Thursday, March 17, 2011

Letter of Intent

So, it's been some time since I've participated in a Blog Carnival (where a bunch of people post using the same theme and link up to the host blog). Actually, it's been some time since I've blogged at all.

Forgetting that latter point for now, one of my favorite Blog Carnivals (that I always secretly plot to post on, but like posts on this blog seldom get to) is "Letters of Intent"... but each Friday comes and goes and I've missed another week.

I'll remind you that "Letters of Intent" gives you the opportunity each week to write a letter to someone (or something) that you'd love to send, but obviously don't (like that dream of telling your boss to shove it! (obviousl not my boss though)). So, without further ado, I give you my Letter of Intent for this week...

(click on the button to go read more letters from others)

Dear My Mind,

I am out!

I am not saying that with any measure of hostility. I am simply stating a fact. I like you well enough and I respect you most of the time. I've known you for as long as I can remember and I think that in many respects you've gotten better with time (although I think perhaps you've gotten more forgetful and to be fair, you've always been terrible with names). But unfortunately I am out.

Honestly I don't think I even meant to leave, although no one forced me into going so I can't blame anyone but myself. See, at the time it seemed like a sound idea... to take a 10 day vacation with Radar and the pug. I know what you thought about the plan from the beginning (I mean, I REALLY do know what you thought... I was there.) You thought it was a bit nuts. But you also agreed that it could be fun. Fly to Atlanta, rent a mini-van, then make a road trip with pit stops in GA, NC, VA and MD. Obviously we'd have to check the pug in in one of those hard shelled airline approved carriers and she'd fly beneath. I felt sort of bad about that - sending the pug as luggage, but you were right... it was the only thing that made sense considering that I was also traveling with Radar, a stroller and other carry-on bags. Plus, it's easy to make the argument that the pug wouldn't even fit under the seat... like me, she's not exactly on the svelte side of sexy!

You were patient and excellent in helping me choose Atlanta as our direct flight destination. Sure, it would have been a bit easier to fly directly to NC or even the DC area, but the airlines that fly directly to those cities do not have as friendly pet policies. In the online research that you did, reading traveler review, etc, you helped me find out that Delta was top among pet lovers' carriers. And although a simple connection through Atlanta could have gotten us up to the NC or DC area, we both agreed that it just wouldn't be fair to the pug to make a connection and prolong her jail sentence (plus, even if we'd found a quick connection, there was always the risk of a delay.) No! We would fly to Atlanta and drive from there. The plan was set and although you had some reservations, you were with me on the plan. I appreciate your support up to that point. I really do. On January 4th I purchased the airline tickets for Radar and me... $270 each for a not too ugly total of $540. Before traveling we'd have to pay the $75 (each way) fee for the pug... but even still... not too bad.

Then last week happened. And now I look around and find that I'm out. I've left you and I'm not sure I'm coming back.

I called Delta Airlines to confirm the pug's reservation (at the time I purchased our tickets I'd been told to just call a few weeks before the trip to confirm). The gentlemen on the other end of the line was really nice. He said, "no problem, there's plenty of room. What kind of dog is it?" Me, "a pug." Him, "Oh. A pug. Hold on, I need to check something." He places me on hold and when he comes back he informs me that Delta has recently changed their policy and now they don't accept snub-nosed dogs underneath! And sure enough, pugs are right there next to bulldogs on the snub-nosed prohibition list. As a pet friendly airline, they changed their policy for the good of these types of dogs. The only option was to take the pug onboard and cram her under the seat.

Yes! I heard your screams... believe me... I could barely concentrate with all your screaming... "Leave the dog behind! That's insane! How the hell are you going to travel with luggage, a wriggling 2-year-old, a stroller and a fat pug on board? Forget it! It was fun while it lasted, but walk away!!!!"

And walk away is just what I did. I walked away from you! I got out. I told the man on the phone that I would be taking my pug on board. "Maximum weight is 22 lbs," said he. "Oh, no problem, she's only 20 lbs," said I. (She 'was' probably closer to 24 lbs). "Can she stand up and turn around in her carrier?" asked he. "Oh yeah... I travel quite a bit with her," lied I. "It's $200 each way to take her on board," informed he. "Super!" replied I.

As soon as I got off the phone with the guy, safe in the knowledge that the pug's reservation was secure, I logged onto Amazon and bought the biggest approved onboard pet carrier I could find. A bargain at $60 (and as a Prime customer, I didn't even pay shipping for the priority delivery... aren't I savvy?) And then I informed Maria and Radar that they were strictly forbidden from feeding the pug and her 2.5 week crash diet began (half of what she's used to eating and NO snacks). Uncle Stefan was summoned to kidnap the pug as often as possible to ensure she was excercising.

And that's where I am today. A 21ish lb pug and six days to launch. Although I do miss you a bit and realize that this has not been an altogether amicable split - I also know you very well and I suspect that I'll be hearing from you. As I imagine myself in the airport trying to roll our giant suitcase with one hand, while pushing the stroller with the other hand, with a backpack crammed with computer, camera, diapers, etc, on my back and a squirming, scratching, wriggling pug trying to get out of the carrier I have hanging over my shoulder... I also imagine your voice sifting through it all saying, "I told you so!"

With kind regards,


Rachel said...

I totally choked reading this because you are cracking me up with visions of juggling that hot mess on the plane! :) Blogworthy for sure! :)

Foursons said...

Yes, I agree w/Rachel. We expect lots of blog posts following up on your adventures! What is it about a Pug that they can't stay under the plane? Is his nose to squished or something? Which makes no sense, but neither do their reasons.

And thanks so much for linking up! I'm thrilled that you joined in this week!

Channel Dropout said...

there's nothing I appreciate more than good planning. we're excited for your visit!

Lali said...

I choked on my coffee reading this. Sounds like a sound plan, nothing can go wrong. I am sure both babies will sleep through the flight and that both will cooperate. Look forward to seeing you all!

Tia Lali