Our alarm went off at 2:30 am on the dot. I was awake for a good hour before that because I couldn’t sleep. My mind was racing, I couldn’t believe we were leaving our paradise and flying home. We packed up our last minute things and moved our packs and the dog crate out to the parking lot of the hotel where we waited for the arrival of our taxi.
The van pulled up and we loaded everything up. Brady hopped in the back seat with me, not sure where we were going so early in the morning. We arrived at the cargo drop off for United Airlines about ten minutes before they opened so we unloaded all of our things and paid the taxi man. The PetSafe employee was supposed to be there at 4:00 am to complete the intake for Brady. After waiting outside for a good twenty minutes, we were getting a little anxious, wondering if they forgot about us. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:00 am and we were technically supposed to be there two hours ahead of time because it was an international flight. The man finally arrived, we checked over the paperwork and zip-tied Brady into his crate. We did not envision leaving our dog in his crate on a dirty warehouse floor with forklifts whizzing by. But there was nothing we could do, apparently that was standard procedure and we had a plane to catch so we gave Brady a few more words of encouragement and some kisses goodbye before we took off on foot toward the airport.
We were hoping we could catch a taxi to the airport to save on time. It was only about one mile to get there but we were lugging our heavy backpacks and were on a serious time crunch. About halfway there, my foot slipped off the edge of the road and my flip flop broke beyond repair. I don’t know what happened but that is where I broke down. I didn’t cry when we left our beloved house in Dominical, I didn’t cry when we left Truck in a random dirt parking lot and I didn’t cry when we just left our Brady at a loud, dusty warehouse. But when my flipflop broke, you would have thought the world was ending. I think the past three or four days of events had finally caught up to me in that moment. Not the best timing you could say. And poor Nate! Poor, poor Nate had to try to console me while also trying to rush me to get other shoes our of my pack and get my butt to the airport so we didn’t miss our flight!
We finally got to the airport where we checked our bags, went through security and found our gate. As we were sitting in our seats, we glanced outside and noticed that you could watch them load the luggage into the bottom of the plane. As we were watching the packs being loaded, we spotted Brady’s crate on the far end of the plane going up the conveyer belt!!! It was both sad to see him in a cage going into the bottom of the plane and reassuring knowing he made it on our plane. They stopped the belt to do something else inside the plane and turned Brady’s crate around and were talking to him through the gate. When it was time for the conveyer belt to start again, they turned him back around and we watched them load him up into the belly of the plane!
The flight from San Jose, Costa Rica to Newark, New Jersey was nice and smooth. It was a crazy feeling knowing that we were flying over the same distance we drove over the past nine months, in just about six hours. We had a one and a half hour layover before catching our flight to Boston so we made our way to baggage claim and security. We hopped on our next flight,which would only be about one and a half hours long. Brady, however, was required by the USDA to have a three hour layover to give him and the PetSafe employees enough time to transport him and let him out to go to the bathroom. We didn’t like the idea that he would be put on a plane other than ours but it was much too expensive to switch our flights.
We arrived in Boston at about 4:30 pm and were on our way to baggage claim when we spotted our mothers chit-chatting away. They hadn’t even noticed us! We decided we would continue walking by to see if they would eventually catch a glimpse of us and as soon as they did, the whole airport knew. My mother shrieked with excitement and they both came running over to us, squeezing us so hard I was sure my eyes would pop out. We had about one hour before Brady would arrive so we grabbed our bags and drove over to the cargo area.
We went into the office to check on Brady’s status and see exactly what time he would be arriving. We were told in Costa Rica that he was supposed to fly in around 6:00. However, the employees in Boston told us that he wouldn’t be getting in until 9:30 pm that night! That means that not only would Brady have a five hour layover in New Jersey but he would have been in his crate from 4:00 am until 9:30 pm with only being let out once! Clearly upset, we asked them if there was anything they could do to get him on the next flight. They tried their hardest but had no luck. Poor Brady!
We decided to wait out Brady’s arrival by grabbing a quick bite to eat at a Mexican restaurant- we couldn’t just switch to American food that quickly! 🙂
Around 8:30, we headed back over to wait for Brady to arrive. When they wheeled him out in his crate, we were expecting to see bodily fluids everywhere and a scared pup waiting in the back of the crate. Well, we underestimated Brady’s resilience! We opened the gate and were trying to console him and all he wanted to do was play! He was happy to see us and ready to go! What else did we expect? We should’ve known better. Brady has been through it all with us and this was probably just another little adventure for him!