We work at the MSP airport as a therapy team. We wag with more people in one hour than most people do in six months. We stand underneath a big chartreuse sign that says, “Animal Ambassadors. Pet me.” All kinds of people come and pet me: people pushing brooms, people pushing baby strollers, people in uniforms pushing little wheelie things. Most of them stop to talk to me when I wag my tail. They can’t resist. You say: “Get down to his level and scratch him behind his ears. He loves that.” Sometimes I don’t love it like when people smell peculiar. I back up so they can’t touch me. I am an ambassador so I try not to hurt their feelings.
We hear a lot of funny things. Once a man said, “My pitbull dog couldn’t hit water if she fell out of a boat.” I felt sad for the dog, falling out of a boat, but I wagged my tail anyway.
Another funny one was: “My King Charles Spaniel Fanny wears chandelier earrings, pink toe nail polish and a tutu. She comes to us when she wants her nails painted.” I come to you when I want an elastic in my hair so I can see, but I don’t understand why Fanny wants her nails painted.
One lady was so excited to see me, she was wiggling in her shoes, dancing in a funny little pattern. When she got close to me, she was so happy it made me happy too. We both wiggled.
Another man said his black lab was almost perfect but he barked at dogs on television. One time his labrador tried to jump through the screen. I understood that because I do not like skateboarders, which my regular readers know. (Look up “Is There Such a Thing as a Bad Dog?” in my old blogs.)
You talked for a long time with a man who trained puppies to become service dogs for wounded veterans. I’m proud of service dogs and of the trainer.
One woman with a long garment bag said she was on her way to elope in Montana. Her mother, from New York, and her fiancé, from California, were trailing behind her. She and her groom had flown in coming Georgia. That’s four states to make a marriage. Dogs don’t need garment bags.
I get around too but only powered by my own paws or car tires. I haven’t traveled in a plane although a lot of women in uniforms have invited me, saying, “You act a lot better than some of the dogs who come on board.”
After an hour with all these funny airport people, I’m exhausted. I turn my whole body away from the people and give you one of my “time to go home” looks over my shoulder.
Advice from Oliver: You can make a lot of people happy just by letting them pet you.