We had so much fun at the airport today. Oh, dog, I love going there. You and Dad put on your special green vests and badges and put me in the back with a backpack. We drive for awhile and then we find the exciting valet parking where there’s a lot of pounding. I have a lot of barking I have to do when the woman comes and shines her light and mirror inside the car and all underneath. I let her know I’m the one in charge and you tell her, “We have a dog in back!” When she’s done making sure we’re safe, she lets us proceed into the parking lot. I bet you want to know who the other regulars at the airport are:
Security: My harness sets off the alarm, but they usually pet me down. You and Dad have to hold up your arms and go through a big machine. I watch you patiently until we get together again. You always pet me and give me a treat. I love you. You love me.
Volunteer room: So many people there want to love me up, but first I have to drink from their big water dish. I drink it dry. You sign in and get a clicker to count how many people we see. Someone brings us chairs out to the North Rotunda where we like to be. I like the feel of the cold tile on my body because I have a lot of fur and I get hot. There are a lot of people who smile and laugh at us. That’s why we come. We all get happy.
Pilots: They pretend they’re not going to stop at our station, so they pass right by me, stop in their tracks, turn around, lean over and scratch me behind the ears. That’s my favorite spot and they know it. You give them one of my business cards and they prance away just like the white horses on your blanket.
TSA agents: They smile all the way across the rotunda when they see me. They bring sunshine. “Oliver! I’ve missed you!” they say and walk very fast right toward me to give me some love. I wag my tail a lot and sometimes I lie down and roll over to let them scratch my very private belly.
Passengers: One man who came to the sign that says, “Animal Ambassador, Pet me,” pet the poster with the picture of the dog with one ear sticking up instead of me. He was very funny. Then, after you looked at him and laughed, he decided to pet me too.
One man and woman had an English sheepdog that they showed us on their phone. He’s black and white ands about my size. He herds lawnmowers. He bites their tires and makes them go back in the garage. What a smart dog.
Children: My favorite, especially the ones that still have peanut butter and jelly on their faces. When they sit in their strollers, it’s easier to sniff their mouths to find out if there’s any left. I make them giggle and pet my face.
Airport Police: Today, you asked one if he was one of the mean kind that wouldn’t let people slow down to drop off passengers, and he said no and you said good. I saw that you were smiling, but I don’t think he understood you like I do. Poor man. He didn’t stay long, but he scratched me all over when you weren’t looking. He keeps us all safe so I like him.
To get this photograph of me and you and the wonderful man who drives a cart, an entire family helped. I do not like pictures. I turn around so you can’t see my face. You tried to trick me with treats, but I know how to eat the treat and not look into the camera. A very nice family of father, mother and tall son all stood in front of us and made us laugh. They stayed until you were satisfied with the picture.
I was petted by 161 people. When we came home, we took a nap. You slept for a long time under a big thick grey blanket with horses on it. Dad took me for a walk on the snowy sidewalk while you slept.
Advice from Oliver: When you go to the airport, be nice to the TSA agents and all the other people in uniform. They are some of my best friends and they are very soft and mushy and silly inside.