It can be difficult flying from the coast inland. Due to a lack of direct flights, we oftentimes find ourselves hopping, skipping and jumping all across this great nation for seemingly endless hours before we manage to reach our destination.As if it weren’t bad enough with osteoarthritis to sit in such confined spaces for so long … but then we have to deboard, “hurry across the terminal” (as one young porter so smugly put it to me), and do it all again.I throw my paws to the heavens and ask, “Am I being tested?” I check my collar to make sure my human masters didn’t secretly name me “Job.”The first flight I was packed by the window — a family with a crying newborn in front of me, two toddlers with a fondess for kicking seats behind. On the bright side, I had difficulty focusing on the increasing pain and stiffness in my knees … what with my head feeling like it would explode.I kindly suggested to the couple in front of me that if they added a little rum to their little one’s formula, it would help relax him. Perhaps put him to sleep.They stared at me in horror, as if dogs aren’t supposed to talk.After deboarding (and escaping the affronted stares of the aforementioned, do-nothing baby coddlers), I found myself lost. I was in terminal C in the 30s, and needed to find a gate in the 20s … wherever that might be, seeing as how there were no maps or terminal guides to be found.I walked up and down the terminal. Twice. I felt winded. I felt ridiculous. I asked people, “Bloody hell, where am I supposed to go?””We’re sorry, sir. Due to construction, or weather, there are no shuttles. You need to walk out through security, down to terminal B, then back in to your gate. If you hurry, it’s just a 10-minute walk.”My friends.Sigh.It took everything in my power not to clamp my jaws down on someone’s rump and let out my frustration.It was bad enough that I was going to undergo security again. And might I just say it is damn hard trying to bend over and get my shoes off — all four of them, thank you very much — while standing in line before I’ve been flying and “hurrying” about! Would it kill someone to provide a row of chairs BEFORE you reach the “disassemble-your-life-in-a-matter-of-seconds” conveyer belt?There was a time when I would have grinned and beared the whole situation.This time I hailed an airport cleaning crew worker — who, oddly, had just been summoned to collect a garden snake — and we hijacked a golf cart. Let the non-arthritics deal with the reptile and walking.I was in a hurry.
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