Thursday, December 18, 2008

Adventures With Bink

It turns out that a dog who wants to travel in the passenger section of an airplane needs a clean bill of health from a vet within ten days prior of the trip. We (and by "we" I mean "my wife") have decided to take the Bink home for Christmas. So this morning, I took Bink to the vet.

Usually my wife handles this kind of thing, both because she's more qualified, and less afraid. But today, after working in the early morning on a poem about lust, women's butts, and Aristotle (really) I loaded an unsuspecting dog into his carrying case (a black duffel bag with various points of access, many air holes, and a shoulder strap), bought him out to the car, and set out for the other side of town.

Getting to our old vet from our new house takes at least thirty minutes and involves a number of freeways. If you're a small dog, this means carsickness and that means vomiting. Sure enough, within the first ten minutes the high plaintive squeals of indignation and grouchiness had given way to the stunned silence of intense motion sickness. By the time we'd reached the vet, there was vomit on the bottom of the duffel bag and on the hair around Bink's mouth. He was shivering uncontrollably, his heart was beating like someone on speed, and his general demeanor was one of stunned terror.

After the appointment itself--a large part of which consisted of me trying unsuccessfully to wipe vomit off a dog's mouth with a wet paper towel--we got back in the car. This time the whimpering ended within minutes. The silence that followed was a different silence--a better silence. It sounded not like someone who had just thrown up, but like someone who has started to acclimate themselves to living for short stretches in a duffel bag. (A silence I think we all know.)

Unfortunately, I had to brake suddenly on the street near my house and the duffel bag tipped over. Upon removal, both Bink and bag displayed not only a fresh layer of vomit but an accumulation of something that looked dismayingly like urine. (I didn't investigate too closely.) The duffel bag got hosed down. The Bink was allowed to wander around the house for Free Play. And then, I drugged him.

Really. Because he's going to be on airplane, in the same duffel bag as above, for about four hours, we've decided for the sake of everyone involved to take the advice of past travelers and sedate him with Benadryl. The hope is that this will entail less whimpering, vomiting, and overall misery. Today marked the first test run of operation "BinkCalm." It involved one confused husband, a small pipette of Benadryl (previously prepared by his wife) and a more or less willing dog. (Luckily for us--at least some of the time--the Bink will pretty much eat anything).

The Bink, at this moment, is sleeping. I also would like to be sleeping, but I must go online and play poker, and try to win some money to pay for the Bink's vet bill, duffel bag, and plane ticket. Still, there's no doubt--his day was far worse than mine. Although, by now he's probably totally forgotten all of it.

Fun times. Fun times.


Johannes said...

I'm just curious. What dosage Benadryl will Jordan pipette into your mouth prior to the flight?

I believe that's how the A-team used to sedate BA Barakas before a flight."

"I ain't gettin' on no plane you crazy fool!"

JMW said...

The sentence where the bag tipped over made me laugh out loud. But that doesn't mean I didn't feel sympathy for poor Bink. He had a really tough day, indeed. This post -- in addition to entertaining me greatly, and really piquing my interest in the poem about women's butts and Aristotle -- is more proof for my theory that having a pet can be as time-intensive and harrowing as having a child.

My Hemingway post will be up later today. I've avoided reading yours...

Le Chat said...

After flying with two cats, Saxo and I sympathize greatly. Benadryl is a good idea - unfortunately our cats were immune to the recommended dosages. As a result, although childless myself, I developed a newfound sympathy for people who travel with small children. There is no way to get a howling cat or dog to quit howling, akin to a howling 8-month old.

Two more recommendations:

1) Plan in advance for who will get Bink out of the cage for the security checkpoint, and who will manage the additional baggage/tickets/ID's at that point. This is the most stressful part of the trip (my cat nearly escaped at this point at Logan) - you are expected to display documentation, drag dog out of cage, run cage through x-ray machine, and stuff dog back in cage, while stepping in and out of your shoes, all within 30 seconds to avoid the rage of passengers in line behind you.

2) Consider getting and traveling with a 2nd pet - one of you will then automatically get bumped up to first class to maintain the one pet per cabin rule!

Cartooniste said...

Forgive my butting in, but we have been told in no uncertain terms that one should never drug a dog before flying, because the altitude can cause the dog to react differently from how he would at home (just like you get drunker on an airplane, the puppy can get druggier). Many airlines will no accept an animal who's been drugged.
And now you know why, after half a dozen wretched flying experiences with Puppy, we just pay through the nose for a house sitter. Or harangue the parents into coming to us instead.