Last Saturday six-month old service pup in training, Piper, reached a special milestone - his first air trip - from Raleigh-Durham, NC to Los Angeles, CA. As his raiser, I would say it was a journey worth writing about. In fact so much happened I am splitting the story into two posts: Part 1 - Piper at the RDU Airport, and Part II - Piper on US Airways Flight 461.
Part I - Piper at the RDU Airport
flight from Raleigh-Durham was scheduled to depart at 4:10 on a Saturday afternoon. Although we
left the house with plenty of time to spare, a terrible snarl on I-40
caused by a combination traffic accident / UNC football game made our airport arrival a little too close for comfort. At the parking lot we "parked" Piper, then Frank and I walked in and went thru ticketing and check-in on US Airways in record time. As I started to thread my way thru the maze of ropes and posts at the security entrance, a TSA agent motioned me to a much shorter line for the flight crew. Yes! I turn and wave good-bye to
Frank who smiles from the departure entrance and gives me a thumbs up.
I love watching Piper's reaction (or lack of) as we meet odd and interesting airport personalities. There is The Cowboy, clunking along in his 8 gallon hat, with white toes on his boots so long and pointy he could skewer a horned toad. Piper gives him a perfunctory glance. Later my pup observes a little boy dangling a strange doll that looks like a cross between the Phantom of the Opera and a skeleton. Piper's gaze takes in the little guy and his toy and moves on, as if giving his dog stamp of approval that every preschooler should have a cadaverous doll for a best friend. Come to think of it, some of Piper's best playthings are bones....
Soon the loudspeaker blares that it's time to board and off we start on Part II of Piper's journey westward across America.