Mom declared it a computer-free Christmas so I haven’t been able to finish telling you about my journey until now, so here’s the rest of the story about how I ended up in the frozen tundra of Upstate New York.
Here’s what my looooong trip looked like from Nairobi to Amsterdam to Detroit to Syracuse to Seneca Castle:
NBO to AMS to DTW to SYR to COLD
We spent the day of December 19th hanging out in Nairobi. I want to re-iterate how super awesome the people are at the Nairobi Hilton! Every single person knew my name and loved on me like you wouldn’t believe. To all my East African canine travelers, stay there next time you’re in town!
Throughout the day I alternated between walks around the city (to a chorus of “he’s so cute”) and napping on the couch until it was time to get back in the car and head to the airport.
We’re in the car headed to the airport in Nairobi. I can hear mom’s heart beating and because I’m her therapist I know she’s nervous. I’m pretty sure it’s my fault. We’ve got a really long trip ahead of us and I know she’s nervous that something will go wrong with me. I try to reassure her. I know that I’ll bark and bite (just kidding, I don’t bite) my way through any problem and that eventually we’ll get to where we need to be.
Mom’s carrying me in my custom-made African dog sling so we’re looking super stylish when we arrive at the airport.
We enter the airport and go through the first of many “security checks”. The people want to know what I’m doing there, but mom just ignores them because she knows they won’t understand. At the check-in counter we’re told that we have to go see the manager even though mom confirmed me on the flight months ago with Delta. Oh Africa, when will you ever understand the awesomeness of the dog?
We spent almost 45 minutes with the manager explaining what I do and showing him all my paperwork. When he was finally satisfied, we were released and allowed to check our bags. We still had more than 2 hours before the flight so mom wanted to take me outside for a potty-break since I’d be forced to hold it for a really long time once we were inside.
As we tried to leave the airport the Security man asked if there was a problem and mom told him she was taking me to the bathroom. The man said, “but there’s a bathroom just over there” and pointed to the human women’s bathroom. What a dummy! First, I’m not a human and second, I’m not a woman. Mom laughed and explained that I didn’t use a toilet, and that I needed to be OUTSIDE to do my business. I guess I should come with a sheet of instructions to hand out to people in Africa!
We’re finally on the plane! When our seat-mate came, mom said, “I hope you don’t mind dogs” to which he replied, “They’re not my favorite”. But let me tell you, I won that man over like nobody’s business and had my head in his lap by the end of the trip. In fact, mom asked him if he was now a dog lover and he said that yes, he was, as long as they were all like me!
Also, a big shout-out to the KLM flight crew. They were so nice and made sure that I had lots of water so I wouldn’t get dehydrated on the 9 hour flight from Nairobi to Amsterdam.
On the KLM plane to Amsterdam with my new friend in the background
We’re in Amsterdam! We don’t have much time here so we go straight to the gate for our flight to Detroit I’m a little embarrassed to say that I had to go potty so bad that I tinkled on the floor and they made mom clean it up with the only thing she had available: her scarf. Sorry mom!
In Amsterdam. More waiting.
And we’re on yet another plane. Our seat-mate this time is a dog-lover and he’s also from Upstate New York just like mom and me. He doesn’t mind when I snuggle up against him and sleep the 9 hours between Amsterdam and Detroit.
On the Delta plane to Detroit
We’re back in America! We have to wait in a long line to actually get into the country. Lucky for me theres’s a rug that looks like gravel so when I stealth-pee no one can tell and I don’t get in trouble. (And even if someone did see, I dare them to hold all that fluid in for more than 9 hours. Humans are lucky because they can get up and go to the bathroom anytime they want on an airplane, but us dogs, we’ve got to be strong!)
After getting through customs, we get our bags and a nice man looks at my papers and writes DOG OK on a form and we’re off to yet another gate to wait for yet another plane.
There’s a bit of culture-shock in store for me in this Detroit airport. First, there are these scary moving stairs thingies so mom puts me in my sling so I don’t have to figure out how they work.
Moving stairs = scary
Then we enter a colorful hallway with a moving sidewalk! Can your imagine, Americans are so lazy they need their sidewalks to do the walking for them! Mom knows I need the exercise so we just walk the normal way that humans and dogs have been walking for centuries, one foot in front of the other.
Avoiding the moving sidewalk
We’re on a tiny plane this time, headed to Syracuse. Mom and I are pooped.
We’ve landed in Syracuse and we’re done with planes for a few weeks, hooray! Uncle Ben and Grandma meet us at the airport for our last leg of the trip, a simple one-hour drive from Syracuse to Seneca Castle.
Uncle Ben has brought me a big puffy coat to wear and I quickly realize it’s because it’s FREEZING in America. Seriously mom, after all this travel (66 hours to be exact) we’re in an inhospitable ice land. WHY?
Also, while I appreciate the new coat, it makes me look fat.
TAKE ME BACK TO TANZANIA!!