What a long day our first one was. I got up quite early to make sure Kaline had a long walk before heading to the airport. I've never been quite so glad to have him do No. 1 and No. 2 with great efficiency! I basically let him pee on anything he wanted—I just wanted him empty.
By design, we did not get to the airport terribly early. It worked out perfectly. We had just enough time to check our bags, for me to whisk Kaline for one last pee at the far-away animal relief area, get through security, and board early.
On the way to the relief area, I had Kaline practice his momentum pull. He is still sometimes pulling too hard, but he did great in the few little crowds he had to navigate.
Security went okay, except for the shoe retrieve got botched. I will know for the future not to get caught up talking to the person behind me—while I was doing that, Kaline lost focus a bit and when I asked him to get the shoes, he looked at me like, “Ehhhh, you get 'em.” Dad got them. He did great getting both my jacket and hoodie off though. He held a nice down stay before his recall through the metal detector. A burly bearded guy did the pat down, and before starting he knelt in front of Kaline to get kisses and hugs. Kaline was thrilled.
In the short wait before we boarded the plane, Kaline, as I expected, had a nothing-vomit. Luckily, this was literally nothing (sometimes there is a tiny amount of yellow bile). He gave me so much warning with the heaving that I had time to search through my backpack, find the collapsible bowl, and position it in front of his mouth. Everyone was staring, it was a little embarrassing, but not too big a deal.
|Kaline in the airport, post-nothing-vomit.|
Kaline settled into his spot on the plane between my feet pretty well, but then got very scared by the takeoff. I was feeding his treats the whole time but it wasn't enough (then again, he never got so scared he wouldn't eat them!). For a while after we got in the air, he was trembling on and off, popping up, yawning, licking his lips, panting. Finally he settled down again and took a series of cat naps, mostly with his head on my knee. For his first flight, not too bad. He did pretty well on landing, just opened his eyes very wide.
|On the plane, pre-takeoff.|
|Settled for a catnap.|
|My knee made an excellent chin rest.|
|Kaline on the Hertz bus.|
In a kind way at dinner, the parents asked if I felt I would ever not need to use a SD, if I could “conquer” the psych stuff. I explained that since a SD works for me, that would be a reason to keep going, not stop. If I were on medication that treated my conditions, I would continue to take it, because it's doing what it's supposed to. I wouldn't see the fact that meds were working as a reason to discontinue them. Since medications don't work for me, I treat myself using a service dog. But it's the same basic idea. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
I dressed Kaline in his Tiger pajamas when we got back to the hotel and he looked unspeakably adorable. He also tried to take over both the regular bed and the fold-out bed. Attaboy.