Saturday, September 3, 2011

When dogs can fly

I admit it, I love to people watch.  At the mall, restaurants, airports. All of us come with our own ready made stories, but we only show part of ourselves when out among the public arena.

So I entertain myself by making up stories for them. While I've got a little extra time at the Dayton Airport for my flight to Washington, DC there's an open opportunity to check out my seat neighbors at the gate. 
I'm thinking that young guy a few seats over has three little girls at home; they're just about a year apart in age. He's bought them the complete American Girls doll collection. Because he doesn't trust his wife with the credit cards since the great Zappos fiasco, he has to go online and pick out the accessories that will make his little pink princesses happy. However, he is feeling a little unsettled about the impending estrogen level that will hit his household in the next five years. He's been considering the National Guard.
There's a big fella at the next gate. AC/DC t-shirt and jeans, looking like he needs a cigarette. He loves the place he just bought out in farm country, but earlier this year he was traumatized by a squirrel who was surprised while hiding a food stash in his mailbox. The rodent actually jumped out and landed with four clawed paws on his chest, then used the poor guy's noggin as a springboard to make his get-away. The fella made the poor choice to share this drama with his buddies at work. To show how much they care about his emotional rehabilitation, his friends are randomly stringing up stuffed animals in the guy's locker so he's greeted with a some kind of furry UFO when he opens the door. After ten years of abstinence, he's now taken up smoking again.
And the 30-something dressed so nicely in a suit. Her untucked blouse is longer than her blazer. New kicky style or a result of the open barn door incident at the presentation she gave to the sales group in Chicago? She's certainly not embarrassed to be on the cell phone in the ambiance of flushing toilets, but she probably needed both hands free to do that last zipper check before she walked to the lectern. Zipper paranoia is now her constant companion.
Then there's that chick with the yellow dog. Well, that would be me. I have a story, as well.  I can make up stuff about our adventures, but here I think the truth will do just fine.

Yaxley and I are on our way to our first BlogPaws conference. A couple of days of hanging with fellow pet bloggers and attending sessions on how to do this blogging thing better. We've heard that there are somewhere about four hundred like-minded folk registered; many are bringing their pets.

My flight out of town has been cancelled twice so far today. Due to weather probs, I'm told. So, I'm a little edgy about my afternoon flight actually happening. Although, I'm making a conscience effort to keep from appearing visibly unhinged. I'm walking through the Dayton Airport with a dog and I want to show that, yes indeed, I do expect the have this dog on the plane with no trouble from anyone. Cowboy up, girl.  Show some attitude.

Luggage is larger than it appears. It sure as heck wasn't
this small when I was dragging it through the airport. 

And it worked!  The TSA experience went smoothly, even though Yaxley's collar bling set off the metal detector. He was hoping for a good solid pat down (don't forget the belly rub), but it was not meant to be.

United Airlines gave us a warm welcome at the gate. The flight attendant fit us neatly into the bulkhead area and the young lady who was bumped back to my original seat was very gracious about it. I actually had this bulkhead seat selected, but that was two cancellations ago and I frankly just gave up trying.

How did Yaxley handle this adventure, you ask? Well, he was a rock star at the airport. Strutting his stuff right through TSA and to our gate. Talk about attitude. He wasn't even trying. It just comes natural to this yellow pup.

He curled up by my feet and slept through most of the flight. Well, that would be true if my feet were on the floor. It was one of those itsy bitsy planes. There was only room for the dog or my feet, not both. So, the dog trumped. Yaxley only lifted his head near the end of the trip when the landing gear thumped into place. During the work week Yaxley is a true road dog on the drive to the office. Actually, he said the flight was a lot like my driving. Funny guy.

I'd never been to the Dulles airport and my surprise at the ridiculous size of the place turned into dismay as we took elevator after elevator to get to the ground transportation area.  Really, Dulles?  Five elevators to get to the train, then two more?  Each elevator only takes you down one floor? Scrapping my original plan to find a cheap shuttle to the hotel, when we finally made it out of the labyrinth I opted for the comfort of a cab. My former facade of confidence had by now transmogrified into a bring it on state of mind. Just try to say something about the dog in your cab, Mr. Taxi Guy, and see what that's gonna get ya.  But I smile and just say the hotel name. He wisely nods, tosses the suitcase in the trunk and we go.  I remember that I'm now in DC and a dog is probably not even in the top ten of weird things that's he's driven through town.


We made it


Safe and sound at the Sheraton. The hotel gives us a tidy little gift bag, about the size that could hold a small jewelry box. I look inside to see two plastic capsules holding a poop bag each. And a pair of latex gloves. Ah, a warm welcome. 
nom-nom-nom

Just a heads up, Sheraton gift bag person, that while I can be counted on to pick up any and all #2's presented by my dog, I do not, however, intend to perform any medical procedure on the stuff. Latex gloves?

Things are looking up at the BlogPaws registration table where we receive a huge swag bag of gifts from the pet company vendors in attendance. Yaxley has been doing such a perfect job all day, I give him the pink stuffed bear in the bag. I know it's doomed.  A short-lived pleasure, but maybe Yaxley can carry the happy memory for a little while.

We sit, we watch. No imagined stories here, though. The real stuff is just too good. Yaxley is a social bridge for me as people come over to ask about who he is and then we talk about CCI for a while. We meet other pet passionate folk and learn about how they are saving one life at a time with their animal rescue work. I meet a super nice lady that turns about to be a Hill's sales rep. I confess to her my allegiance to Eukanuba, but we agree we can still be friends. 




Nice place, says Yaxley.
Now grab those gloves, Food Lady, I gotta go.

Because the BlogPaws folk know their audience so well, there's a dog park set up in one of the large conference rooms.  Professional pet sitters are on site to keep an eye on your precious pooch for those who want to go out to dinner and such. 

Yaxley has been on the job since the morning, with no real break all day. He's done an absolutely stellar job; I'm very proud of how he's handled the day's adventures. I hang out in the dog play area to watch him release some energy and just be a dog for a while.

Yaxley has claimed a toy and the coveted
bed as his very own.
That was about all the fun we could fit into one day.  More BlogPaws adventures coming up in the next posts.


1 comment:

  1. What a great post!!! You and I would get along fabulously swapping stories about the folks around us. I do the.same.thing. =) Enjoy your conference with your adorable and well behaved pup.

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