Where do you put a guide dog when you fly?

My little imp

Seeing Eye dog Kismet in the seat of a Delta airplane

The flight attendant showed me the row in which my window seat was located. I took off Kismet’s harness and directed her into the row. She went right to the window seat and dove under the seat in front of it. She spun around and was sitting pretty by the time I made my own way to the end of the row. I looked under the seat and discovered that there was a metal support between the window seat and the middle seat so that she was nicely boxed in. I usually fly with Kismet’s leash lying across my thigh but she was lying on top of it. I just let her be this time.

The week before I had purchased my first iPhone. I was eager to use the time on the flight to play with it. When we hit 10,000 feet the chime sounded and the announcement was made that we could use electronic devices. I pulled out my phone, plugged in the ear buds and got started. I had a blast. I swiped and tapped. I flicked and rotored. I was completely focused on my new toy.

An hour and a half into the flight, just before we began the descent, I decided to go to the lavatory. Putting my phone away I called to Kismet. Nothing happened. Leaning forward, I reached under the seat. No dog. Say what? How could there be no dog? The man next to me leaned towards me and said, “She’s in the seat in front of you.”

“She’s what?” I asked in mortification.

“Just after we took off she crawled under the seat and then just got in it. She’s been there the whole flight.”

What’s a body to do? Ordinarily I hate it when something happens that makes me look like a bad dog handler or an oblivious blind person. This time I just took a deep breath and joined the rest of the passengers in the hilarity. Standing up, I looked over the seat back and was met with a little lick on my chin. “You scoundrel,” I said, fondling the little minx’s ears. You are a trip without a suitcase.”

I asked the man sitting next to my little imp why he hadn’t said anything.

“Oh she’s the best seatmate I’ve ever had. I loved flying with her next to me,” he replied. Excusing myself to the other passengers in the row I made my way to the aisle to retrieve my errant child. Three people told me they had taken pictures of her. Kismet scrambled into the aisle and jumped her feet on my chest and made her wookie noises. I just rolled my eyes and plunked all four of her feet on the floor.
As I exited the plane I said to one of the flight attendants, “I just have one question. What did she order from beverage service?”

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7 Responses to Where do you put a guide dog when you fly?

  1. Marissa July 24, 2012 at 9:08 am #

    That story is so cute! I was totally expecting you to say that the attendants or passengers gave you a hard time about your dog. You hear those stories so often. Good to hear a happier story!

  2. Beth Finke July 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    How sweet of Kismet to get out of your way and let you focus on learning your new iPhone, eh?

    • smartin July 27, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      Oh? Is that what she was doing? Thanks for clearing that up. I’ll give her an extra treat. As long as she doesn’t shove me under the seat next time, grab my phone and call Whitney for a chat! Big grin.

  3. torie August 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    Lol Sue i had a good giggle at that. They are little minxes when they want to be.

    I remember being on a weekend away once. I only had a fleesy mat with me for Ushi to sleep on. This wasn’t enough for miss princess, as the next morning, i was woken up by my room mate saying that ushi was on her alarm clock. I wondered where her alarm clock was. I reached over to find a little ball lying on the camp bed that had been put there. I couldn’t correct because i didn’t actually see her get up if you pardon the pun.

    Take care.

    • smartin August 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

      Oh Torie, sounds like Ushi and Kizzy might be related in their impishness. Doubt anyone will ever accuse either of them of lacking personality!

  4. David F December 3, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    Amusing. I am glad itwas a funny story. I have flown witha dog, it went ok, but It hink Nader, at 65 pounds might not have fit under the seat. I knew of one guide dog handler who didn’t want special treatment which I thought was weird because the dog needs room, don’t just squash it in the narrow aisle if it is a big animal!

  5. Carolyn June 15, 2013 at 11:40 am #

    Love this story. I too would prefer to fly with a dog rather some other flights taken. Paris would have been perfect.

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