Dahlia, Flipflop and I, left Mississauga, ON at 9:45 am, Saturday April 13. We waved a tearful goodbye to our good friends and neighbours, Miss Ellie and Janet, and started our 4 day drive to Kamloops. The experience of road tripping with my dogs is something I’ll always treasure. I found it a bonding moment with them, as we drove and stopped along the way for rests and walks.
I was so excited for this adventure and so pumped to travel with my two dogs, but I left behind other two parts of my heart. I couldn’t even say bye to them, because I knew it would be so hard, and I also try not to show too much emotion around my animals when there is a lot of change, knowing they will pick up on it and it’ll add to their stress.
Sixx and Angel, my two cats, who I adopted 6 years ago, and have been amazing troopers through Flipflop’s puppy stage and all of our fosters. As awesome as they are, I knew a 4-5 day car ride would not be comfortable for them. Fortunately, Janet offered to keep them for a couple of weeks to allow me to get out here, get settled so I could fly them out. We both agreed one day of travel would be far less stressful than 4-5 days in a car for them (and me!).
To prep them for their plane ride in their crates, I started feeding them in their crates two weeks before I left, and Janet continued that habit so they learned their crates were not a scary place.
I was set to have them flown out on April 26, I called the airline and made all the arrangements and then called my vet to get a health certificate. That’s when I found out they needed to go to the vet for the certificate, my error as I had them at the vet just a week before I left and I didn’t find out more about getting their certificates.
Janet came to the rescue again, and arranged a vet appointment, but we couldn’t get them there before their April 26 flight, so I had to cancel it. I was so stressed out and worried, once again that something would go wrong.
Fortunately, everything went fine. Janet got the cats to the vet on April 30th, I rescheduled the flight for May 3rd and we were set to go.
At 5:30 am (PST) on May 3rd, my phone dinged, notifying me of a text, I was up all ready, I had hardly slept the night before with anxiety over my cats flying on their own. It was from Janet, the boys were processed and ready to leave Toronto at 10:30 (EST), however there was a problem with Angel. He’s a big boy (ok maybe a tad over weight according to his vet) and while I thought his crate was big enough for him, the airline thought it was too small.
Someone had left a dog crate behind and the employee offered it to Janet, and suggested my two boys could fly together. She knew getting the boys to me was the priority and rightfully agreed. Other than that, there were no issues.
I anxiously watched the flight all day, they left Toronto 22 minutes late, they arrived in Vancouver at 12:50 (PST). One leg down, I tried to breathe. I knew they were leaving Vancouver at 4:10 and would be landing in Kamloops at 4:58.
It was the longest day of my life. When I booked their flight I was told it could take 3 hours after they landed to get them, I was told not to show up at 5 expecting my cats…..But that’s exactly what I did!! I left work at 4:30 and drove directly to Kamloops airport. Their flight had landed but I didn’t see them amongst the carts of luggage sitting outside the aircraft.
I walked to the Air Canada counter and had the most amazing lady serve me. She promptly checked my ID and had the paperwork ready for me to sign. She then went and personally got my cats for me. She also had me pull up to the terminal so I wouldn’t have to take the cats across the parking lot.
I was so excited and tearing up when I saw them. Of course, being cats, they didn’t really care about seeing me! But they both looked calm and healthy. I was so relieved, I was worried the stress of the airplane rides and the 12 hour day they had would have been harder on them than it was.
On our drive home, Sixx realized what was going on and poked his head to the edge of the crate so I could put my finger on him and stroke his face.
I got them into our apartment and Flipflop lost his mind, he was so happy to have his older brothers home. I opened the crate and Flipflop greeted each one of them with a good sniff and lick as they walked out.
It’s so great to have my whole family with me in B.C. now. And I’m so proud of all my kids for doing this trip, they all rock!