Dogs Come to Aid of Stressed Travelers
Most people know that traveling can be stressful sometimes. You lose a bag, your plane is delayed or you miss your connecting flight - all of these are instances that may cause a traveler to worry. Luckily, there may be less anxious travelers at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina thanks to a few therapy dogs.
People moving to and from airplane terminals in Charlotte have the opportunity to pet a few friendly canines thanks a new program the airport started recently. According to the Charlotte Observer, the program features eight therapy dogs and their certified pet parents, all who are part of the CLT Canine Crew. The therapy dogs and their handlers will come in shifts to the airport between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.,when travelers can stop to pet them during their hectic travel schedules. Travelers can identify the dogs through their blue and yellow vests.
The program was first put to the test on May 18, and it was an immediate hit.
The popular choice
It seemed like most people, despite their age or position, were interested in petting the dogs. According to the publication, a TSA agent could not help but greet Rosco, an American Foxhound while he stood at one of the airport checkpoints. A young toddler eagerly stretched out of her stroller to reach Lucy, a West Highland White Terrier, for a quick pet.
All the members of CLT Canine Crew, some that were rescued, enjoy and love helping people. The CLT Canine Crew does not only greet travelers at the airport, they will also visit nursing homes, senior facilities and programs that work with troubled teens.
A common trend
While Charlotte may have seen success with their group of therapy dogs, they are not the only airport implementing these types of programs.
USA Today reported that the Mineta San José International Airport in Texas put together a similar program in November 2014. The program began in 2001, right after the attacks on September 11 occurred. One of the airport volunteers decided to bring in her dog Orion, a Boxer and Great Dane mix, to help soothe anxious passengers who were nervous to fly. This had a positive result. As a result, the airport decided to develop a program that allowed several dogs to visit travelers each week. Now, the airport has 13 dogs from the K-9 Crew who visit with their certified pet parents each week to help relieve travelers' stress.
The idea has been so popular that there are 26 other airports across the U.S. with visiting therapy dogs. Some of these include Los Angeles International Airport, Miami International Airport, San Antonio International Airport, Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, San Diego International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.
The next time you choose to fly and are missing your canine companion back home, rest assured that an airport near you may have a few dogs eager for some love.