Ultimately the decision was made to take Chloe with us to San Francisco! We had an incredible time and it was a blast having her there with us! I couldn't have imagined the trip without her being here! This post is all about how we did traveling with a dog!
I spent a lot of time researching traveling with a dog before we left! I asked fellow pet owners at puppy playtime and Google searched more times than necessary. I made sure that I knew what we were doing just in case anything went wrong. The one cite that I read every post before leaving was Dog Jaunt, it is all about traveling with a small dog! It was perfect and it was just what I needed, somehow Mary Alice made sure to answer every single question I came upon and more that I hadn't thought of! If there was one cite that was essential to making this trip the success it was it was definitely Dog Jaunt!
Mary Alice has a great list of what to bring with you and it was a wonderful guide! I did edit it to what I thought we would honestly need on a five day trip, but it was invaluable! We used the SturdiBag in black, size large, since that is what we had previously when we traveled with our now much larger dog, Oliver. It turns out we made the right choice with a carrier since that is the one she uses with her dog, Chloe!
We also had made reservations at a hotel that was dog friendly and allowed dogs that were under 15lbs. In the end we stayed at a friends house which was much better for our first time travels, especially since she had a dog and we didn't have to worry about running her outside while we were in the hotel!
Going There: We got to the airport with a little less than two hours before our flight which ended up being perfect. We checked in curbside and there was no fuss over the dog other than the $100 fee for her to travel in cabin with us. That is the way to go if you are traveling with a dog in cabin, easy and they just breezed us through! Security was easy and we got more attention by those saying she was cute than from the TSA. I carried her through the scanner without her collar or leash and stuck her back in before moving towards the gate. We got on the plane and I gave her a Kong stuffed with peanut butter when we were taking off and I think that was a key to the easy flight we had! After that she fell asleep in her carrier and the rest of the flight was a breeze! My mom and I split up when we landed and I went with our friend and we tried to find some grass for Chloe. We went to one of the animal areas and she wouldn't have it, she was smelling every other dogs markings and would go herself. We then waited until we got to grass at the house which was fine!
The Way Back: Let me preface this by saying that delays are the worse! We didn't check our flight before arriving at the airport which was a huge mistake. Our flight was delayed by an hour and a half! This is where we made the mistakes, we went to the club room and spent our time there. We talked about taking Chloe out of security again and walking around and letting her go to the bathroom but we didn't follow through. Mistake #1! Instead, we let her sleep and sleep, on the chair, in her carrier when we were told she was supposed to be in her carrier (apologizing is always the best way to go!). Mistake #2 was letting her sleep the whole time. On the flight there I had frozen peanut butter in a Kong for her, on the way back we had been running around all day and I meant to stop in somewhere and find peanut butter--not sure exactly where I was thinking--and fill the Kong. That never happened and was something we should have done. Mistake #3. Instead, throughout the whole flight she was visibly upset and uncomfortable, panting after we gave her water and shaking. It was horrible seeing her this way and we think her ears must have been bothering her, especially since she wouldn't eat anything. It turned out she was just completely unsure of what to do with herself and didn't have a clue as to what was going on and why. I just wanted the flight to be over! None of the calming methods we brought helped and I just felt absolutely useless! In the end we were just happy to be on the ground!
While We Were There
The greater San Francisco area is incredibly dog friendly and it was such a nice thing to have Chloe with us! Our friend that we were staying with had a dog but it would have been unbearable to not have her with us! We made sure to eat meals outside and the amazing California weather made that incredibly enjoyable! Then we were also able to leave her in the house with our friends Yorkshire Terrier, Bella! Where one night while they were blocked in with a dog gate, Chloe somehow ended up on the opposite side of the gate when we got home. We were shocked! Next time we will definitely bring a carrier for her, such as the PetEgo that is recommended by Dog Jaunt as being a bag that can easily hide the dog! Overall, it was a great trip and I can't wait for our next trip!