A new year is upon us, folks. And just as quickly as 2018 entered our lives, so has the newest member of our family. Everyone, meet Bagel: the shiba inu.
Bagel is our 6 month old feisty but sweet and gentle little monster, who we graciously brought home from Ren-J Shibas earlier this month. He’s a fluffy goofball that loves to stop to (literally) smell all the roses, but you should know that purple flowers are his favorite. He also currently has a general disdain for loud and obnoxious children and teenagers, but pays no attention to quiet well-behaved ones (sound familiar?). He snores gently and is a mouth breather that whistles when he finally falls asleep, and has the balance of a top-notch surf dog. He barks at things with wheels, and almost loves water more than food. Balls and ropes are his favorite toys, and zoomies are his second favorite morning past-time (right after breakfast). He tolerates bathtime without the famed shiba scream, but howls his heart away the minute he realizes he’s alone.
Bagel’s Gotcha Day
// December 16th, 2018
We had an early flight to catch to St. Louis. When we arrived at the airport, we realized we forgot Bagel’s pet carrier at home. Oh gosh. We forgot one of the most important things. So we rushed home to grab it and made it to our gate 20 minutes before boarding. Needless to say, our feathers were a little ruffled after that.
The flight out was about 3.5 hours long, and upon arrival, we waited a bit until Bagel’s breeder arrived to greet us—Bagel in hand. He was the fluffiest little thing and was luckily happy to see us in return. Thank goodness he wasn’t scared of us! After exchanging some words with his breeder and some brief goodbyes, we took Bagel to the Southwest Airlines check-in counter where it took quite some coercing to get him into the carrier. He wasn’t fond of accepting any treats or food from strangers, and wasn’t willing to play with any toys we’d brought for him either so it was a lot more difficult than we anticipated.
I was able to walk Bagel through security without any issues, and he was getting tons of love and attention from all the passengers and employees while we were walking through. Afterwards, we were on our way to the pet relief area near our gate when he happened to go potty next to the hooman’s restrooms but I luckily had a puppy pee pad packed with me so I cleaned up his mess and we headed over to the relief area anyway.
After he sniffed around, we got him back inside the carrier and went to finally grab ourselves some food at Burger King (because the only time you ever eat BK is at the airport, right?!). After we’d fed ourselves, we let Bagel sniff and walk around the pet area for a while until it was time to board. Luckily we decided to get early bird boarding so we were the last ones on in group A and scored 3rd row seats for easy exiting and less disturbance.
Our flight back landed us back in San Diego just before midnight, and after landing, we took Bagel outside to our pet relief area where he did a great job relieving himself—he didn’t even go inside his carrier! We were super proud of him.
We drove home with him in my lap, and finally got to bed shortly after 1 AM. He had a tough night adjusting and cried for a lot of it, even though he was right next to our bed, but did so much better the next night and even better the night following. Overall, he adapted quickly to our schedule and got used to his new home pretty easily. The thing is, because he’s always had someone around with him since we’ve brought him home, it’s been a little harder for him to adjust to being alone (if even for a short time).
We’re currently working on getting him used to us leaving the house for longer periods of time, but are welcome to any tips/tricks you have for helping with the transition! 🙏🏼
You can watch how it all went down on his gotcha day down below!
Here’s to many more adventures and warm fluffy days ahead. Also, if you’re wondering what carrier we used, and our experience flying with our pup, I’ll list all the details below :) In the meantime, Bagel’s updates will be posted on his IG, FB, and YT!
Up next: more vet visits, bath time, and more outings!
Helpful Tips for Flying with a Dog
Airline we used - Southwest Airlines
Pet travel fee - $95; call to reserve your pet’s spot in advance. Only 6 pets per flight, first come first served. Check in your carrier at the baggage counter and pay the $95 at that time. They did not measure the carrier or look inside/make Bagel stand and turn around, or require any documents.
Going through security - you’ll have to take your pet out and walk them through a metal detector. They wiped my hands for chemicals afterwards and that was it. Yes, I still needed to take off my shoes/jacket. The carrier went on the conveyor belt.
In the air + boarding - pet will have to be stowed away in carrier and under the seat in front of you :(
Seats - you’re not allowed to sit in exit rows or rows without underseat storage in front of you. Highly recommend looking up your flight on SeatGuru to see what kind of plane your flight has in order to mentally prep in advance and plan accordingly. Some planes have lower pitches and thus less head space for your pet (like our return flight did, unfortunately). FYI - the middle seat on Southwest flights have the most space. Aisle seats have the least space, but have tend to have the most airflow. Jason and I both opened the air vents for our seats and pointed them towards the carrier on the floor to help Bagel get as much air as possible during the flight. To minimize disturbance as possible, I chose the window seat and Jason took the middle seat with the carrier since I knew I probably wouldn’t get up to visit the lavatory for the duration of the flight.
Early bird check-in - strongly recommend paying for early bird check-in if you’ve got a pet, just to make the loading and unloading process a little more pain-free. You’ll be thankful for the extra 15 minutes of not having to sit or stand there waiting to deplane while your pet is anxious with a full bladder and cramped legs wondering where the heck it is. Especially when it’s already close to midnight and you still need to take them to potty, get bags, get to your car, and most importantly - to get in bed. Time is valuable, friends.
Pet carrier we used - link here; Bagel fit fine, but he likes to stretch out in a sploot with his arms stretched out, and because of that, this carrier just “felt” a little small for him. If he was curled up like he does when he’s cold, he would’ve fit better, and because of the lower seat pitches in the plane ride home, his head was tucked down the whole flight so it just felt sort of cramped and I felt bad for him. Otherwise, the bag fit perfectly fine under the seat without any issues. I wouldn’t venture for a bag any larger though.
We really didn’t run into any hiccups while flying with Bagel home. He didn’t even have any accidents in his carrier so we were mostly thankful for that - no screaming or crying on the plane either! Some other resources that helped me prep for flying Southwest with our pup can be found here and here.
Bagel says “thank you for stopping by, and hope you have a happy new year!” 🐾 We can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for all of us!