His name was Rico
He wore a diaper
He likes to piddle everywhere
But with a diaper we don't care.


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My first visit to my Mother's nursing home - Beehive Home of Yuma - in June 2004 was such a success that I decided to go back in August, and this time, bring along our littlest Cairn, Rico.

So I made reservations with America West Airelines (Rico had his own cabin reservation for $160.00 RT), hauled out the Sherpa Bag I'd bought for Cari several years ago (and never used as she was too heavy to carry), and started planning for our trip to Yuma, Arizona.



I thought about the heat in Arizona, especially on the sidewalks, and decided to look for one of these front carry pouches . . . I managed to find just this Fashion Pet bag in the right size (on sale!) in the first place I looked. And Rico LOVES it, as he is close to the action. He loathes crates and his Sherpa bag; he must feel there is activity that is not a part of and he gets hysterical when we put him in either one. This way, he could accompany me everywhere, and not have anxiety attacks every time I get ready to leave the motel room. Clarion Suites is where I like to stay; they are very welcoming to dogs.

Then I started thinking of what a dog would need while traveling; it's just as bad as taking an infant!

Collapsible water bowl. Food bowl. Bags of Innova food, since it is not available in Yuma. Toys, old & new. Treats, in case I can't go into a store to get some. Health records from his veterinarian, as well as the Department of Agriculture form for crossing state lines (at a cost of $26.00, I might add). Two collars; two leads; two ID tags in addition to his rabies tag, his city license tag, and his CairnRescueUSA tag (a dog can NEVER have enough ID tags, I always say).

OK. So we're ready to roll . . . er . . . fly. I have no idea what Rico will be like, so I obtain a few tranquilizers from his vet, although I don't plan to use them unless absolutely necessary.

Because I cannot do curbside checkin with a dog, we arrive extra early at the aireport - 5:30 a.m. for a 7:30 a.m. flight. Lines are still short, so we progress quickly, Rico in his carry pouch eliciting doubletakes & smiles from all who see us. Even though he is supposed to be in his Sherpa bag by now, I figure I'll keep him in his pouch until & unless someone says something. No one does, except to remark how cute he is and to ask where he is going. (Note: where HE is going, not where WE are going.)

At boarding time, I wait to be last. I always request an aisle seat, and as I will have to carry him in the Sherpa bag, I know I'll be walking slowly, so I figure it's best to be last on and last off. I put him in the Sherpa bag, with his many protestations, and we board. The bag fits under the seat, and we take off. No noise, no movement, nothing. He sleeps through the entire 3.5-hour flight to Phoenix, the walk to the farthest-away gate in the Phoenix Aireport, and the 30-minute flight to Yuma. (I wish I could sleep so well through these boring flights!)

After obtaining my rental car in Yuma and while awaiting my baggage's arrival, I put him back in his front carry pouch . . . he is as glad to see me as if I'd been out of his presence all day, but settles down as soon as I strap him into the pouch. He again elicits doubletakes & comments about how cute he is.

We drive to our motel; the comments continue. I sign a paper that I will not let him into the pool or the cabana; everywhere else, he is welcome so long as he behaves. OF COURSE he'll behave! I hope.

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