Could Sherpa do it? Yes she DID! In just one month Sherpa went from wary of her travel bag to flying across the country in it for a total 7-hour trip!
How? First off, no dog is going to train happily is she’s not happy and at ease with her life. So any rescue pet needs to calm down and settle in before anybody tries to teach her anything. Sherpa got the royal treatment right off. Even though her house rules allow her on furniture and don’t require her to eat her peas, she still has to adjust to being left alone by herself, behaving civilly to guests and staying cool in new situations. It may take a while for her to learn that she’s never going to be returned to the rescue shelter and anyone coming up to her is NOT going to steal her family away. But she’s making strides.
There was a legitimate reason for real concern. To start out, flying dogs should take a short trip of about one hour, just to get their wings flapping in the right direction. Classically, a dog from LA should get to fly to San Francisco for a weekend as a first trip. But not Sherpa. She was being asked to be too wonderful too fast. But we somehow thought that her interest in being with and like her family meant she’d do anything at all.
Well part of her success was consistent and constant training. Sherpa has shown us that she can’t be forced to do things that scare her, but she will try to tolerate new situations for a limited time. So it was off to Office Depot, CVS, the car wash, or just around the block in the travel bag. Some trips ended in visits to her favorite guilty pleasure, In-n-Out Burger.On the morning of her trip, Sherpa was bright eyes and looking for fun when she heard she had to go in her bag! “Is it In-n-Out Burger so early in the day for me?” she wondered.
But, no, so surprising and challenging, it was off to the airport and onto the plane and up in the sky and back down again! Was Sherpa OK about it? Weeeel… she did drool a lot at first. But she was quiet, still and held her center.Once she got out on the East Coast and met the rest of the family and got to play with Raja and stay in his house and see his neighborhood and meet his friends, well, Sherpa now is an Official Travel Dog too. Look how cute they look together!
Yay Sherpa! Now a Travel Dog With Wings! And for being such a wonderful doggy, Sherpa won’t have to keep her paws on the ground for too long. Next month she’s going on a family vacation to another country waaaaay across the Atlantic Ocean! You can be sure we’ll be barking all about it!