On December 8th, I was scheduled to hop on an airplane from Corpus Christi, TXÂ to fly to the Northeast for two weeks of military training, completing my two years in Naval flight training. I woke up early on Sunday, to an American Airlines automated message that my flight had been cancelled due to weather, and that I had been rescheduled for Monday. Unable to get a hold of a representative over the phone due to high call volume, I decided to visit the airport to see if there was anything that could be done to get me a flight to my training that day.
Standing in line for the airport representative, a man with a dog in a crate was visibly upset about the cancellations for the flights. I asked him about his dog, and he explained that he was leaving town, and needed to ship his dog to his next duty station. Turns out, he was in the Navy, and was being transferred to Southern California the next day by air, and was trying to ship his dog via air to where he was going. The freezing layer over Texas was preventing that from happening.
This brings up a good point in traveling with pets; travel in cargo via air, especially during extreme winter or summer conditions, can be extremely dangerous for your pets. There are many ground options available, and Dogs on Deployment is working to partner with transportation businesses and organizations in the future to give military members a database to arrange transport for their pets when necessary.
As luck would have it, I told him I would be traveling to San Diego during my own duty station transfer in the next couple of weeks, and offered that I would be happy to drive his dog with me. After all, she was very well crate trained and cute as could be! Not to mention, it'd be an honor to help out a fellow service member. I also found out that the pup, Kylie, had been a rescue from Kingsville, TX. Apparently, her original caretakers preferred to shoot her instead of feed her,Â andÂ she was lucky to be found by this man who not only saved her life, but loved her. I told him about Dogs on Deployment, gave him my contact information and let him know to contact me if he needed her to be driven out.
The next day, I found out my training was cancelled, and after checking with my unit in Corpus Christi, was told I could leave that day to drive to San Diego! I called the dog's "dad," and let him know that I could drive Kylie, across country that day! So I picked her up, and we drove 2100 miles to both our new homes. Her dad picked her up to a happy reunion, and Kylie is now a happy California-resident.
It was meant to be that I went to the airport to meet this man and his dog. If you have an upcoming PCS move with room to travel with a rescue dog, I recommend it! It was a highly rewarding experience to be able to help that gentleman and Kylie! I wish them luck in their bright future together!