Thought Wheel

Ann Chiappetta

Ro And I On The Go

| Filed under writing

On March 13, I celebrated my 46th birthday by taking my first solo flight guided by Verona. We left during a rain storm which, after blitzing us with wind gusts, kept us from taking off and we waited 11 hours at the airport, only to go home again. The airport is a sociological phenomenon unto itself and I did a lot of people watching and listening. Going back the next day meant a much better chance of finally taking off and after a four hour delay, we did so. Ro planted herself against the seat when we angled up into the still grey and windy sky. Her ears were positioned in the, “what the heck?” pose and she put her head in my lap. hehehe. We leveled off and she slid back to the floor and was asleep before the kid in the nexr seat.

We arrived six hours later to a very friendly airline employee who got us to the pet potty area ASAP and Ro did her business, just like a lady. When we heard Mom, ro pulled me right to her and we had a great reunion. She knows her family when she sees them.

My sister Lauri was crying when she finally met Ro, and Ro knew she was important, too. I could swear she was thinking, “packmate”. LOL

At the Motel in Los Gatos, my best friend, Myla, was there to meet us and we had another “packmate” moment, and we were all hugging and laughing. Ro made herself right at home and jumped on the bed and got belly rubs.

Each day after that, we all had our moments when we thought Ro was great; the time she led us out of a confusing high school campus, her ability to know the new location of our room after we had to move into it. Then there was how she greeted the cats, her gental respect for the elderly one, and her offering the ball to the other, younger cat and doing the “let’s play” bow. LOL. That one was very funny.

She respected the other house dogs in my sister’s house, too, never challenging them.

My favorite part of our vacation, aside from my loved ones finally getting to meet her, was how she remembered where to go in the airport. Once the airline attendant got me seated, I sat for a while, then had to use the facilities. I asked another employee for directions and we set off. Ro found the door, I asked if it was the ladies’ room and a woman said yes. We went in, she led me to an open stall, then to the sink, and then to the trash. As we left, I said to her, find the way. She led me back to the right gate and even to the right seat. I was dumbfounded, but somehow I knew she could do it or I wouldn’t have tried it. I’ve since concluded traveling with a guide dog is much easier than with a cane.

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