I decided to dedicate this part to the part I found the hardest and that was having all my luggage and Autumn. I arrived at LAX around 10. Initially I wanted to arrive around 9:30 but that didn’t happen.
So I arrived and walked with Autumn so she could use the bathroom. We then walked into the airport and I asked if I could check her in first but they wanted me to do it with all my luggage. So my cousin had to come back and I found a “bellboy” to get my bags out of the car. He told me that they were too heavy and that I would most likely have to take stuff out. I wish I had listened and my cousin could have taken the stuff back with her in my car. Any way I was able to walk with Autumn on her leash while the cart was pushed ahead. I waited in line and surprisingly Autumn did really well. She was definitely confused and stayed close by me.
The security guard asks me questions and then I move to the weigh station. My bags were too heavy and so I had to deal with that. This whole process took about two hours and the whole time Autumn was really good. She only cried a little but really people loved her and my fear that people would look at me and judge me was gone.
After getting the bags situated I then had to take autumn to the oversized baggage area where the separate security would check her Kennel and then Autumn would go with them. OF course she passed and I put her in a long with her treat. I didn’t say goodbye or anything because I didn’t want to make her more upset and anxious.
I was really anxious about bringing my dog Autumn on the plane because she has a little separation anxiety and I didn’t want her losing her shit aka barking loudly and whining incessantly. Amplfying my nervous was that I didn’t really know what to expect with it all. I had googled stuff but nothing went into the type of detail I needed. So I want to be able to provide that for you-the person wanting to make aliyah with your dog.
First: You will get to the airport and you will need all of your bags with you. My advice out the kennel on the cart with your bags and then walk with your dog on the leash. before entering the airport let the baby use the bathroom.
Second: You go through the line like usual and then your stuff gets weighed. If your bags are all good your dog gets weighed and then you will pay for her.
Third: You will walk over, with your dog, carry-ons and the kennel to the oversized bagged section. At Lax it was a smaller area that was walled off with a large conveyor belt which your dog will go on after they are done. The security guard came over and checks the kennel for any residue using those chemical strips (sorry I don’t know the name). They don’t take your kennel apart. After you pass that you put your dog in the kennel and lock it up.
Fourth: You say goodbye and walk away while the airport folks take your dog and put her on the belt so she can go down to the plane.
Tips that I found really helped and I think made everything smoother for Autumn.
#1: walk your dog and make them tired. Autumn did almost 6 miles and combined with the anxiety of not knowing what will happen and lack of sleep she was exhausted.
#2 Feed your dog well before you leave. I fed Autumn about two hours before and I got to the airport three hours early so I was able to take her to the bathroom twice (the second time she went poo, on her walk she also pooed).
#3 Walk with your dog in the airport while everything is getting ready. For Autumn it was all overwhelming and confusing so she stayed close to me and was quiet. She also got attention from people who talked to her and petted her. I think this helped her stay calm too because she wasn’t all alone in her kennel.
#4 Have a really big treat for your baby in their kennel. When you say goodbye you can give them a treat and say goodbye calmly. Because they will be distracted they wont be as upset to see you leaving.
Now of course these tips worked for me because my dog has horrible separation anxiety which leads to very loud barking and whining. This only happens in a place she’s unfamiliar with (not at home) so I was nervous that Autumn would melt down in the airport. She didn’t and that helped a lot.