Flying with Dogs
Meet Rye and Rock, brother and sister who are flying with me to Boston. They are darling pups and you can see that I’m enjoying them. This photo was snapped after I had been soundly kissed. Not a great photo for identification, but it clearly shows the wonder and joy of this program, Pets with Wings.
The St. Thomas and St. Croix Humane Societies are very active on these islands. Our cousins, Jeff and Barb, are long-time supporters in St. Thomas and have had rescue dogs and cats as their pets for many years. When Barb the First heard I was planning a trip back home she said, “If you fly in to Boston on American Airlines, take a dog with you.” I’m taking three. American Airlines flies the dogs for free to any city with an appropriate humane society and committed volunteers. How cool is that? All they need are folks flying to the right location who will be responsible for the dogs.
My flight left at 8:50 AM so it was an early morning for me, the dogs, and Rhea and Marc from the St. Thomas Humane Society. Bless them. Rhea works for the society and is determined to find homes for her charges. Mark, her husband, works for TSA in St. Thomas. Since I was new to the job and had three dogs in two cages, Mark kindly got up at 5:30 on his Saturday off to help me with the TSA inspection, during which the dogs have to be removed from the cages and leashed while each crate is inspected. I leashed Rock and Rye, but when it was Calliope’s turn, I just held her. Since everyone at the airport knew Mark, I had it pretty easy.
This is Calliope, she’s a basset hound mix and is simply a sweetie. I kind of fell in love with her, so it’s a good thing she already has a home to go to. EW would not be happy if I were to take a dog back to La Luna.
Let’s back up a bit. Before leaving St. Thomas I had to pack clothing appropriate for Maine in early May, and get some supplies in for EW who doesn’t cook much on the boat. He was not terribly helpful when I asked what he wanted to eat while I was gone, and I know that he’s not going to make full meals for himself, so I relied on Campbell’s, Hormel, Barilla, Lay’s, and lots of fruit. He won’t starve.
I trust he knows where the pasta is kept – if not he can call me. I also restocked the Heineken and Coke Zero and made a loaf of bread. I love EW.
We had kept long pants, socks, and a lot of fleece tops in vacuum bags stored under our bed. For some reason, we kept so many that I actually had to made choices about which fleece tops to bring.
Once we moved aboard La Luna in 2002, most of our vacations were sailing trips,so I always took everything with me, and I’ve forgotten how to pack light. (EW will tell you I never learned.) In this case, I had no choice as our larger duffle had broker zippers. I think I did quite well, thank you very much, but I did completely fill both of these bags.
I had to search the boat for our small travel containers and laughed when I found this:
It’s Lynnelle’s toothbrush. She was a frequent and welcome guest back in Maine when she would regularly join us for Friday pizza/movie night. Sometimes the evening would go well into the early hours; sometimes we consumed more wine than other nights; sometimes she just wanted to stay over. So, we kept a toothbrush for her. We are ready for a visit.
In the meantime, she’s one of the friends I get to spend time with in Maine this trip. Hope she remembered her toothbrush. I’m holding this one hostage.
Back to the dogs – I have less than a two hour layover in Miami, so I won’t see them again until we get to Boston. I have a packet of their health information and the phone number of the volunteer who will meet me. He has my name and phone number, and one of the photos of me and the pups taken at the airport in St. Thomas.
All three of these dogs already have homes, but there are many more available, and others who just need a ride to a new life. Check out their website, http://www.hsstt.com/ to find your new dog, or if you are flying out of St. Thomas volunteer to sign up to take one …or three … to their new families. It’s wicked easy, and you get puppy kisses in payment. How cool is that?
This is awesome! Your coming to Maine!
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