foremost a Scorpion through and through. Tease a Scorpion, and walk away with a limp, if you’re lucky. Mess with a Scorpion? Don’t go there. Just don’t go there. However, the NWA attendants at the airport hadn’t read the blog — ever.
In this case, however, reason prevailed both in front, and behind the airline counter. We double-teamed them. A very calm, cool and collected Chris continued to deal with the NWA reps, while I went in search of an airline store that sold under-the-seat pet carriers. Yes, we already had Geronimo in perched in his back pack carrier for the plane, but what’s two more Dachshunds under the seat? If people can bring Chinese food, McDonald’s or crying infants on-board, we reserve the right to travel with fowl and fauna. Luckily, Alaskan Airlines came to our rescue with one small pet carrier that they donated to our cause… We made it work. At the last moment, we took Chloe and Samson off their leashes, squeezed them into the pet carrier, and boarded the flight. The NWA attendants ended up further seeing the light, as they not only turned a blind eye to our boarding with three animals, but gave us an entire row to ourselves and waived any over-weight fees for our luggage.
The 3-hour flight was fairly uneventful — though stressful — with me using every last treat to keep the puppies quiet, and Geronimo only squawking occasionally whenever one of us would get up to use the rest room. He’s very vocal about being left alone in a strange place, and seemed to want to make it known that he was still down below the seat. The rest of the flight he spent dancing on his perch and making quacking sounds softly at Chris’ feet. That bird is the best traveler I know. Nothing fazes him. Nothing.
Chloe and Samson? Not so much… By the end of the flight, they had had had about enough, started to whine and bark more frequently, and the minute we deplaned and hit the jet way, started a barking frenzy that could be heard throughout the entire terminal. You’ve never seen two animals happier to be free — except for maybe Chris and me!
The rental car was almost where it should have been, and once we got that straightened out, the rest of the trip home went smooth as can be. The dogs were happily ensconced in their larger travel kennel and Geronimo was hidden under my coat to keep warm until the car heated up. The roads were clear, the Minneapolis skyline bright and beautiful, and our condo warm and welcoming. And to complete the picture? A few days later the air is crisp, the snow is white, and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas — and that’s something Noah never got to experience.