As a 13-year old poodle I’ve discovered that it’s never too late to learn how to fly the friendly skies. The week before my scheduled flight from Chicago to Portland and wanting to ensure that I’d fly in comfort, I began acclimating myself to my new carrier, a stylish, soft pink house with windows and a comfy bed.
Although the TSA officer insisted on swabbing my traveling companion’s hands, neither of us had handled explosives recently so it was of little concern. We situated ourselves in row 8, I tucked neatly under the seat in front of my companion. Then, a shih tzu, a much younger lad named Winston, moved into the under-seat spot next to us. When we heard the calls of the displeased canine travelers in the plane’s cargo area, we were reminded of how satisfactory traveling in the cabin is.
Our flight crew anticipated an early take-off which pleased us, although as we sat without movement on the tarmac we wondered whether that could be true. Patient were we when the Alaska Air first officer told us there was an airport emergency and a delay would ensue. Winston seemed unconcerned about the delay as he continued to try to vacate his house in favor of his companion’s lap, his mild sedative obviously yet to kick in.
Apparently radar is a necessary component of successful air travel, and O’Hare airport’s radar system had gone down. I couldn’t imagine how many other aircraft might be in the air or waiting in queue to take off. An hour and a half later, radar (and air-conditioning) apparently restored, we were off, landing only 45 minutes late in Portland.
The following bright, sunny, breezy day we treated ourselves to an outdoor lunch at McCormick and Schmick in the Willamette harbor with our friend, Lynn. Fortunately, both my companion and I like Almond-Encrusted Rainbow Trout, although my vet counsels against eating the nuts. Although I was most comfortable under my companion’s chair, passers-by seem to have an affinity for the bows in my hair, and conversation with new friends always seems to result.
My companion seemed puzzled about how to photograph our lunch, so quickly changing was the bright light and shade. Finally, she seemed resigned to have done the best she could.
So, what I’ve noticed is that even if the view is from beneath the seat, the experience of travel and great food is possible.