If you’ve wondered why I haven’t blogged in a week or so, I have an excellent excuse.
Allow me to introduce Bix.
He’s an eight-week-old standard poodle puppy who joined our family on December 13. Tomorrow he’ll be nine weeks old. He’s absolutely adorable, smart as a whip and well behaved (for a puppy). He’s endlessly amusing.
Here’s a picture of Bix and me, taken by Dianne Janczewski, Bix’s breeder.
Big came from Clifton Standard Poodles in Clifton, Virginia. I live in St. Louis, which means that I brought Bix home on an airplane. I enjoy planning such things and I gave the journey home with Bix a lot of thought. I had flown with a puppy once before, a dozen years ago, when we brought our departed poodle Kirby home from the breeder in New Jersey. But I didn’t really remember the fine details.
I did a lot of googling but I did not find a whole lot of helpful information. (The most helpful exception: Dog Jaunt.)
So I thought I’d detail a few things here that I did right and wrong in hopes of helping others faced with traveling with a little puppy on an airplane.
First, let me reassure you that Bix flew in the cabin of the airplane, under the seat in front of me. I flew Southwest and purchased their branded carrier so that I knew it would fit. If my puppy had been a small breed, I might have purchased a higher-quality carrier, like the Sherpa or SturdiBag, but I knew I’d be using this carrier for a very limited time and I felt the peace of mind of knowing it would fit was important.
Overall, everything went very well. My biggest worry had been that Bix would cry and disturb other passengers by whining or barking or that he’d eliminate in the carrier, which would also disturb passengers. He did neither of those things. He just slept, raising his head a little at the noises during takeoff and landing. He was a very good boy and didn’t even seem stressed.
Here’s a picture of him in his carrier on the plane.
What I didn’t anticipate was that he would get motion sick in the car on the way to the airport. My dear friend, Patti, was driving us in her new car and didn’t seem to blink when Bix threw up three times. Luckily, I had some pee pads with me that caught much of the mess, but it was still pretty gross. (He threw up in my car on the way home from the airport, too.)
So based on my experience, I’d like to share some things I did right and some things I did wrong:
Things I did right to prepare for my puppy’s first airplane trip
Mistakes I made in preparing for my puppy’s first airplane trip
I hope if you’re faced with a trip like this one that you’ll find this post helpful. Based on my experience, I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again (though I’d correct the mistakes I made). Certainly getting sweet Bix home to us was well worth the effort!
Here he is on his second day in our home. He was and remains happy and comfortable and not the least traumatized by his travel experience, thank goodness.