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Arizona – Saturday & Sunday, November 19 & 20

November 23rd, 2016

Saturday was puppy day. Wait… what?!?!

It all started on Wednesday morning when one of the neighbors was walking by with this little puppy in her hands. I was inside getting ready to head to the zoo when Joe spotted her and asked what she had. Then he poked his head in the trailer and called for me to come outside to see the puppy. Unbeknownst to us this would set off a chain of events that ended with us adopting a puppy. I know, I can barely believe it myself.

Basically the puppy was an 8 week old, female Schnau-Tzu who the neighbor was originally only watching for another neighbor who ended up in the hospital. The woman was a breeder/horder and the puppy was later given to the neighbor by mutual friends to help her get over the loss of her own dog in September. Except as much as she liked the puppy she wasn’t ready to move on or for the responsibility. She asked if we knew anyone who wanted a dog, or if we would be interested ourselves. We thought about it for a day or so and on Thursday decided to adopt her. We didn’t actually take her until Saturday though because we had so much going on we wouldn’t be able to watch her anyway.

Saturday morning we went back to the Mesa Swap Meet to look for a collar and leash but it was a total bust so we ended up at Petsmart where we purchased those items plus two cans of puppy food. (We also ordered a travel carrier on Amazon which was delivered to M’s house and she brought it over that afternoon).

When we got back to the trailer Joe’s sister, T, was in a mood for some reason because immediately she was all “where’s the puppy going to stay? I don’t want her on my bed. I don’t want her messing up my rug and if she has an accident you’re going to clean it up”. I was flabbergasted with the way she was talking to us since a) we didn’t do anything to provoke it and b) she was implying we are inconsiderate assholes. Joe got so mad that he started yelling at her and they really got into it and she left.

Then we went out to breakfast with Joe’s parents and when we came back we went to the neighbor’s house to get the puppy. We gave her $150 (to cover previous vet costs) and borrowed her crate and some other supplies. We also got info from her on what vaccinations the puppy has had and her birthdate which is September 21st.

Basically we spent the rest of the day hanging outside and playing with the puppy. I just about had a panic attack that evening telling Joe I’m not sure if we should have agreed to the puppy since it’s so much responsibility, plus the costs involved while he’s still out of work. As a result I ended up not sleeping most of the night and we were up at 2:30 am to ensure we made our 6 am flight home. Since Joe and his sister weren’t speaking M drove us to the airport.

They tell you to get to the airport two hours before your flight. What they don’t tell you is Southwest doesn’t open their ticket counter until 4:30 am on the weekend so we arrived earlier than necessary and had to wait. We used the automated kiosks (which an employee had to turn on one by one) to print the tags for our bags but we had to visit the counter to pay for the puppy. It’s $95 each way even though it’s a carry-on just like anything else. For whatever reason my boarding pass had the TSA pre-check so I got to bypass the regular security line and not have to take off my shoes. I walked with the puppy through the metal detector and she got a lot of attention from the security guy as well as another passenger who went through the line behind me. Both made a remark that she doesn’t even look real but more like a toy. Here’s a few pictures I took a few days after we got home for your perusing pleasure.

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Isn’t she adorable? We’re still trying to pick an appropriate name for her.

Our boarding positions were A 32 and 33 which was awesome: we scored seats in the exit row where there’s only two plus extra legroom. Once everyone had boarded I went up front to use the bathroom and say hi to the pilot (since just like on our flight to Phoenix, the other pilot went into the bathroom right before I got there). When I tried to get out, the stewardess was on the phone and wouldn’t let me past her. When she hung up she said they had to move us “a few rows back” because we weren’t allowed to sit in an exit row with a pet. Well, it was more like several rows back on the other side of the plane and Joe was not happy. I had to grab our carry-ons from the overheard bin and move them as well. We went from choice seats to the crappy ones in the back surrounded by kids. Oy! That’s on me for not reading the pet policy though; it does state you can’t sit in an exit row. Oh well, lesson learned. On the bright side I was so tired from no sleep and taking two Xanax that at some point I fell asleep. Also, the puppy behaved perfectly. She didn’t whine or have any accidents, so it could have been worse. She was good about not having to pee until we got back to the car and I was able to put a puppy pad down so it didn’t get on the floor mats.

I wouldn’t say I’m over my fear of flying (I’ll always fear the worst case scenario) but I don’t think I’m going to panic months before our next flight like I did this time around. There’s definitely something to the whole exposure therapy thing since this was the first time I’ve flown two years in a row and I’m getting a little more comfortable with the idea even though I still really hate take off and any time they bank the plane to turn since it’s always at a lower altitude. We’d like to visit Joe’s parents more frequently so there’s a good chance we’ll be flying again in six months or less so it will be interesting to see how I feel then.

Two things –

We met a really nice woman at the airport who was flying with her dog too. She was very helpful answering my questions about how she handles letting the dog relieve itself before the flight although our puppy wasn’t interested in doing that anyway.

Our plane home was the sporting Southwest’s special Illinois livery. I couldn’t see much of it other than the word “Illinois” as we boarded since it was still dark out (I specifically scheduled day time flights because I didn’t want to fly in the dark but forgot that it’s still dark at 6 am in Phoenix. Oh well, it was’t that bad). I mentioned the design to the pilot and he commented that it’s ugly, LOL. Then I looked it up on Google once we got home and he wasn’t wrong. Ew!

Southwest Illinois Livery

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