'Pups and planes' replaces flyers' fright with fun as they play and pet the dogs before boarding.
(CNN via KSAT)-- Airport
joy is often hard to find in the long security line. At San Anotonio International, a cup
of coffee for jangled nerves was about all you could expect- until now.
airport has a new program called 'Pups and Planes' that allows four-legged
friends to help passengers with flight-fright have a little fun instead. It's
the first of its kind in Texas, and one of only five in the country.
Wednesday, Saxon the Pug and Whiskers the Airedale-mix, among other canine consolers, offered therapy
for a stressed-out traveler.
"Dogs like Gracie here, a four-year-old Westie, just started this new career as a therapy dog at the airport, and so far, she's doing pretty good," said Pup Ambassador Judy Huey.
PHOTOS: Pups help plane passengers
"We ask them if they would like to pet them; we explain the program to them, and it really brightens their day."
They are all volunteers trained as therapy dogs and somehow- even though they really don't do much except wag a tail- they all draw smiles.
"It's so sweet. It's so human in a place that has a lot of technology, a lot of people, a lot of hustle and bustle, and it's just that minute of peace," explained traveler Gail Gwizdala.
"They do have to have basic skills- like 'sit', 'down', 'come', 'leave it'- that's a very important command at the airport where people are dropping food," Pup Ambassador Miguelita Scanio said of the dogs.
In any event, it leaves a good lasting impression of an airport, and perhaps the city itself.
"I think it's great. It just gives them an opportunity to know us and get your spirits up before you take your long trip back home," said Lachelle Drayton, a traveler from Minneapolis. "I think that's fabulous."