Momma and I made the big journey from Florida to Minni a week ago Saturday. Momma was a little nervous about the trip because of the COVID-19 crisis and any possible challenges that might bring. Preparation was key, she thought, so she donned her mask and armed herself with hand sanitizer and wipes. She knew she didn’t have to worry about me because I likely could not contract or spread the disease — especially since I would be practically self-quarantined under a seat in my little carrier. Here I am in the car on the way to the airport giving Momma the stink-eye for my upcoming confinement.
As we got close, we made one last potty stop for me and braced ourselves for the unknown. Things went smoothly, however, at the almost empty terminal, and we breezed through ticketing and security. The boarding of the flight, though, was a bit of a different story.
We flew Delta, and our 737 was actually pretty full. Luckily, Momma had gotten us a “miles” ticket in the front of the plane so we had a little more space. Unluckily for us, the humans on the flight — because of the virus and other mysterious issues — were rather picky about who they sat next to.
When we arrived at our aisle seat in row two, we found next to us a passenger who was standing, in fact, practically glued to the window behind her and eyeing us warily. Momma said hello, and went about her business. First, she carefully put her (and my) tote in the overhead bin directly above us. Then she pushed and pulled and scrunched until she got me arranged just so under the seat in front of her. Then she began wiping down all the surfaces around us with one of her hard-to-find sanitizing wipes. As soon as Momma was finished and sat down, the “woman in the window,” who had been watching the whole procedure, pointed to the seat in front of us and asked, “Would you mind changing seats with my husband so I can sit by him?”
Momma, incredulous that she hadn’t said something sooner, maliciously and (glad she had an excuse) gleefully replied, “Sorry, I can’t, it’s a bulkhead seat, and I need a spot to put my dog” and pointed to me. The woman, realizing Momma had a point (and might be just a little close to the Brinkley flipping out), began looking around for someone else with whom to jockey.
When the passenger who was assigned to sit next to window woman’s husband finally showed up, she agreed to switch seats — until she learned that Momma had a dog. That stopped our prospective new seat mate in her tracks and she promptly declared, “I don’t want to sit by a dog.” Oh, oh, I thought from my little prison — we have a situation on our paws.
Before Momma could react (or I could break free and bite her) — the woman asked if it(!) was a big dog. (Meanwhile about ten people were lined up behind our little road block waiting to board and be seated.) Momma, who had finally had enough, stood up and announced to the woman — and the rest of the cabin — that “NO, THE DOG WAS SMALL AND PROBABLY THE SAFEST PASSENGER ON THE AIRPLANE!” and ushered her past us.
By now our original seat mate had forged her way against traffic to the row in front of us. Before settling in though, she stood in the aisle (the line waiting to board probably stretched back into the terminal by now), started placing items in her newly claimed overhead bin, and somehow dropped her cell phone right on Momma’s head! Momma, hurting and almost apoplectic at this point, nevertheless decided she must “bite” the bullet and keep quiet just to keep things moving.
From then on, the passengers were well behaved, mostly quiet and sitting and staying in place, and the flight went smoothly. Good humans! I slept (when Momma wasn’t waking me up to see if I was still alive) and Momma, still smarting over the doggist comment and the knock on her head, hunkered down grumpily with a minuscule bag of Cheez-Its and a movie. I think I’m speaking for both of us when I woof that isolation at home never sounded better.
Lina, Sheltering in Place and Digging It