Road trip part I
There’s a ton of complex and not so complex reasons as to why we didn’t just bring two of our dogs, Ashna and Sirius, over to America with us right away. I won’t get into that now, however. I’d like to just talk about the adventure we’re about to embark on, driving 1261 miles to New York City to pick them (and my sister, Siri) up from the airport! We’ll have been through a total of around 15 states when we get back!
I probably spent months researching the best way to fly the dogs over. What kind of crate, how big, how long flights are reasonable, how to make it as easy and comfortable on the dogs as humanly possible. I learned a lot!
- Shipping dogs as cargo is very expensive, and not ideal. They will be treated as cargo, and is typically last off the plane, they will be in (mostly) a completely different area than the passengers, and it may take several hours longer to get to them. How do you solve this? Travel together with them. Or, as we’re doing, get someone to take them for you!
- Accidents happen. How to avoid it? BE PREPARED.
- Statistically it seems most accidents with dogs flying happens on the ground. Most commonly it seems to be due to bad crates/kennels, and that the door opens and the dog gets lose in the terminal. Buy a good crate (check! Bloody well ruined us too!), and use zip ties for extra safety!
- Many airlines have put restrictions on what kind of breeds can fly. Some will not allow short-nosed breeds (like bulldogs, pugs, and the likes) at all, while some will simply say “we don’t recommend that they fly.” Age restrictions on dogs, or at least age requirements, also exists. (Check! Our dogs are sight hounds, and to be fair – you don’t get dogs with longer noses than them… They are also four and six, so within the “safe” age)
- Most airlines will not fly dogs when it’s really cold, or really warm out. The temperature limit varies from airport to airport.
- Crate train your dog! In order for them to be as comfortable as possible on the flight, they need to see the crate as a safe place. (Check! Both dogs voluntarily slept in the crates before we left)
- STAY CALM. (Deep breath). They will be fine! (I’m a worrier, which is why being with dogs help me – they remind me NOT to worry so much! Now that they are not here however? I worry. A little bit. But I know they will be fine!)
As I mentioned above, we’ve prepared for this for months. We’ve had to change our plans numerous times due to “things coming up.” Like the fact that if the dogs are to be in crates that are actually big enough for them, not all airlines can take them – the crates are too big! This ended up being the main reason for why we’re driving all the way to NYC, because smaller domestic planes won’t take them. We needed a direct flight from Oslo, and NYC was the only option!
I’m finishing this at 3am in the morning, as we’re about to head out. We’ve got a big day of driving ahead of us, where we’re aiming to get as close to NYC as we can. I will update more soon!