Monday, December 3, 2007

Food Poisoning!!!

Monday morning, the day I get to fly from California to Georgia, I wake up early not feeling well at all! I ushered Travis into the bathroom (doubles as a kitchen) and got him fed. Threw on some clothes and took him out for a walk. When I returned, Anne and Kira were up. I started to pack and put my things together. I told Anne I was not feeling well and that's about when I started puking my guts out. Luckily we had a couple of hours to get our stuff together since now I needed time to pack, rest, puke, pack, rest, and puke.

We checked out and brought our things to the lobby. Travis and I laid on the carpet behind the Christmas tree waiting for Anna and Mark (Anna's husband) to pick us up. We packed our stuff into Mark's SUV and packed ourselves and the dogs into Anna's SUV and headed for the a dog beach. I really wanted to give Travis the chance to run his little heart out before I packed him into a small crate for flying. He badly needed a good, hard run. I warned Anna to drive gently, but it didn't matter. I was going to feel sick no matter where I was. Being responsible dog owners, we had plenty of poop bags. Thank goodness because Anna would not pull over and let me hurl on the streets of a bad neighborhood..... so I bagged it instead. Feeling slightly better with my stomach completely empty now, we make it to the dog beach.

Travis ran his laps and had a good time. I know he would have loved to swim, but the water would have been too cold. Plus he's an east coast dog. Florida waves and lake ripples are nothing compared to Southern California waves and I was in no shape to save a drowning dog.

Off we go to the airport. We stopped at McDonald's for Anne. Eggs smell so bad when you are sick. Anne finally convinced me to drink some ginger ale, so we stopped for that. When we arrived at the airport, I think I kicked into you -just-have-to-do-this gear. We got our luggage checked. Anne duck taped our crate dollies and soft crates together so we would only be charged $100 instead of $100 each. Our crates were inspected.... and again they failed to notice my missing water bowls..... cool beans.

At the John Wayne airport, your crates are taken down to the loading area and then you walk your dog to the crate. This area is below where you are sitting while waiting to board. I think this works better because it reduces the human handling of your crate and you are the one bringing your dog to the noisy area and telling them its ok and this is where I want you to be. The really stupid thing is that you can't take any of your stuff with you. So if you are traveling alone, you would literally have to leave all your carry on baggage unattended by the front doors. Luckily, there were plenty of dog people there so someone was able to watch our stuff as we walked our dogs down. We walked them out to the loading areas where it was very noisy. I put Travis in his crate and then I duck taped all the way around a couple of times. I asked the man standing there if he was responsible for the dogs and he said yes.... so I handed him a $20 and told him to take good care of our dogs.

So back up stairs and off to the security line we go. About half way through, I'm not feeling so good again and I'm wondering if I can make it or should I get out of line. Well, I just barely make it. I also make a great discovery that you may or not find interesting, but ginger ale and water is very easy and QUIET to throw up. I did not want anyone in the bathroom stall next to me to hear. After that I was feeling a little better and was pleased with my discovery...... I know, I'm sorry.... too many details.

When I get back to my seat, I see that they are loading the dogs. I'm pretty sure I see that Travis is loaded. I definitely saw that Kira and Jane's puli dogs (another GA agility friend) are loaded as well. Both of their crates are more distinctive looking. Once on the plane, the flight attendant is suppose to bring the dog owners a confirmation ensuring the dog is on board. The confirmation is a little tag torn off from the paperwork attached to the dog's crate. It is torn off only after the dog is on the plane. Well, I am the only dog owner NOT to receive one. So I'm concerned, but not overly worried since I do think I saw him get on the plane. Overall, I was not too happy with how they handled me. I never did get convincing confirmation that he was loaded. They were not quick to keep me abreast of the situation. And they were going to leave without him if he was not loaded. Fortunately, he was on the plane. I strongly recommend sitting behind the right wing and watching for your dog to get loaded just so you know for sure. Unless you see it with your own eyes, you just can't be too sure. *** Also another dog flying tip - the compartment that holds the animals is not climate controlled until the plane is started. So if your flight is delayed and you are just sitting on the runway, you need to find out what temperature your animal is waiting in. I did hear about the unfortunate heat stroke death of an AKC greyhound in such a situation.

The flight was not full, so I was able to curl up into the fetal position on 2 seats for most of the flight. I think I may have actually slept a little since the flight seemed to go by quickly. I continued to drink lots of water. On the landing I got sick again and was not able to leave my seat. No problem, I had a poop bag in my pocket and I quietly handled my problem. Anne assures me that no one was the wiser.

Everything went fairly smoothly from there. The dogs took a good 20 minutes to get to the baggage area. Travis was wheeled out first with his crate on top of a German Shepherd's crate. Again he was a little whinny, but all in all I think he handled flying like a champ. I would probably fly him again if the need ever arose again. Stephen picked us up in Anne's van.

When Stephen and I got home, I was surprised to see that he had been quite the busy bee. The living room had been painted (one of those projects I never thought we would get to and now its done!). The Christmas lights had been put in the front yard, the Christmas tree had been set up, and decorations were ready to go. The guest room recently had a door converted to a window so there was some patch work painting to be done that was now done. The toilet had been fixed. Laundry had been done. The van needed some remodeling which Stephen did also. It was just such a nice surprise to see some really big projects knocked out. I always tell Stephen that nothing is sexier than dish pan hands :-). I am not a jewelry girl..... but I love to see the results of hard work. I also owe big thanks to FIL and MIL (father and mother-in-law) because they were responsible for the painting and had come out to give him a hand. Thanks, Dave and Betty!

Katie looked good. She greeted me with her usual calmness........ as if she'd seen me just a few hours ago. For the folks who love to be greeted with lots of love (obnoxious and excited behavior) from their dogs , Katie does not love me any less than your obnoxious dog loves you :-). She is just an absolute perfect picture of mental health. She is just a very well adjusted and extremely balanced dog. Obviously, Stephen had taken good care of her and she knew I was coming back. There is no reason for her to suffer or long for me while I am gone.

By now its about 9:30 PM. I call in sick for the next day, take a shower, and crawl into bed. I am so glad to be home.
Here is Anna and Travis and Anna and I.