My nerves were making me feel sick. This was going to be Milos first time in an Airport and we will also be flying that day. I usually like to take the dogs to the airport once or twice before we actually fly to give them a dry run of all the comotion, going through security, and loading a plane (some airlines will let you board the last plane of the day after everyone is off–to let your dog experiance that, its very nice since it can be a tight space).
I woke up later than I had hoped to, and this didnt leave me with much time to walk Milo. Luckily, he went both number one and two before we left.
Once we arrived to the airport, it was PACKED. This really sent my stress levels through the roof with people rushing and hussling everywhere. Milo walked right next to me perfectly, unfased by any of it. We saw a few drug dogs–he looked interested in them, but kept quiet and calm at my side.
My Dad helped me get to the front of the line (there was a line out the door of the Airport-to get into another line to wait to get on line for security–was CRAZY!). On the account of my Vertigo I could not wait or stand in the line that long so was promoted to the front kindly. I said my fair-wells to my Dad as I made my way to security…
This was the first time I EVER been through security by myself…and I had a puppy to manage at the same time. People were still pushing and running around and I was starting to feel the panic pinching my chest, and buring my eyes. I told the security guy I needed a pat down on account of medical reasons–he put me in the shortest line for people with children or disabilities. I appreciated this. I told him this was my first time alone and I was not sure what to do or how this would work. He helped get me the bins and everything to put my stuff through the detectors. The mother of three kids in front of me turned to rub my arm and told me “you BOTH are doing great!”
I had to wait a few minutes to get my pat-down. The nicest older woman came to do it, she understood I couldnt hear and made sure she was looking at me. She was very reassuring the entire time, which really helped me a lot. She did my pat down with no problems while Milo sat at my side and watched patiently for his turn.
The security woman turned to Milo now for his pat down–which he VERY much enjoyed! We made small talk about Milo, how old he was, stuff he will do for me (the usual?). She kept telling me how perfectly behaved, how he didnt seem bothered by all the comotion or stressed people around, and how over all amazing he was! She couldnt believe this was his first time ever in an airport. I smiled, they were great compliments to give a 4 month old puppy!
From there we were on to our gate. They changed our gate, and our flight was delayed an hour. I followed someone to our new gate. Milo and I sat on the floor against the wall–he layed down next to me, and I was finally able to take a breath.
We had a few people come up to ask about Milo and Service Dogs in general. I was happy to talk about it since its something that I know and was keeping me “cool”.
A Pilot came over, we started talking and he kneeled next to us. He was so impressed with Milo and really was interested. He offered to take Milo out to relieve himself if needed. Since our flight was delayed, I knew Milo would probley have to pee. I handed Milo over to him and they went on their way.
He told me Milo was reluctant to leave me, and kept wanting to come back and find me. But once outside, he took a huge dump! (yea, I was kinda embarassed when he told me this LOL). As they were making their way back to me, they had to go through security–He was not sure what to do–and Milos easy walk, and collar kept setting off the alarm. So he undressed him and took him through the metal detectors. They went on an esculator, he held him and said Milo was kissing his face the entire time.
Once Milo saw me again he jumped into my arms (I was still sitting on the floor). I was so greatful he did this, and I know Milo appreciated it!
We sat and talked until the Pilot heard an announcement that they changed our gate number again.
I went up to the ticket lady and told her I needed to preboard. She was very rude and basically shoo-ed me away. My new Pilot friend told her what was going to happen, and he made sure Milo and I were the first ones on the plane.
Milo walked down the hall way to the plane, and onto the pane like a seasoned pro! I was very impressed since Macy is awful about this!
We sat in the first seat and people started to board. After awhile, a rude air hostess told me I had to move, i told her I need bulk head and she told me someone else paid for it. ANYWAYS, we made our way to our new seat (4A–a window seat), while there was a bit of leg room, there was just enough for Milo now and NO way he would fit there in a few moths. The Pilot appologized for the rude woman and kindly explained how this plane was “weird” and that the seat I was sitting in was “first class” and I was actually in Bulk head now…It made sence as I looked at the seats again so didnt complain.
We got a window seat; Milo spent a few minutes (5 min tops) trying to figure out how to place himself partly under the seat in front of us then curled up and went to bed before the hostess was even done with the safty procedures.
Milo didnt even wake up for take off, which was bumpy and stuff. He slept the entire flight in the little space he had, and I watched out the window and played with my phone. I was sure he would wake up for landing but he didnt–not even with the rough touchdown that felt like a crash. Our Pilot Pal, helped get my bags down while I woke little Mr. (Milo) up. So many people were going “I didnt know there was a puppy on the plane!!”.
We made our way off the plane easily. The Pilot asked where I needed to go, I told him we were to meet my BF at baggage claim and he said he will take us! This helped me SO much, the Atlanta airport is huge and I would of been so lost! We made our way around the place to the mono-rail and got on, Milo never been on one before but, again, acts like its nothing! The monorail when very fast and you are able to feel gravity pull you back, I had to hold on and Milo watched me the entire time with eager eyes as a teenage girl was coo-ing at him “AW! puppy! good puppy! sweet puppy”.
We got to bagage claim and made our way outside, where he waited with me until Joey showed up. I was SO greatful for everything the Pilot did, was way over and beyond!
Over all: Milo had no accidents in the Airport–which was good since the time he woke up on the plane to leave to getting out of the air port was a long long way!
He slept the entire flight, and was not afraid of anything (the airplane, people, commontion, ANYTHING)
I am SO SO PROUD of my little man! He did BETTER than PERFECT!
-Shoshana Rappaport, Milo’s owner, trainer and partner