The night before we left for Almaty, we got a lot of phone calls and texts to say goodbye (thanks Mom, Dad, Erin, Uncle Tom and Aunt Pam, Dan, Helen, and David, Jenna, Diane, Kelsey, Jason, and S’s family). The most common question we got was—how on earth with Harley, the pup, go to the bathroom on this long, long trip?
The simple answer: she won’t.
As I have mentioned before, Harley is a trooper and travels in a Sherpa Carrying Case which fits (mostly) under the seat in front of me. Due to airport and airline regulations, she is never allowed to leave her “house”. Also, she loves her house and never wants to mess it up.
I do layer the bottom of the bag with what is essentially a square flat diaper so that if she does have to go to the bathroom, I can easily reach my hand in, roll up the diaper, throw it out, and she can once again have a clean cage. To date, with flights between Moldova and Texas, Chile and Milwaukee, DC and Kazakhstan, and within the US, I have only had to pull out a layer of diaper because she got motion sick. Still, the choice is there.
Since I know she won’t go… and will hold it for hours and hours, I prefer to bring her on the plane hungry and thirsty.
For example, on Wednesday, we fed Harley in the morning. We then didn’t give her any food or much water until we had left the US (Wednesday night EST) and were 2 hours from arriving in Almaty (Thursday mid-day EST). Then with 2 hours to landing, I held a glass of water in her bag and let her drink it. Believe me, she did. Then, an hour before landing, I shared some of my sandwich with her and offered more water. Upon arrival, we allowed her out of the bag on a grassy spot. Of course, even though it was 2 am (local time) we fed her before bed.
All and all, she survived the trip! And, is much happier here then she was in the hotel. It is amazing to me how quickly she understood that we had come home.