One of the most difficult areas of travel for people with dogs is air travel, or so it is thought to be. As many of my savvy readers know from my travels over at The Savvy Tourist, I am a huge advocate of air travel and I write about it quite frequently. Unfortunately, Dexter, a.k.a. The Bug, has yet to step a paw on an airplane. I have been trying to plan the perfect opportunity to just go out on a day trip and possibly take a short flight to visit a friend for a night and them fly back. Although The Bug and I haven't any problems wherever we go, I really have no idea how he is going to react to the noises and equipment at an airport, let alone the cramped environment of an actual airplane. These are things that new puppy owners never think about which is why we stress the socialization process with young pups.
From United Daily Newsletter:
We help puppies learn how to fly
Last Thursday, we hosted seven future guide dogs and their trainers, giving the pups an opportunity to experience the sights and smells of an aircraft and airport. The group from Guide Dogs for the Blind toured SJC (San Jose, Calif.), navigating the shuttle bus, security, concourse and gates before boarding a Boeing 757 and a 737.
“These dogs will have an important job, and their future owners may be our passengers,” said Service Director Sam Owens. “We’re happy to make our aircraft available to help.”
Station Training Coordinator Christine Degner and Sam talked about how our team at SJC monitors the flight arrivals and departures to best serve a customer with a guide dog or other service animal. “They asked us questions about how we accommodate persons with guide dogs and if any conflicts such as pet allergies or phobias ever arise,” Christine said. “It was a good opportunity for both sides to exchange information.”
Volunteer puppy raisers start working with the dogs when they’re six to eight weeks old. When they’re 15-18 months old, they begin formal guide dog training, which takes two to three months. Guide Dogs for the Blind has more than 1,000 volunteers who raise and socialize puppies in eight Western states and supports more than 2,000 graduates across the U.S. and Canada.
I am planning to co-ordinate a similar day for my fellow service dogs in training here in the Inland Valley. Hopefully we can visit the Ontario Airport. Keep checking back for details!
Come fly with us!
Annie & The Bug