Chester & Rodney - Fly Me to the Moon
The folks had to fly to Florida recently for an overnight stay to attend a wedding. They were going to leave the five of us behind with house sitters. The house sitters were lovely people, but Morgan and I needed a break from the rest of the dogs. Being the two smallest in our pack, at only ten pounds each, we figured that the sitters wouldn’t notice our absence. And if they did, we were sure they’d think that the folks had taken us along with them, as long as we could sneak out of the house in the morning right behind mom and dad. So, I set my internal alarm clock to go off earlier than the folks were due to get up. It went off as expected at 5:30 the next morning. I woke Morgan up, we got all our stuff ready, snuck it out the front door and got back into our beds. We packed a backpack with only the essentials - you know; leashes, pjs, food - as we knew that a heavy bag would only serve to slow us down.
At 6:00 a.m. dad’s alarm clock went off. Mom and dad went into their crazed we’ve-got-a-flight-to-catch mode. They fed us all, walked us, and out the door they went. Just as the door was closing, I grabbed Morgan by the paw and we ran out behind them. My plan was falling into place quite nicely. Dad opened the trunk and, as he turned to pick up a suitcase, Morgan and I started to jump in. Morgan went first, her years of agility training and svelte physique resulting in an effortless and successful leap. Then it was my turn…having had one too many burgers, I was not as agile as I’d like. We almost got caught when I miscalculated the amount of take off force I needed and just missed getting into the trunk. I guess I’d not taken into account the weight of the backpack. I was hanging onto the edge of the car and, just as I started to panic, Morgan reached out of the trunk and hoisted me up. I exhaled a sigh of relief as dad closed the trunk and got into the car. The ride to the airport was a short twenty minute ride, which was still long enough for me to compose myself.
Once there, I realized that navigating the airport was more challenging than I’d expected, but we managed to find our gate and board the plane unnoticed. I’d bought the tickets via the internet the night before with mom’s credit card. Unfortunately, I had to book us in coach on the way out to Florida because there were no first class seats available. It was to be my first time on an airplane and Morgan, who is a seasoned traveller, suggested that first class was the only way to fly. During the flight, I saw mom and dad a couple of times, luckily they didn’t notice us. I guess they didn’t expect to see us on the flight, so weren’t paying attention. I was thankful that Morgan had packed some light snacks for the flight, as we were only offered a drink and small bag of nuts. What’s up with that? Morgan noticed a fellow canine passenger seated in the row ahead of us, but we tried not to make eye contact lest the Yorkie should start barking and betray our presence. Anyway, two short hours later, we started our descent.I was proud of myself for not getting air sick on this my maiden voyage.
Our first order of business upon landing was securing transportation. We’d planned on staying at the folks’ hotel room and were going to sneak into their rental car and ride with them. However, in the deplaning commotion, the folks got away from us and we were forced to find our own means of travel to the hotel. I called information and got the number for Uber, easy peasy. Along comes the driver, looking for his fare like a lost child, so I started flaying my arms in an attempt to flag him down.He pretended not to see Morgan and me standing there and actually drove away! Why would he do that? Doesn’t Uber allow dogs in their cars? Anyhow, I located the rental car desk, but knew that renting a car was going to be a problem. I mean, after all, I don’t have a driver’s license. I was able to convince, okay, pay off a guy to rent the car for us. He drove it just out of sight of the Hertz peeps, hopped out and gave me the keys. Morgan wanted to drive, but I was excited to be in Florida for the first time and wanted the whole experience. You know, I wanted to experience the bad drivers, oblivious of their surroundings, unaware of the use of turn signals and cutting you off at every turn. Morgan begrudgingly acquiesced and we were on our way. We did some sight seeing before arriving at the hotel. We then stayed in the car until the folks left the hotel to go to the wedding. As soon as they left, we snuck into their room. An assortment of room service munchies and two movies later, the folks got back from the wedding. Boy were they surprised and, shall we say, somewhat displeased to see us there. Mom was even more displeased when she found out how many charges we’d put on her credit card.
The next morning we all headed out to the airport together. Dad arranged for the front desk to return my rental car and we carpooled in his. Mom seemed to have forgiven us, until we arrived at the United ticket counter and she discovered that Morgan and I were flying home in first class, especially since she and dad were going to be sitting in coach. The flight home was fantastic.If you’ve never flown first class, I suggest you try it. The service is impeccable and they actually feed you. Morgan had the veggie omelette, while I had the oatmeal with berries. We topped it off with some yogurt and a glass of freshly squeezed o.j.
All in all and despite mom’s exasperation due to our little escapade, I must say the trip was a success and it probably won’t be a one-time adventure. So, the next time you’re flying the friendly skies, look beside you. That little man sitting beside you sporting the sunglasses and rocking a fedora just might be me, on my way to the Bahamas.
If you enjoy Christina's writing, check her books out! She is the author of “Chester Gigolo: Diary of a Dog Star” and "Insider Training: Chester Gigolo’s Dog Training Secrets Revealed” for which she won the 2016 DWAA Captain Haggerty award for Best Training Book and the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Award (Animals & Pets). She is also a contributing author to “Animal Stars: Behind the Scenes with Your Favorite Animal Actors”. She has written multiple articles which have appeared in various international publications.