We made the decision to travel, via air, after us and our family were fully vaccinated. The entire family were itching to meet The Doods (Toby + Dexter) and so we made travel plans to include the puppies.
Lucky for us, there is a direct 2.5 hour flight from Fort Lauderdale to Memphis, Tennessee via Allegiant. Scott and I booked our flights and paid to fly with Toby and Dexter. Since we had never flown with pets before, we also paid for priority seating, as we weren’t sure how long it would take for us to juggle the load.
There are strict travel restricts on size of pet carriers, etc. for each airline. We (Scott) did our research and we settled on purchasing the Sherpa Ultimate on Wheels Dog & Cat Carrier Bag from Chewy.com. Our (my) reasoning was that carrying one of the two puppies on my shoulder may be too heavy to lug around the airport and wheels were a necessity. Keep reading – you’ll love how the perfectly scribed plan always takes a sideline.
As soon as the pet carriers arrived, we left them in the living area for the Doods to become familiar with together. We would put toys in their pet carriers and give the Doods short rides in the carriers. We even made a crazy TikTok video of them having fun with their carriers. Be sure to check it out with the volume on. Trust me, you need to watch this – not just for a smile, but a laugh.
A week before our trip, we did a test run and put Toby and Dexter in their pet carriers and wheeled them down the hall to the elevator. Yeah no. They refused to believe this was any sort of fun. Game over. They did not like the vibration of the wheels on the carrier. I didn’t blame them.
We panicked. There wasn’t a backup plan for the Doods staying home with a babysitter. We haven’t even begun to start sitter interviews, yet. Brilliantly, we decided to begin feeding Toby and Dexter in their carriers. It took a lot of coaxing, but was finally a success after several days.
It was obvious, there was absolutely no way the Doods would allow us to pull them around like luggage in the airport – even with the cute paw decals I placed on their travel carriers. So we opted for the next best thing, a puppy sling. Yes, we have turned into those dog parents.
We practiced carrying them in the condo and down the elevator with them tightly hugged to our bodies in their puppy slings. It was a master plan and it worked. However, we did get called ‘yuppies’ by a passer in the airport. I just laughed. He didn’t know our story.
So we called Lauren at the Ruff House, who has literally walked us through all the geriatric years of our Golden Retriever, Buddy, and our Bichon, Brady who passed away 5 and 6 months ago. Lauren and Mike own the Ruff House and are so knowledgeable about food, nutrition and more for dogs.
Lauren decided we would need some hemp relief for the Doods. They suggest the Pet Relief Hemp Edibites. We picked up (they also deliver) a bag of the Edibites and a few bags of salmon chews, just incase they needed a treat mid-flight. The Edibites worked like magic. The entire trip was a huge success and yes, we would do it again. There were pet relief stations in the airport and they were clean and easy to use.
Just an FYI, our trip consisted of a week long journey with the Doods. We flew to Memphis, rented a van and drove to Missouri with my Mom, her husband and my Aunt Ruby. My Mom and Aunt Ruby were more than happy to take turns holding Toby and Dexter.
For those of you that know, we were able to get Toby out of a terrible situation, at 8 week old. Toby has been incredibly shy and reserved. This trip has given him more confidence and he is no longer afraid of people and pets. Actually, we stayed at the farm (my brother and sister-in-law’s place) and Toby has taken a liking to cows and chickens. No, we won’t get to adopt any cows or chickens – our condo has a strict 2 pet rule.