Monday, March 28, 2016

Flying with your Small Dog

One of my 2016 goals is to take C on more adventures. She is so little and delicate that I sometimes shy away from bringing her out into the great big outdoors, but it's now or never since she is getting up in years. This weekend, she had a Southern Californian adventure. The last minute trip occurred for all the wrong reasons--family medical issue, but we made the most of it.

The little one flies as a carry-on under the seat in front of me.  For years, we flew on American Airlines exclusively because they allowed two dogs in one carrier, depending on size.  Since C and B weighed all of four pounds in the aggregate, it worked for us and I felt reassured that they could snuggle together during the flight. Now that B is no longer with us, we've branched out and tried United and Southwest.  As of the date of this post, both American and United charge a $125 pet fare for in-cabin pets (one way). Southwest charges $95 (one way).

C is well behaved in the cabin (and, no, she doesn't need to be sedated). Over the years, I learned that she does best when:

  • We plan ahead to make sure she's eaten a nice meal and had time to digest and potty before I pull the suitcase out of the closet.
  • I pack by stacking my items on my bed and fill the suitcase at the last minute. This is important because she gets stressed and cries as soon as I unzip the suitcase. (She calms down once she's secure in the carrier and I'm holding the carrier.)
  • I pack a small handful of bite-sized snacks for our layover.
  • I pack a potty pad in case of a flight delay. In a pinch, I can find a quiet corner and she'll use the pad. Best case scenario, I'll leave the terminal and come back through security, but you have to be careful to allot enough time and know where the airport's pet relief areas are (if any).
  • Her carrier is rigid in order to avoid collapse. Sherpa carriers, which are highlight recommended by many people, stressed her out because they easily collapsed on her, which caused her to panic. Our flights have been particularly successful since I bought a small Pet Flys carrier, which is unfortunately no longer available in the more subtle design we purchased, but this monkey design is fun and not too loud.
  • I don't sit the carrier on the ground in the terminal. This is the only time she barks in the carrier. I think she's concerned I have abandoned her.
  • I don't tell my seatmates she's with me. When people start using their baby voices to talk to her, she expects to be removed from the carrier.
  • I plan a potty stop for her as soon as we leave the airport at our final destination.

I understand all the reasons folks love big dogs, but I'm so grateful that C can travel with me without too much trouble.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

My First Rose

Peace rose (a/k/a Rosa Madame A. Meilland)

For whatever reason, Costco doesn't strike me as a place to purchase plants. So when I found myself standing in front of shelves of bareroot roses, I was skeptical.

No need. Per usual, Costco provides.

I planted my first Costco bareroot rose on January 25th after soaking the roots for 24 hours. On March 16th, after very little fuss, the first bloom appeared. Not sure if this plant will surviving the scorching Texas summer, but time will tell.