Thursday, May 08, 2014

Flying the pet friendly skies of United.

Much of the past week has been a blur. When we found out about Mr S.'s dad we thought we would have more time, but things deteriorated quickly and all of a sudden we were booking a flight for the next afternoon. His heart dropped from 29% capacity to 14% in one day. All the siblings were flying in to say their goodbyes.

We didn't have time to find anyone to watch Jasmine. We are down to the one now. And when emergencies happen - you just throw all your shit in a bag and sort the whole thing out later. We weren't even sure where we were staying. His mom has developed very severe allergies to everything, and we didn't want to put stress on that. His sister is a savage smoker, and Mr S. is allergic to their dogs. The first night was pretty crazy. Jasmine flew in a soft carrier which she could have chewed out of if she wanted to. After we got out of the hospital it was pretty late. We needed to find food and some method to keep Jasmine contained while we were away attending to family stuff. The soft carrier was way too small to keep her more than a short time. Luckily a 24 hour Walmart saved our ass. I kinda got the idea from from South Park episode where Randy was shopping in the middle of the night. I don't shop at Walmart, so we were just hoping their pet section would have something we could use and it did.

It's been a few years since we've flown with bunnies. So you are always a little nervous if you will actually get on a plane. Especially since they put in the new scanners. I wasn't sure how they were going to screen me with a pet. As it turns out though, so many people fly with them - the airports on both sides have pet relief areas. You don't even need to see a vet before you go now to get a health certificate. At least on United. You do get extra screening, but I would have volunteered for a strip search if I had to. And the TSA reaction to bunnies is always a bit priceless. As you can imagine - they don't get them often.

We were pretty surprised how well she traveled. On the way back we had to leave her in the parking deck for a couple of hours, so by the time we got back to the airport we wanted to give her a few minutes out to calm down. Our flight had been delayed anyway. To our surprise, she didn't want to crawl immediately out of the carrier. Which is what most bunnies do once you open the top. The whole time we were waiting for the plane I had the carrier open. Then it got better. Our flight was practically empty. Everyone on that flight could have gotten their own row. Which was kinda funny because first class was packed. The back of the bus was empty. I've never seen a flight that empty. But a pet takes up all of your foot room and it was a relief to not be stuck in one position the whole flight.

The whole plane was empty and we gave her the window seat. Since she was super chill in the airport, we figured we would try to see if she'd be that way on the plane and she was. We weren't sure how the flight crew was going to feel about that. Before 9/11 they used to be chill enough you could snuggle them out of the carrier to comfort them. Obviously after - not so chill. The crew was aware of her and only warned me to not let her get loose. Even when we were landing they were okay with her being in the seat as long as she was buckled in. Which I do all the time anyway. Once I had to stop fast in the car and a bunny wound up on the floorboard. Every since then I buckle them. Plus I didn't want to hit weird turbulence. She was happy with this arrangement the whole time. You can see my bag of chips is all blown up do to the pressure.

Yesterday when we got home we found out that once you get whatever is causing congestive heart failure tamped down, you can stabilise. His dad already seemed more alert the day we were leaving. We still thought it would only be a matter of days. Apparently Mr S.'s sister has a friend who's parent lived on only 10% capacity for three years. Which was a huge surprise. This is why I gave you the whole Jasmine story. Otherwise I might have had deal with grief in the way I do by not talking about it for a while. I'm like a guy that way.

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