Hello – Guide Dog Spencer McGarrett, puppy blogger, is back. Last time, I told you how I grew up at Guide Dogs Victoria in Melbourne, Australia and was assigned to join the Handsome Bloke in Hawai`i. Today, I’m going to tell you about my first travel adventure with the Handsome Bloke.
I learned lots of useful things at the training school. They taught me how to do my “business” in a bag attached to a special harness. Frankly, it’s not very comfortable, but it makes things easier for the Handsome Bloke. Moving on. I know how to climb stairs and withstand the rigors of a long haul flight. I’ve done lots of those. I’ve been to England, Scotland, Greece and the U.S. Mainland. I love flying. The flight crews all want to give me a cuddle. Sometimes the pilots put their hats on me and take pictures to prove I was there.
But, my first trip with the Handsome Bloke was to Canada. First we went to Seattle. Smooth as silk. Then we connected to Chicago. No probs. Then we transferred to a different plane to go to Toronto. No jet way.
Woof, woof – No problem, Boss, I do stairs.
We went on the tarmac. I was expecting nice wide portable stairs, the kind I could get a good grip on. But, no. It was a small plane, and the steps were also the door. I found pictures, but Sandra said I couldn’t use them due to copyright issues. So, they were the kind of steps that are part of the door. And the bottom step is way off the ground, and they were steep and narrow. To this day the memory makes me whimper in my sleep. [The Handsome Bloke thinks I’m chasing something, but actually I’m reliving the moment I encountered the stairs.]
I’d never seen anything like these steps. I’m a big boy – I weighed 90 pounds – and I’m not much of a jumper. So, I did what any sensible dog would do. I sat down. Handsome Bloke walked me around the plane, stopped in front of the steps, told me to go up. Well, it was a dilemma I can tell you. The Handsome Bloke is my god. I would do anything for him. But, gee whiz. We walked around the plane a few times, and then some folks in uniforms started gesturing. I guess I was making the plane late. Shucks.
Then, Sandra went up the steps. So, she was on top waving her arms. And the Handsome Bloke was getting a bit testy. They would never have left me, but I was new, and I didn’t know what might happen. So I decided the best thing would be to get a really long head start and then launch myself into the air and hope I landed at the top . . . or something. To my surprise, I made it. Everyone applauded. Said what a brave boy I was. I loved it until I realized I could barely fit in the aisle. But the Handsome Bloke squeezed me in and off we went to Canada. Can you believe it? I was a truly international dog.
Sandra is laughing so hard; she says I can continue the story next week. So, I’ll see you then.
Photo by Author. All Rights Reserved.
Sandra Wagner-Wright holds the doctoral degree in history and taught women’s and global history at the University of Hawai`i. Sandra travels for her research, most recently to Salem, Massachusetts, the setting of her new Salem Stories series. She also enjoys traveling for new experiences. Recent trips include Antarctica and a river cruise on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel.
Sandra particularly likes writing about strong women who make a difference. She lives in Hilo, Hawai`i with her family and writes a blog relating to history, travel, and the idiosyncrasies of life.