My mom was so nervous about me getting on the plane. There are so many rules about flying as a dog. All I know is, my Aunt Sara handed me over to some people in Seattle – Delta Airlines, she said. I had to stay in my crate, which was just fine with me. In a strange place, a dog needs a den.
My Aunt Sara made sure I didn’t have a cushion or anything to chew on, because we all know what happens when I’m alone in a crate with anything that I can sink my teeth into. Ahem.
I got into Philadelphia on time, in perfect condition. but my mom was late. She missed her train to the airport because she wasn’t sure where to get it. Then she couldn’t find the air cargo building. It took her awhile to find the bus to get to “Cargo City,” which is where all the cargo centers are in Philadelphia. (In case you’re wondering, it stops at the employee bus stop.) Then she got off at the place where she’d picked up Ophelia a year ago. It was closed.
Now even my intrepid mom started to get a little nervous. She’s out in the middle of nowhere in the Philadelphia airport with not a single other person in sight. She’s carrying her ID and credit cards to get me and she’s got cash for the cab home. And she’s all alone at this empty building.
But she had her trusty cell phone. She called the number posted on the door for Philadelphia Delta Ops. They told her the cargo office had moved. While she freaked out about waiting for another bus, the nice man said the new cargo office was about ten minutes away, walking. “And it’s a nice day,” he pointed out.
Good thing he didn’t know that my mom isn’t exactly a Gen X age. And an even more good thing: she wore her Dress for Unsuccess outfit of shorts and sneakers and (thanks to her new gym instructor) she’s in fantastic shape.
All I know is, my nap was interrupted when I heard the Delta counter person say, “Is that your dog – the sweet brown one? She’s the cutest thing.” And I heard a familiar voice saying, “Yes, that’s Gracie!” She knew they had to be talking about me, although I like to think of myself as more of a blond than a brown.
Then we had another adventure. My mom had considered hiring a car to take us home. But she figured she’d just call one of the cab companies she uses regularly.
We had a shock. They refused to come. (I know all this because by then I was out of my crate, leashed up and walked for “exercise.”)
The counter people were great. They suggested another cab company. No dice. Finally my mom called Quaker City cabs, which she had used before, she said, to go to New Jersey. They agreed to find us a cab. While we waited, the cargo people encouraged us to walk around outside. Frankly, I suspect they were happy to lose my mom from their nice waiting room.
I also suspect they know a Canine Urban Princess when they see one.) They didn’t say what they must have thought: “Why didn’t this woman set up her transportation ahead of time?” My mom just figured cabs go everywhere.
The Quaker City cab people were really nice. They found a driver from their affiliate company, County, who knew Cargo City. We didn’t mind waiting. It was nice to be outdoors again after that long flight. “Bonding time,” my mom said, but I had more important things on my brain … like sniffing every piece of grass in the tiny lawn around the building..
The cab company even called to say the cab was just 8 minutes away. It was more like 12 but who’s counting? We were just thrilled to go home.
Our cab driver immediately won us over. “I love dogs,” he said. “Will she bite me?” He offered me a human style cookie but my mom immediately said, “No way -this dog has allergies!”
Are you kidding? I might bite if someone attacked me or my mom, but I’m a lover, not a fighter.
Somehow he got my crate stuffed into his trunk and we were soon rolling to Old City in style. Here’s a photo of me on the back seat. Don’t I look royal? That driver got a nice fat tip, too. Of course, after he finished thanking my mom, she said, “No worries … and would you mind helping me carry Gracie’s crate?”
My mom said she will be eternally grateful to the nice folks at Delta who got me here, the great counter people in cargo and the nice guy in Ops who guided her to the new cargo area and then tried to help with the cab situation.
“Just one thing,” my mom said, after she had recovered from the shock of the freight bill. “I wish you’d get frequent flyer miles for your owner. I deserve a nice trip after all this.”