Monday, May 13, 2013

Flying the Dog Friendly Skies

We are officially less than six weeks from our departure date, the day we move back home to Texas. The husband has been there since early December for work and I've longed to return for the last year. The 6th grader will miss her BFF at the American school she attends, but is looking forward to returning to her Texas buds. And the senior knows it's merely a summer stint in the Lone Star state before moving into her dorm at USC on August 14. And then there's the clueless member of the family, the one that has no idea his little doggie world will soon be turned upside down.

Ollie, our Cairn Terrier, really is a sweet little dog. Born in Sept. 2011, he has been a great addition to our family. You can see Ollie and the big guy crashed on the couch last month, taking a nap on a Sunday afternoon. Spoiled, much? 

I started sending Ollie to doggie daycare when he was about four months old because I wanted him to be socialized and comfortable interacting with other dogs. For a mere £12 per day, doggie daycare owner Michelle picks up Ollie in the daycare station wagon, takes him to play with his doggie buds at her center for four hours and then returns him home to me. And if I'm not here, she has a key to let herself in so he can be placed in his kennel until I return. It really is an ideal set up. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Ollie patiently waits for Michelle to pull into the driveway so he can race to the front door, bounce up and down and bark like mad because he knows it's time to play. He's gonna miss this part of his weekly routine.

Poor little Ollie isn't going to know what the hell is going on in mid June. He'll board with Michelle for a few days while the movers pack up the contents of our house and put it in a sea container. Then he'll be picked up by the pet transport company for a night at their facility near Heathrow. The next morning, he'll be kenneled in a special carrier that meets airline standards and placed in the hold of the plane on the same flight we're traveling on to Houston. It will be dark and I know he'll be scared, but there's just no other option. It was either that or find a new home for him in England. I hate to put him through the stress of this move, but I just couldn't give up the furry member of the family we've all come to love.

Once he gets to our house in the hill country, I know he's gonna have a rip roaring good time. He'll have my mother's pugs to play with in the back yard since she resides in our guest house on the property. And I imagine he'll enjoy some time in the pool this summer with the girls. He'll have to adjust to the sweltering Texas heat, but we'll get him clipped and he'll be living indoors in the AC. He'll be fine, but I can't help worrying about the little furball's transition. 

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