My unique lifestyle of fame and glamour has led me to travel quite a bit. In fact, I took my first plane ride when I was only a couple of months old. I know flying can be scary for some dogs, but it doesn’t phase me. Especially since it usually means I am going somewhere warm : )
Again, a benefit of being a miniature dachshund, is that I am under 15 pounds (a straight 11 pounder) and so can go onboard the plane with mum and dad, and sit under the seat. I would never go in the cargo department. That’s no way for a celebrity to travel. Sucks to be a big dog if you’re flying..
It all starts when I see my parents packing a suitcase. Mum will tell me to choose a couple of toys to bring along, a bone or two, and anything else I might want. She comes back a few minutes later and I have packed her suitcase full to the brim with my squeaky toys. It’s too hard to choose just two! Who the heck does she think I am? ‘Celebrities = Excess’. Besides, I’ll need that many toys if I am going to perform my dachshund attention-getting tactics like I outlined previously. I tell her to deal with it, and that if I can get by wearing just one pair of clothes, so can she (later I’ll find out that she emptied most of it and chose my toys for me!).
Then it’s off to the airport. There’s so many different smells going on there.. it’s a sensory overload. We wait in line to check our bags and I’ll sneak to the end of my leash and grab some up-close sniffs of any particularly interesting-smelling people nearby. A lady once accused me of looking up her skirt but I assured her that was not what I was doing… I’m only interested in other dogs, thank you.
We usually grab a little snack in the airport before boarding. I can never decide what I want. The names are in French, but I’m bilingual so no biggie. Mum said I can’t have the chocolate ones. Why are the tastiest ones always the ones you can’t eat?
Dad will usually throw the ball around for me while we wait at the gate. Mum is very, ‘by-the-rules’ so complains about this, saying I need to stay on a leash. Heck, who’s going to complain about a cute little dachshund strolling around? Like seriously…
When it’s time to board the plane I get rudely stuffed into a little mesh bag, and we slowly make our way down the loading ramp. I take a quick look back to make sure dad’s still there. My dad is my security. Mum is my comfort.
We get on the plane and dad carries me in front of him as he walks down the aisle. This way I get to meet & greet everyone as we move to our seat. People gasp and exclaim as they realize they are now in the presence of Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund. I always hope that we sit next to someone nice. One time mum and I sat next to this lady who hated dogs. And worse, hated SMALL dogs the most. “Well, I hate wiener-hating ladies”, I told to her, and gave her my evil eye for the rest of the flight.
When we take off, I get a little shaky and will look at my dad for his assurance that everything is OK – this is the only time in my life where the whole room shakes. But after that, I’m good.
The one factor that can make all the difference to an enjoyable flight is the airline. I’ve traveled a few different airlines now, and there are some big differences in how they cater to small dog celebrities. JetBlue has awesome people service, and great dog service as well. They are the ones who supplied my travel bag – as they have a whole program designed for traveling with your dog called, JetPaws. The flight attendants usually don’t mind if I come out from under the seat and sit on mum or dad’s lap. Then there’s WestJet, which is essentially the Canadian version of JetBlue. They have awesome people service as well, but they are less than accommodating when it comes to dogs. As soon as my nose peeps out from my bag, there’s some lady there to say, “zip him up!“.
American Airlines isn’t that great with dogs either. They aren’t as bad as WestJet, but not as good as JetBlue.
I have also traveled Air Canada a few times, and they are very much like American Airlines in that their people service is not great. Yet, ironically, they have the best dog service of them all! Their flight attendants are always happy to see me out and about from my travel bag. That puts a smile on my face! Maybe it’s just a coincidence that I had some really nice attendants.. I don’t know.
Now I am just speaking generally on my experiences with these airlines. There is always the chance that you will just find a super nice (or grumpy) attendant on any of these airlines who will make or break your flight. There’s a bit of luck in that. Good thing my back legs are actually two lucky rabbit feet.
Once we’re up in the air, I like to look around a bit. I can never figure out what I’m looking at when I look out the airplane window… I don’t see any trees or squirrels.
Dad found it funny when I stood up on the arm rest and peered up and down the aisle, just observing people. He said I was ‘acute’. I’m not sure what that means but it better be a compliment. In fact, I am so at ease on a plane that I have actually seen people come up to my mum and ask, “oh, he is so calm, what is he on?”.
I tell her I’m not on anything – except a cloud, baby!
After we land, mum makes me wait for our bags while she goes to the bathroom. Geez, I’m not a baggage boy, and how am I supposed to lift the suitcase out of there?
After we get our bags, it’s off to our destination. Could be a private Caribbean resort, a romantic weekend in Paris, or an adventure excursion in Costa Rica. But so far it’s just been Florida and Toronto-Montreal for me. I’ve been trying to pressure mum into taking me somewhere exotic. Plus, I have a thing for exotic lady-dogs ; )
I’m not sure I would go as far as to say flying is ‘fun’, but it’s definitely interesting and something different from my routine. I like exploring new places, too. Not sure where I’ll go next. Who knows, it could be to your home town!