[nagdu] Traveling Advice

Tracy Carcione carcione at access.net
Tue Sep 28 18:30:48 UTC 2010

Some dogs get nervous at takeoff and landing.  I think it's the loud
noise, and the way the plane tilts.  It's not unusual for a dog to sit up
and look around then.  Just remember that your dog takes cues from you, so
try to be positive and matter-of-fact.  I say something like "Here we are
on this big bus; isn't this nice."  I might rub the dog's ears or
something, if he's sitting up, but not make a big fuss.
Benny is an excellent traveler.  He lies down and flips the stuffed animal
switch, and after that he hardly moves.
If I have to get up and use the restroom in the plane, if I have a row to
myself, or my seatmates seem to like dogs, I'll put the seatbelt through
the leash loop and leave Ben at my seat.  Otherwise, I bring him with me
and ask one of the flight attendants if they could hold his leash for a
few minutes.  They often sit near the restroom.

Ben is great in hotels, too.  He's particularly good at noticing doors
where I've taken him out to relieve, and at finding them again when he's
done his thing.  I usually ask the person at the front desk if there's
anywhere they'd prefer I take him, and where the outdoor trash cans are.

This summer, I went to a harp festival in a big, complicated hotel.  Ben
was brilliant!  Together, we learned how to find the front desk, our room,
the restaurant, and the rooms where I wanted to take workshops.  I'd aim
Ben in the right direction, and he'd point out stuff as we came up to it. 
He even did well in the exhibit hall.  And he did great, leading me
through rooms full of harps, which are notoriously tippy.  We never caused
a crash, even though I was often carrying my own harp slung over my
shoulder.  I was so proud of my boy!  And we get to do it again in a
couple weeks, though at a smaller event.  I'm looking forward to it.  It
can be fun to work in new places, just me and my dog.

Anyway, off on a tangent.  Have fun, and don't get uptight, and your dog
will have fun, too.

> Hello Everyone,
> I will be flying to the state of Washington in November, and staying
> in a hotel for at least three nights. I have not ever flown or stayed
> in a hotel with my Guide Dog before, and I would like to know if those
> of you who have flown or stayed in a hotel with your dogs before have
> any advice for me. I will have layovers exceeding two hours on the way
> to and from my destination. Are there things that I can do to make my
> and Sunny's airport, airplane, and hotel experiences as positive and
> hastle free as possible?
> Thank you in advance for any advice that you have the time to share.
> Kolby
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