Yesterday our local service dog meet up group went to the Charlotte airport! Brad was able to connect with a friend from JetBlue to get us gate passes. These are passes that get you through security but not on an airplane. We were very excited! Especially Scarlet as she is flying soon with Gigi.
We were running late and as we got out of the van and started getting ready to go into the airport, Michelle and Beep walked right past us! So we got to do the initial training in the parking garage. Initial training mostly being Hestia being completely over the moon to see Beep. She LOVES Beep, I mean, really loves him. He tolerates her. It is such a funny relationship!
The people at the JetBlue counter were expecting us and were super nice! I highly recommend flying JetBlue! They gave us our gate passes, and pointed us to the least crowded security area. Even though it was the least crowded, it was busy enough to be very stressful! Brad got video of Gigi and Hestia going through security, and then I tried to get video of Brad being checked, but it was so busy that most of the time I could only see his back.
While we were going through security, a pet Chihuahua came through at the same time! All the pups were great! In fact, while we were there we saw probably 5-6 dogs. Only one was marked as a SD, and all but one were well behaved (albeit on flexis). Gigi, Hestia, and Beep did great with each dog. The hardest one was the service dog who stared intently at us as they passed, but all our dogs were very good and ignored the dog.
As we were regrouping from going through security, Hestia tried to be sneaky and it was hilarious! We were sitting kinda spread out, dogs about 3-4 feet away from each other and lying down. Hestia really wanted to say hi to Beep, so she pretended she needed to stretch, and stretched her front legs out waaaaay in front of her, and then shimmied the rest of her body up to her paws. We watched her do this three times, trying to get closer to Beep with us laughing at her the whole way. When I told her no, she looked shocked and then resigned in not getting to jump on top of Beep and hug him (no wonder Beep ignores her!). Anyway it was so funny, she really thought she was pulling one over on us!
Shortly after starting walking around we found one of the indoor pet relief areas. It is a big metal box with one side and the top open. It was probably about 8 ft x 8 ft. It had fake grass and a fire hydrant in it. Surprisingly, Hestia didn’t mind the weird grass or anything it had been cleaned with, and she sniffed around and even went to the bathroom!
Gigi didn’t want to go on the fake grass, and Beep did after a bit. He peed on the fire hydrant, but bumped it with his leg and it fell over! We were all very glad Hestia wasn’t underneath the hydrant! That could have seriously hurt her.
We walked around the airport for a good while, finding some empty terminals in which to destress. We got pictures underneath an old plane hanging from the ceiling. The Charlotte airport is actually really nice. They have stained glass in some of the hallways, and all the new parts of the airport were great. The part under construction was, well, under construction.
We went to the food court, and Michelle and Beep had to leave early to take care of something at home. So we found a table and ate lunch. Unfortunately the guy taking lunch orders at Papa John’s was very fast and didn’t have a lot of tolerance for people who were a little overwhelmed. So that was stressful– probably the most stressful part of the whole trip was ordering at Papa John’s!
After lunch, we practiced restrooms and Hestia didn’t even try to leave the restroom! Yay! She usually tries to peek under and see who is next to us, but even though there were people there, she stayed still and just waited for me to be done! Yay, progress!
We walked down through the area with construction and found the second dog relief area. It was pretty much the same as the first, and Hestia again peed on it! A very nice person who worked at the airport was very happy to show it off to us, and explained the fire hydrant issue. Apparently they clean these areas frequently, so they need to be able to get the fire hydrant out to wash all the grass. Underneath the grass it looked like there were giant potty pads to try to soak up the wet stuff. All in all, not a horrible pet relief area! Didn’t smell like chemicals, the fake grass was real enough for Hestia to use it both places!
We continued a bit further, but I could tell Hestia’s brain was not able to learn anymore, she was done with the airport. So I just picked her up and carried her for the rest of the time. Which wasn’t long, Gigi was reaching the end of her rope, too. So we stopped by the JetBlue counter for another photo opportunity, and then headed home. Luckily we left a lot of time because we were dropping Scarlet off at the hair salon and we got lost along the way! Good thing I wasn’t driving!
We dropped Scarlet and Gigi off, and then headed home where I collapsed on the couch and took a long nap. Brad started going through the pictures, but there were so many of them that he couldn’t do them all at once, which is why the one day delay. But here the pictures are, enjoy!