Monday, March 1, 2010

On to plan B… kinda

So we are officially having to change our move dates now.  We were originally supposed to leave Phoenix on Thursday night, drive to LA, drop the car off at the port on Friday, fly to Baltimore on Sunday and then fly to Aviano from Baltimore on Tuesday.  But, since we still don’t have orders, that’s not going to happen.  Mark and I held out as long as we could, but there is no way we’re going to get orders, go through 3 separate moves, have both passports and visas, and be out of this house 3 days from now.  So our original hotel reservations and car reservations have all been cancelled.  Boo.
So it’s on to plan b, except we don’t exactly have a plan b.  We know that if we don’t make the military rotator from BWI to Aviano (it flies directly in to the base) on March 9th, that basically we won’t be taking the rotator.  I guess I should rephrase, Abbie and I won’t be taking the rotator.  There are 2 other flights to Aviano in March, both of which have pet space now, but only 1 seat available.  Technically the military can force Mark to fly on the rotator and Abbie and I would fly commercially, but we’re hoping they’ll grant him a waiver and allow him to fly commercially with us.
So the problem with flying commercially is the dogs.  I have to decide whether or not I want them with us for our almost 24 hours of traveling (like 18 hrs of flights alone) or if I want to put them in cargo.  The problem with cargo is that we’ll have at least 2 layovers.  We’ll probably fly from LA to Washington DC and then from DC to Frankfurt, Germany, and then from Frankfurt to Venice.  If they go in cargo, I kiss them goodbye in LA and won’t see them until we get to Venice.  So if they don’t make a flight or something happens, I don’t find out until we’re in Italy.  Also, supposedly airline workers give them water and let them out to go potty somewhere.  There’s no way in hell Ollie’s going to get out of his cage for someone he doesn’t know in a strange place.  He won’t get out of his cage in our HOUSE for a stranger.  And if Sadie gets freaked out (which she will since Ollie will be scared) and gets away from someone while they’re trying to let her out, they’re going to have a hell of a time catching her.  So you can see my reservations with putting them in cargo.  However, I don’t know if putting them in their carry-on bags for 18 hours is exactly humane either.  They’d be happier with us, but I don’t know how we’d get out of the airport to let them out to go potty and back through security and on our next flights during our layovers.  And I don’t know if airports have potty places for dogs where you don’t have to go all the way out through security and back in.  ??  Also, we’ll be flying Lufthansa most likely for our European flights and they have different carry-on restrictions and weight limits, which both dogs are over.  So there’s a possibility if we carry them on, when we get to Germany, we’d have to check them for the last leg of the flight.  But at least we’d know they’re in Europe with us and not back in the States on some loading dock somewhere.  Or running around the airport with workers chasing after them.
It’s kind of a big decision and I really don’t know what to do.  It would be much easier to put them in cargo, but I would be worried the entire time we were traveling and I would about die if we got to Venice and they weren’t there with us.  If you were in my shoes, which route would you take with the dogs?  I’m open to any and all suggestions!


Anonymous said...

well it's tough either way but you know me, i would have to carry them on. I would FREAK about them not making connections, getting loose, freaking out. Maybe u could get some tranqulizer pills from your vet so they will be pretty calm, and bring some puppy pee pads so they can go inside?? good luck!-Rachel

Tanya and Patrick McNally said...

I would take the dogs on the plane with me. I've heard too many horror stories of pets in the cargo area of the plane.

The tranquilizer pills and puppy pee pads are great ideas and maybe even doggy diapers?

Our Jeremiah 29:11 Life said...

I feel for you. We are going to have to send the cat to Cali cargo after we are already out there. So I should say one of our parents has to send the cat. But we'll have no place for him at first and I figure a few hours in a plane is better than days in and out of a car and then being boarded for weeks. URGH!! I feel so bad about it though.
I agree about seeing the vet for some meds and using pee pads. That's what I'm doing!!