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From: "Matthew N. Kleiman" Subject: Re Seeking Advice on Flying

The Chicago Tribune recenting published an article on this very subject, so I'll try to recall as much as I can.

1. Heat. The cargo hold of an airplane is NOT air-conditioned. It can get extremely hot inside the plane, especially if the plan is forced to stand for a long period on the runway. If your flight runs into any unexpected delays on the ground, you should immediately notify the flight crew to see if you can get your crate removed. Don't assume that they'll be watching out for your dog. Make a huge scene if you have to; your dog's life is worth it.

2. Water. Make sure your crate has a container for water, and the night before the flight, fill it and FREEZE it into a block of ice. The crate is going to get knocked around a little during loading, and the water could easily spill out. If its frozen the night before, it should thaw just as your dog needs it.

3. Food. Tie a small bag of food to the crate with feeding instructions in case of any unexpected delays. If your going on a longer flight, make arrangements with the airline to be sure that your dog is fed.

Obviously you should follow the airline's rules about the crate (which must be securing closed but capable of being easily opened in case of emergancy) and labelling the crate (e.g. "LIVE ANIMAL" etc.).

The article did not make any specific recommendation about sedating animals, and I don't have any experience here.

Remember, to an airline your dog is a piece of luggage. If he or she dies--which happens more than the airlines like to admit--you will be compensated as though the airline lost one of your bags. Its up to you to safeguard your dog's welfare.

I don't mean to scare anyone...statistics indictate that thousands of animals fly safely each year. Just take as many precautions as possible. Best of luck, and safe flying!

- Matt


Date: 30 Jul 95 08:16:11 EDT From: Peter Lennon To: Berner Subject: Flying..HORROR Stories

Hi you know Australia is just about as far away as you get from many other countries and the country itself is about as big as the States (so flying dogs is sometimes the ONLY WAY)...I have had a couple of experiences of flying with my dogs...both weren't great.

The first was an interstate flight with Harry when he was about 9 months involved him being in the crate for about 2 1/2 hours which really wasn't long at all. We were going up to Queensland to visit his breeder and enter a dog show where all his brothers and sisters were going to was combined with a Fun Day with many other Bernese aswell...and incedently turned out to be a terrific day. Back to the point...we in Australia don't regularly crate our dogs as they do in the US. I actually use a crate at shows mainly because I go by myself (husband nearly always has an excuse...hmmmn I guess I don't blame him) and I can't manage two or now three dogs at once and the crate is snug and safe for one of them. Anyhow so the airline had regulations about the crate and I had to hire one at the time...we turned up at the airport and the crate was ALL MESH WITH A METAL TRAY AT THE BOTTOM...I wasn't impressed...i t didn't look secure and the dog was left almost naked with no cover around him a t all. Anyway there was no choice but to put him in...which he did very gallantly. After I left him I went upstairs to the flight lounge and starred ou t the window at the plane looking to see Harry get loaded...eventually out he cam e on one of those"Thunderbird vehicles" and was sent up the conveyer belt to the loading hatch. Poor Harry ...he looked obviously distressed as he had shrunk into one corner of the crate looking freakily all around him...when he reached the hatch the crate didn't fit into the the men just flopped it on it s side (sending Harry scuttling to the side of the crate...the metal tray collapsed somewhat on top of him and although I couldn't see the distance I imagined his paws were being beaten around by the bare wire. I was absolutely horrified and as you can imagine stunned for most of the flight. When we reached the destination it seemed ages (probably only 15 minutes) before he was off loaded and brought to the bulky goods section.......POOR HARRY he had the sparkling look of fear in his eye as he came out on the trolley still in the crate....AND THERE WAS SHIT ALL OVER HIM!!!!!! POOR DARLING HAD DROPPED HIS LOA D IN FRIGHT DURING THE ORDEAL. At that moment I wished I had have taken the 14 hour drive alternative...but two days later he had to fly back again...I specifically ordered a more enclosed and sound crate and the trip was much pooos at the other end. (By the way Harry beat all his brothers and sisters at the show and all but one of his breeders older males...not bad for LAST PICK OF THE LITTER heh???)

Amber is another story which I will go into later ...but her trip from Norway t o New Zealand (her first port of call) was fabulous...Brittish Airways were brilliant. New Zealand to Australia 12 weeks later was a slightly different story....PART TWO to come....



Date: Sun, 30 Jul 1995 12:31:17 -0400 From: To: Subject: Re: Re Seeking Advice on Flying

Some more anecdotal inputs on flying...

DC-10 pressurized cargo holds are not heated. The FAA will not allow an airline in the US to carry live animals in the cargo hold of a DC-10 between May and October. However, most other airplanes on domestic flights do have air conditioned cargo holds.

We discovered this bringing 2 cats and 2 berners from France. In Chicago we separated, the animals went to Kansas City and connected to Denver. We went direct to Denver on a DC-10.

We have flown a berner from Germany to the US in 1985. Three cats and a berner from the US to The Netherlands in 1989. Three cats and a berner from the Netherlands to France (by air) in 1991. A berner from France to the US in 1993. And, finally two cats and two berners from France to the US in 1993. We never used a traquilizer. We fed only lightly before the flight. We gave them plenty of water, per Matt's suggestion.

A few other suggestions:

1. Put the animal's name on the cage. We have always been extremely impressed by the attention and care our animals have gotten. Especially on United Airlines. If the airline folks know the animal's name, they'll use it. It is a comfort to the animal and makes the animal more "real" to them.

2. If you are flying internationally, attach copies of all required paperwork to the cage.

3. If you are flying internationally, you'll get a chance to claim your animals at the port of entry. This is often a good time to top up the water and even give the animal a chance to walk around and exercise (depends on airport).

In my experience, I get more stressed than the animal!

Rick Lynne Robinson, along with Indy and Heidi, Two-Shoes and Vincent, in Fort Collins, Colorado


Hi Mike and Wendy

What an interesting puzzle you present us with. Normally, vets will recommend that you do not sedate a dog for travel, because the dog will get tossed around and might wake up midtrip if you run into turbulence, and it is disorienting to the dog to wake up from an unnatural sleep in a completely strange place without you necessarily nearby yet. But, if your dog is already fearful... Gee.

There are things I haven't seen recommended yet. One is to prepare a message for the pilot, explaining that he has a precious young dog in the cargo where it is travelling to, and why if it is interesting. Aske that s/he personally make sure that the crate is in the pressurized hold, and that it is well taken care of. When you get onto the plane, before you make that turn toward the aisle, give it to the attendant and tell her it is for the pilot. If you get it to her early, the pilot has time to check where the dog actually is placed. Bring the absolutely cutest pictures of your pup and show them to at least one attendant. The point is to make the comfort and safety of your dog something they all want to see to personally.

Watch to see your dog is loaded safely. Mary Rogers might have more to say about that!

HEre is something I just pulled of the conformation list: Just for info. There was an article in the local newspaper telling about a aircargo company that will now carry animals. It is called ABRExpress, Inc, The article stated that it will fly animals in climate-controlled storage areas behing the cockpits of planes operated by American International Freight.with its main office in Ypsilanti, MI and its hub in Terre Haute, IN,. with its main office in Ypsilanti, MI and its hub in Terre Haute, IN. It also said that it will transport animals, including exotic animals from their owners home to the airport if requested. This service is to 38 cities around the country but didn't list them with the exception of here in Phx, where shipping animals during a major part of the year is a real problem.

TerriMc Mesa, AZ

This may take care of many problems if they are as good as they claim. I will try to get more info on this company.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bob, Marianne Sean at the Schatzhof, Bay City, Michigan Home to Schatzi, Sidli, and Facet - 3 generations of Bernese Mountain Dogs Sid's recovering from cruciate surgery. No pup plans 'til 96 :- To: Subject: Re: Seeking advice on Travel and Temperament


On Jul 29, 9:41pm, Michael Boals wrote: 1. Recommendations on preparing a berner to fly. (Now that we know how to teach or berner to swim) We have been told to sedate and not to sedate our dog for plane travel and would like to hear of other peoples experiences. We'd also like advice about feeding and watering before, during and after flight.

First you need a long silk scarf, a leather flying helmet and some goggles....

Whoops ! Of course it depends on how long the flight is for the dog. I have had dogs fly from Texas to England, and also from Spain to England. The Texas to England flight origniated in Austin and flew 4 hours to chicago. The dog crate were on the ground for 6 hours in Chicago, then had an 8 hour flight to manchester in England. There was about a 4 hour turn around in Manchester for customs and immigration ( for the dog, not me ), and then certified transport to Hull by van. First, be sure the crate is large enough for the dog to be able to stand up and turn around. We did not sedate Lolly, as for this journey nothing would have had an effect for the lenghth of the journey, and I didn't want her to wake up and be badly confused. She was not removed from the crate for the whole journey, but water was available, and I understand that the airline people will top up the water. So I starved her before the journey, as I didn't want her to have an uncomfortable and dirty journey. she arrived fine and well, and she was glad to have a nice dinner at the kennels.

The Spanish journey was much the same, in the the dog flew from Malaga to Heathrow, which is about 2 1/2 hours. He stayed overnight at a quarantine kennels at Heathrow, then flew to manchester, where he was met and driven to Newcastle in a van. He was better off in that his overnight stay allowed him to walk around and get something to eat. He had water available all the time, but he was starved before hand.

2. Recommendations on helping a very shy puppy become more outgoing and confident. Our puppy is VERY shy. She has never had any traumatic ..... My Billy is now 5, and he has a timid and shy nature. He woofs when anyone comes to the door or through the gate. He is mainly shy with men, but he is not that interested on the whole with anybody but the extended family ( neices, nephews, etc. ) Nor is he interested in other dogs. He is for some reason frightened to death of the coal delivery man and the dog food delivery man. What we have done is to be gentle with him, and have all our male visitors just be gentle and not talk too much at first. After about 10 minutes, Billy will check them out, allow them to stroke him, and then he is fine with them. With the dog food man, we took some liver, cut it into chunks boiled it. when he brought food, he would take a handful of the liver, sit on the sofa and stroke and fuss all the dogs and give them these special treats. Billy finally came around, but it took a load of liver. Also, I take Billy to every BMD club garden party and fun day, because the people there all know the dogs and appreciate their temperaments and sensibilities. He has let loads of folk stroke him and make a big deal of him, and it has helped.




Susan C. Williams | Sal es Support | tel: +44 161 877 8801

Silicon Graphics | fax: +44 161 877 8343

Laser House | vmail: 58589 Waterfront Quay | e-mail: Salford Quays | mailstop: IUK-312 Manchester, M5 2XW, UK |



Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 11:26:49 +0100 From: "Susan Williams" To: Subject: Re: Seeking Advice on Flying


When traveling in Europe, can you to your pet when baggage come to customs? When you talked about port of entry, does that mean you get back on the plane and fly farther? just curious about european travel.

First, remember that the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland have 6 month rabies quarantine requirements, so don't bring a dog here without the proper paper work and kennel bookings. The airlines won't let the dog on the plane without it, but sometimes the people on the end of the phone don't know anything about it. However, once the quarantine requirements have been met, there is free travel around the British Isles, ie from England to the Isle of Man, or from England to Ireland and back again, or from Scotland to the Shetland Islands, etc. We always drive and take ferries since the dogs are with us and we prefer them to be in the ferry kennels rather than in a plane's hold on these short hop journeys. I don't do too well on the little airplanes, I don't think the dogs would, and I don't think the little planes would have room in the hold for our little canid family.

With respect to mainland europe, I believe that there is no problem travel between the EU nations. My experience, other than flying the dog home from Spain, has been with ferries and driving, and no one looks at anything. But I would check with the individual coutnries, as who knows what unusual regulations might exist.


Susan C. Williams | Sal es Support | tel: +44 161 877 8801

Silicon Graphics | fax: +44 161 877 8343

Laser House | vmail: 58589 Waterfront Quay | e-mail: Salford Quays | mailstop: IUK-312 Manchester, M5 2XW, UK |



BERNER-L Digest 60

Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 09:51:13 -0400 From: "Laurie E. W. Brandt" To: Subject: Re: Seeking advice on Travel and Temperament

In message writes: Hello to all from California,

We have been reading berner email messages for a week now and are excited to have such a wide resource of berner information. We are looking for advice on two concerns we have about our eight month old bitch, Etta.

1. Recommendations on preparing a berner to fly. (Now that we know how to teach or berner to swim) We have been told to sedate and not to sedate our dog for plane travel and would like to hear of other peoples experiences. We'd also like advice about feeding and watering before, during and after flight. With Crusader we flew from clevland OH to Austin TX with a stop over in Atlanta

on Delta. Crusader was 8.5 weeks old at the time. Because of the nature of the

Berner we had no need of the Tranks. He did not have any food and water for about 8 hours before the flight, and potted before we left for the airport. We placed all his flight papers in a large zip lock baggie taped to his carrier, with his name and bread clearly displayed. The crews both flight and ground wer e wonderful with him. One of the stewardess wanted to that him home to her kids, berners pups resemble plush toys very much. He was given freash water just before loading. and was in great shape when we picked him up on the other end a t specalised baggage handling.

2. Recommendations on helping a very shy puppy become more outgoing and confident. Our puppy is VERY shy. She has never had any traumatic experiences, but is naturally shy and fearful of new people, although she is fine around other dogs and a small group of people who are her "pack". We have been through puppy socialization classes (not very useful), have done lots of good obedience work (now at least she obeys us when she is scared), and every other week she has slumber parties with our friends to try to get her more independent and to build her confidence. All of these things seem t o help, but she is still quite shy. Next we are hoping to start some agility training in hopes that building her physical confidence will help build her mental confidence. Please send us any suggestions you may have from your experiences. My best advice is thake her for walks in a near by park, also to places like Petsmart that allow dogs to come in the shop. She will get alot of positive attention. Also to large gatherings of people with a lot of distractions. We have done these things with Crusader and he is a pretty well socilized dog now at about 8.5 months. Laurie Jay and Crusader in Austin TX


Date: 31 Jul 95 10:14:17 EDT From: William Jacobson To: Berner List Reply Subject: Airlines and Kody

Oh dear. If you want to read the true story of Kody's flying experiences, it wa s published in the Alpenhorn earlier this year. Though the editor tried to turn the story into a moral about using correct crates (there are none as far as Kod y is conserned), it was originaly written as a story about how things can go wron g but still turn out well thanks to great people (United Airline personal) and a little humor.

And yes, Kody has flown again. Because Margie Reho wanted to breed to him and girlfriend Jana decided that her fertile period would be the same time as the Specialty in Atlanta--I agreed to take Kody out to the show for the breeding. Kody boarded a plane east one more time! The crate stood up to Kody before and during the flight, but promptly fell apart after he was off the plane and was delievered to me. So on the return flight back, Margie and I rigged up one of her crates with those plastic ties and strapped it solidly together so Kody couldn't rattle it apart. And it held up-- there was no way Kody was going to escape-- the houdini he is.

That story pales compared to the ride to Atlanta after flying into VA. Imagine 3 people, one Kody, 3 in season bitches and a puppy in a van driving to the specialty!

The resulting 6 beautiful Kody/Jana puppies was well worth all the extra effort involved. And I am sure that the babies were conceived underneath the HOLIDAY INN sign in Georgia. How romantic!

-Mary Rogers and the cooled off Rocky Mtn Berners


Date: Mon, 31 Jul 1995 11:02:40 -0400 From: To: Subject: Re: Seeking advice on Travel and Temperament

Dear Mike,

I have shipped a reserve dog a number of times and she doesn't seem to mind and I shipped my "Pet Therapy" dog once and she was terrified. This dog seems to be afraid of loud noises(has the most sensitive hearing of my dogs) so I am sure the jet noise scared her. I have never tranquilized my dogs. A number of articles I have read and my Vet don't recommend it. The tranquilizer slows down the cardiovacsular/respiritory system which makes it difficult for the dog to cool itself if it needs to.

Just some tips:

1. Always try to get a direct flight even if it means driving to a less convenient airport.

2.Find out what airplane is being used for the flights. DC-10's have restrictions 6 months out of the year. Not all MD-80's can take larger crates sizes (Vari Kennel 500).

3. Get seating assignments on the right side of the plane so you can watch your dog's crate being loaded and unloaded.

4. Mark your crate with something easily identifiable. Dog crates look a like. Once I watched a crate as it was loaded and it just didn't look right (seemed a little small) so I went to a fly attendent and checked the status of my dog. She was still sitting on the tarmac and may not have been loaded if I had not been watching.

5. It is your responsibility to make sure your dog is on and off the plane. Make a pest of yourself if you need to with the flight attendents, ground crew, or whomever. Dogs are the last thing loaded and the first luggage removed according to airline policy (so I have been told). There may be a delay in loading the dog if all the luggage gets loaded and there is some time before the flight leaves.

6. Place your dog's name on the crate so that people handling them can talk to your dog. I also attach an envelope with hotel and number or some person I am visiting so if something happens they will have a number to reach me.

7. There are weather restrictions both too hot and too cold. It can vary from airport to airport. There may be weeks in the summer where dogs will not be accepted for shipment. I have had friends ship Berners when the weather was too cold for some breed of dogs with a Vet permission slip saying that the dog was adapted to the colder weather. Plan your flight schedule for your dog. If the weather is hot, pick the earliest or latest flights out when it will be cooler. If it is colder choose something mid-day. Remember, it is possible to get somewhere and then have a weather restriction applied and you can't get the dog home with you.

8. Report any incedences of rough handling to the airlines. They need to be informed when someone is trying to jam a crate into baggage carrier or picks up the crate with a two wheel dolly.

9. When flying with a dog, arrive early. Check in and inform them that you are shipping a dog and that you want to wait until the last minute before sending the dog to the plane. The airlines say they need an hour but normally I have cut it down to less than a half. I let my dog sit next to me out of the crate until the last minute.

10. Make sure your dog is crate trained before flying.

11. I have flown by myself with two dogs. It is much easier to fly with two people. The extra person can get the rental car, carry luggage, etc while one person is taking care of the dogs.

12. Only feed the dog lightly before a flight. Of course this is dependent on length of flight but some dogs get motion sickness and maybe reduce the stress of having to hold any bowel movements. Always walk the dog thoroughly before putting it in the crate for the flight.

13. Carry extra screws/nuts for the crates. Some airlines won't ship the crate if it is missing any. Carry water, leashes, extra collars, dog bones with you so you are ready for any emergencies. Dogs do get loose ask Mary about Kody's jaunt around the runways of Stapleton airport.

Now after all that advice about flying with your dog my biggest advice is to ask yourself does your dog really need to come with you on a trip. Would it be happier at home with a housesitter? Yes you will miss your dog but you will have a better time and the dog will definitely be less stressed.

Sincerely, Eden Jonas and (Shambha who has her own TWA frequent flyer number; really)


BERNER-L Digest 61

Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995 12:19:03 -0400 From: (Marjorie E. Reho) To: Subject: Re: Re Seeking Advice on Flying

Sorry, I'm late to the table for this discussion on flying. I've been sorting through e-mail today (ugh, must have a good 500 messages in queue right now) and came on the original fly questions. I've seen some good responses too, especially Eden Jonas' recommendations. I haven't read all the replies yet, but wanted to get back on this one of Matt's.

The Tribune's article isn't totally accurate. I've been flying dogs around and puppies off to their new homes for years .... there's a lot I've picked up, but a lot I have yet to learn. With regard to Heat and the cargo hold, what was printed was a half-truth. When a plane is on the ground, parked, with engines off, all power comes from an external battery (one of those big things on a wheeled rig that has a heavy hose-looking thing connected to the plane). Some planes, such as the DC-10, do not heat/air condition the whole plane (i.e., cargo area) from the battery. Others do, such as Boeing planes (727, 737, 747, 757, 767). That's one reason DC's are temperature restricted 6 months of the year for live animal travel. Once in the air, it's a different story. The divider between the passenger and cargo areas is the floor. The floor is basically nothing more than a divider and area to run cables. The cargo and passenger areas on all dog-shippable planes are temperature controlled. HOWEVER, if you're in a delay situation with engines off, I agree you should notify the flight attendant, because it can still get uncomfortable even with the battery-driven AC, and the cargo hold could be warmer.

Water. The article speaks to having a single container. The FAA laws were changed about 3-4 years ago requiring two dishes, not one. So if you have an old crate, you may need to purchase an additional water dish. I pick up extra ones from my feed and grain store which also sell dog crates. I do fill BOTH (water is more important than food) with water and freeze them. I carry them to the airport in a small cooler which is loaded with blue ice blocks. I leave the cooler in the car and put the frozen dishes in the crate just before entering the airport.

Feeding. I would rather not have my dog fed under any circumstances, unless I do the feeding, because it means someone will open the crate door. So I don't strap food on the top of the crate anymore. Water can be added through the grating, but not food.

Identification. I use LOTS on the crate .... but don't forget the dog! When I travel with one of my own, they have proper tags already. But the tags only have your home address on them, and you're not home! So I add a tag, tape over it, and write the temporary contact info on the masking tape. Same goes for puppies I ship. I put a collar on the puppy, tape around a section of the collar, then write the new owner's name, address and phone on the masking tape. That way, if dog and crate are disconnected, I can still get my dog back.

REMEMBER ... training collars are for training only -- choke or slip collars are not for an unattended dog and should never be used in a crate -- they can kill. Please remember to ship with a buckle collar.

Insurance. If shipping as cargo (your dog is traveling but you have to stay home), you can insure. It's not expensive. As a breeder, I do add the insurance (and hope I never need it) because who should be out the purchase price of the puppy if he dies enroute to the new owners? The breeder? The owner? No, the airline/insurance company.

Bedding. For puppies, I add shredded newspaper over the solid sheet of newspaper. That way, if they get sick or poop, they won't be covered with it. I also always take a plastic trash bag with me in my carry-on so I can change the bedding and throw it out if I need to.

One final trick I use when traveling with a dog (which I usually have to do alone) is to bring an extra 6-foot leash with me. I always have my hands full. Plus, my dog is being walked at my side (or my puppy is being carried) as I move through the airport, or parking lot, or out to the rental car place, etc. So how do I get a size 500 crate around too? I load all my carry-on into the crate, my dog is out of the crate on a leash, I close the crate door, clip the second leash to the crate door about 1/3 way up from the bottom of the crate, then tie the end of the leash around my waist. I get to feel like a draft dog making my way through the airport, but it works great. I'm threatening to make my next dog to travel do the work, however! Since I only have one who's draft trained, seems like I never have the right dog as my traveling companion.

Good luck on flying. [and do read Mary Roger's Kody story if you have a chance ... it wasn't funny at the time -- in fact, Mary arrived totally pale and stressed out, but it's great in hindsight!]

Thanks, Margie -----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Tue, 1 Aug 1995 20:50:27 -0400 From: To: Subject: Re Seeking Advice on Flying

Let me give some examples of travel internationally.

When flying into the US, you must clear customs at the first landing. For us, this was usually in Chicago. You claim your dog just like the rest of your luggage (only usually in a different place). Customs officials MAY want to see proof of ownership, innoculations, etc. In our case, we were traveling with 2 twelve week old berners and the customs agents were more interested in feeding them dog biscuits than anything else. (They have them for the drug-sniffing beagles.) One of our dogs did not have a complete puppy rabies series, so we had to sign an agreement to not allow her to come into contact with other dogs for 30 days.

In Europe, you generally clear customs at your final destination. Somehow, the customs agents know what luggage has traveled in-country and what has come from outside. Actually, we never had to show paperwork at any port of entry into continental Europe (I'm sure the island countries are different.)

Large crates don't fit on all planes. For example, a large crate will not fit on most AirBus planes. We know, we had to plan our moving date from Amsterdam to Lyon around the availability of an Air France flight using a Boeing 737!

When we arrived at Lyon, the dog did not show up with the luggage. Instead a crew of 2 or 3 people retrieved her from the plane and escorted her to customs via an elevator. They let her out of her crate in the elevator so she could come running to us in the baggage claim area. The French love dogs!

We also had an extraordinary trip on KLM that I'll post sometime. In summary, they had to delay a flight to rearrange the cargo hold to make the dog crate fit...

Rick Lynne, in Fort Collins, with the zoo...


BERNER-L Digest 187

Date: 09 Jan 96 06:48:21 EST From: Peter Lennon To: Berner-l Subject: Re: FLYING + registration warning

Kevin Marie family and anyone else interested...

An unaccompanied berner puppy will be fine on a flight by her lonesome. No company will be allowed to sit in the cargo hold with her anyway. The captains are given notice when live animals are on their flights and they can adjust the aircon to the cargo hold to suit. As long as the puppy has a good solid crate around her (preferably a more solid kind..not just metal cage) she will do fine . Crates that spring to mind are Vari kennel, Airporter and Skykennel. Get your friends to make certain that the door can be or is securely closed. Mary Roger s has a funny story about her Kody running free on the tarmac when his crate inadvertantly opened!!!

Secure a water dish to the inside of the crate and a large sign stuck on the outside saying HAVE I GOT WATER???? ...this will hopefully alert airport personel to fill her up during transit!!!

If your friends are planning to breed from Felicity in the future get them to check that the breeder is registered with the FCI (Federation Cynologique Internatinale). There is a breakaway bernese breed club in Germany that is not registered with the FCI and as a result all progeny cannot be registered in the STATES or Australia and I'm quite sure this would apply to many other places also. A friend of mine here almost made this mistake and I've heard of it from the States aswell...better to be safe than sorry.

Good luck to your friends and FELICITY!!!

cheers Nicole (Zanzebern Australia)


BERNER-L Digest 193

Date: Fri, 19 Jan 96 15:20:58 EST From: molly bass To: Subject: International Airlines

I tried posting this last week, but with the system down I never saw it come through....

There was a question about a companion to travel from Germany or an airline!

I highly recommend Swissair!!!

Bianca came over on Swissair this summer from Zurich. The breeder took her to the plane, put her on, and she was checked regularly throughout the flight. They would not accept her on the plane until I had been contacted in the States to guarantee that the pup would be met at her destination. Had they been unable to reach me then the pup would have missed her flight. There was a chart on her crate that had the times she was checked on by a steward. Dulles called me at 8am to confirm again she was on the flight. She arrived in Dulles via Boston on July 13 - It had to be the HOTTEST day of the year! Her flight was early, as was I, and the people could not have been nicer. I was worried because of the heat but she was transferred from an air conditioned compartment on the plane to an air conditioned car and brought directly to me. She wasn't even panting. Once she got over her initial fright, she wagged her tail, licked my face, and ate some puppy treats. She didn't want water - they had given her water during the flight. The air conditioned car was an extra which I think had a lot to do with my pacing and fretting while waiting :). It took them 45 minutes once the plane was down to get her to me. Needless-to-say, I wore a path on the loading dock! I had no idea she was resting comfortably in the cool plane - I had visions of her on the hot tarmack sitting in one of those cargo trains. ACK! Fortunately I was wrong and she was in excellent hands. They let me dry her off (water and pee in the crate), feed her a bit, hug and kiss her - this took at least 30 minutes (I had not seen her in 7 weeks. I picked her out in Switzerland at 4 weeks of age and now my little guinea pig was a 21 pound young lady) - then asked for me to sign the papers. No hurry, no worry, no fuss. Plus, she wasn't tranquilized so I knew she was OK.

I have no worries about importing future pups via Swissair. I would stay away from the american airlines though. The Swiss have such strong standards and they don't screw up! United was my original airline and they wanted to tranquilize the pup. Plus, the cost was 3X on United! No way! Swissair is definitely the answer because they have the dog's best interest in mind. Heck, they won't let the dog on the plane unless there is a guarantee it will be met at its destination!

Molly, Bogen, and Bianca - Mommy is putting me on Delta for the specialty! My mommy loves me!


Date: Fri, 19 Jan 1996 17:31:52 EST From: ( SUSAN ABLON) To: Subject: airlines

I too like Delta. Being in Tx. the weather is either hot or cold and few airlines want to ship a dog down here. I have had to ship a couple of times and Delta always has had the facilities to send a dog out. They have an air conditioned air cargo center here. Something that not all Delta terminals have so the problem is usually getting in or out of the destination terminal. I have just recently read an article and for the life of me can't remember where that Delta and a couple other airlines were fined by which ever government agency watches these things for allowing animals to be shipped in wrong size crates so they have cracked down on shipping. The article I read was from a Dobie person that had missed her National Specialty because the 500 crate she was planning to ship her dobe in was too small (according to the cargo personnel). When she went to get a 700 she learned that the plane could not accommodate one. I had planned on taking Martin to the Specialty in his 400 (he lives in it everyday) but will hope that the 500 I now plan on using will be satisfactory. I personally think it is too big but would hate to be sent home at the airport as I was ready to leave. Any ideas about crate size in regard to shipping. I know that the dog must be able to sit ,stand turn around and lie down in a natural position but to me that can be done in a 400. Opinions please.

I am getting Specialty ready as my airline tickets came yesterday. OH BOY it'll be here soon.

Susan Ablon


BERNER-L Digest 244

Date: Mon, 11 Mar 1996 11:20:14 -0400 (EDT) From: Laurie Crocker To: berner-l Subject: Shipping Advice for Bear

Hi everyone,

Only 4 more weeks (!) until little Bear joins us (yes, Bill's stubborn determination to use the name "Bear" finally won me over. I have to admit, I like it too. If we see him and he turns out to be more like a "Cedric" or a "Beren" then we'll change the name, but for now Bear it is.)

Since we're flying to Baton Rouge to pick the little guy up, we had assumed we'd bring him back in the cabin with us. Unfortunately, we're realizing that he may be too big. I remember a couple of months ago someone posted that they saw a Berner puppy in the cabin on a flight -- was it an unusually small pup? We're not against sending him in the cargo hold since we know many dogs are successfully shipped that way every day, but if we're right there and can make the experience easier on him, we'd rather have him with us!

On the other hand, Mary Rogers (our pup's sire's owner, who really knows her stuff) has pointed out that he'll probably be much too big for one of those Sherpa bags. We're flying Delta (Art G., I know you'll have some pointers about that!) -- think they'd make us keep him in the bag the whole time? At this point I'm thinking maybe we should wrap him in a baby blanket and sneak on board!! :-)

Any general shipping advice would be much appreciated as well. We have a layover of just under two hours in Atlanta -- not sure what to do with him then. I don't want everyone in the airport mobbing around him and scaring him. We've been reading in the Monks books that 8 weeks is the beginning of the "fear period" in puppies and that any "traumatic experiences can scar the puppy

for life." How can we get him through the day without trauma? We're worried about him -- it's bad enough to be taken from his mom and siblings without adding an airport, a noisy plane, and lots of scary people too!

Thanks for your help, everyone!

Laurie, Bill, and Bear (I have no idea who you people are or what all this noise is and will probably need serious therapy as an adult, thanks a lot!) N. Andover MA


Date: Tue, 5 Mar 1996 10:40:10 -0600 (CST) From: Sandy Dunaway To: Laurie Crocker Cc: berner-l Subject: Re: Shipping Advice for Bear

Laurie, I'm not a frequent plane traveler nor are my dogs, but I have a tip for you anyway. Don't go to the new movie "Homeward Bound II" -- the previews include a dog crate springing open at the airport and we don't want you having nightmares. Okay, Mary, did you sell the movie company the idea (Kody held up air traffic at Stapleton in a similar incident)?

Hope everything goes smoothly! Sandy Dunaway in Nebraska


Date: Mon, 11 Mar 1996 12:39:04 -0500 From: (Marjorie E. Reho) To:, Subject: Re: Shipping Advice for Bear

Hi Laurie --

You're getting one of our grandkids! [I'm Kody's breeder.] As to shipping, at 8 weeks, he'll most definitely be too big for the cabin. It wouldn't be either fair to him, nor legal to force him to ride in a cabin carry-on which must be able to fit under your seat. I ship A LOT, so take the following suggestions as you want....

1) Make SURE Marie (I think that's the name of your breeder?) crate breaks him before you arrive. He must be well acclimated to the crate before shipping to cut his stress way down. This also serves the other purpose of taking him away from his littermates, therefore reducing that stress before you even get him. This is REALLY, REALLY important, but very few breeders will go through the trouble of doing it for you. Throwing him in a crate once or twice is not crate breaking the puppy. He must be comfortable and willing to sleep in the crate, drink in the crate, and try to hold his bladder in the crate. He must know about the crate so he can regulate his potty stops.

2) Don't feed him for at least 4 hours before your trip, in spite of the form you'll have to fill out at the counter -- that way, he won't be as likely to get motion sick.

3) Fill his water dishes with water the night before the trip and freeze them. Delay putting them in the crate (carry a cooler with ice) until the late minute. That way, he'll have water to sip/lick during his trip.

4) He'll cost you $50 on the plane. Just so you know.

5) At 8-weeks old, he will fit just fine in a size 200 kennel.

6) Put a layer of newspaper on the bottom of the crate. Shred newspaper (lots) for the crate too so if he has to go, it will absorb it or stick to it.

7) Make sure you have a reservation for him on your flight.

8) Label his collar and label the crate with your name, address and phone number.

9) If his temperament is good, and he's crate broken, he really won't have serious problems with the flight. Mine love meeting and greeting everybody at an airport -- it's just all that many more hands to pet them! I carry a leash to take them for a last minute walk; I let them say hi to everyone; I put them in the crate only when I have to get them on the plane.

10) Make sure your health certificate is current and signed by the vet (and specifies "too young for Rabies vaccine").

I'm sure I've forgotten something, but this is a start. Good luck with your new pup.

-Margie Reho and the Dallybeck girls (Virginia, USA)


Date: Tue, 12 Mar 1996 09:34:04 +0900 From: (Leigh Conran) To: (berner-l) Subject: Flying dogs

Hi all

Some very useful ideas flying (sorry!) around regarding air-freighting dogs around the place. Not wanting to alarm any prospective puppy owners who are concerned about transporting their new "baby", but I was just a little bit concerned about mentions of dog crates springing open and dogs running around the tarmac. In Australia, at least (and I have this on authority from an air traffic controller friend) airport ground staff used to be (still are?) empowered to shoot loose livestock who may present a menace to aircraft taxiing. Were it me (and we are likely to be in this position in the future bringing at least pups in from interstate), I would find out as much as I could from the airline/airport, and be very careful about locking my crate(s)!

And after that little downer, I am green with envy about all you guys even getting a Specialty show, let alone going to one - to my knowledge, there aren't enough show Berners in Australia to hold one!! (Nicole, correct me if I'm wrong). I think the most we've ever had competing in one place was just over 30!

Good luck all, with packing (don't forget those tissues!), transporting dogs, all the rigmarole of the show and getting home again. I hope you all have a wonderful time, and I really wish I could be there! Oh well. One day . . .

Leigh and Beren in Sth Australia


BERNER-L Digest 246

Date: Wed, 13 Mar 1996 19:40:07 -0500 From: To: Subject: Dogs in the Airport

I haven't seen Homeward Bound II, but all the talk of crates coming open at airports made me think of a very funny and not too traumatic tale. I was flying with my golden Buddy (who looked just like Shadow in Homeward Bound I ). When I went to pick him up in the airport on the return flight the airport employee who brought him out in his crate said, "Boy, that sure is a mellow dog you have there." I was extremely puzzled and said "Yes, he is, but how did you know?" "Well", said the attendant, "I opened up the baggage compartment and he was standing there wagging his tail!" How the attendant got him back in his crate I don't know, but I immediately went out and bought a new crate with a better latch system on the door! My dogs have flown Delta a lot, and the Delta folks have always been super...even holding up the plane on tight connections to make sure the dog was on board! So happy travels by air to all you flying dogs...Ruth and ZenMaster Max in Seattle (Mom, wasn't I a good boy when we flew to North Carolina...a long way for a big boy like me!)


Date: Wed, 13 Mar 1996 00:37:26 EST From: ( KATHLEEN A MEIER) To: Subject: my intro and shipping the pups Message-ID:

Hello in Bernerland - I'm Kathie Meier and I've been receiving the list for about a month now.

By way of intro - I've had Berners for 17 years. My first, Liesl, I lost at 7 years to a lymphosarcoma. Several months later Kari entered our household - and she just celebrated her 9th birthday March 12th. She had a mast cell tumor on the eye lid which was successfully irradiated in Nov 94 and is doing very well. Our newest addition is Kristie who is just 9 months. It has been an adventure with two berners - Kari is less than thrilled by the pup but has learned to tolerate her. She will not play with her at all - so fortunately we have several other local berners to fill that need. It is quite amazing to watch how they seem to recognize that they are the same breed - and then play as a pair to the exclusion or relative exclusion of other dogs.

In reference to Laurie Crocker's inquiry about flying the pups - I flew both Kari and Kristie in the cabin from Seattle to San Francisco - once on United and more recently on Alaska.

Kari was 6 weeks and weighed 9 pounds at the time. Kristie was near l0 weeks and 16 pounds. I had real concern about her in the cabin - but she fit comfortably and snugly in the crate. On both occasions I took the crates in the cabin with me on the flight up and made sure that they were okay. On our Alaska flight I had a kennel cab - 2nd to smallest size. It stuck out into the foot space a bit but that was not a problem for the attendants. Be aware that the underseat space may vary by location - on Alaska the window has the smallest, middle the biggest and aisle one in between. I had to switch to a middle seat with the crate.

On the kennel cab crate I cut the risers off the top and bottom to make it fit under the seat - thus giving me a bigger crate. Both pups were great in the crate (without prior experience) - it was like they knew that this was a real adventure. I put Kristie in in the gate area at the last minute - I didn't take her out during the flight because it was full and I couldn't easily maneuver the crate and because she was so quiet anyway. The pilot even followed us off to inspect her and visit! Everyone loves a pup, especially a Berner. Good luck - it is so much fun.

Kathie Meier


BERNER-L Digest 247

Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 09:06:41 -0500 From: (Marjorie E. Reho) To: Subject: Re: my intro and shipping the pups

Just read Kathie Meier's e-mail on flying her pups in the cabin (welcome to berner-l Kathie). She mentioned flying Kari at age 6 weeks .... guess that was about 9 years ago since she's now a "senior citizen". Just in case anybody gets ideas from that, however, keep in mind that the FAA is really cracking down on live animal transportation codes (that's good since it's for the safety and protection of our "kids"). Don't remember what the regs were 9 years ago, but the regulation for the last several years is that a puppy cannot be shipped if it is not at least 8 weeks old. Yes, they're starting to check. Just wanted to make everyone aware ....

Guess I can argue both sides of in-cabin vs in-cargo as extra baggage. From an owner's perspective, yes, I would like to know positively that the puppy is where he/she is supposed to be, and safe. That argues for in-cabin. But the space really in pretty cramped. I'm a card-carrying frequent flier with all the business travel I do. Believe me, a 200 kennel, which is really the size needed for an 8-10 week pup, IS over the maximum allowed for carry-on baggage. It will not officially fit UNDER your seat. The shipping crates that are within standard for carry-on, are too small for a puppy, again given the FAA regs (dog must be able to stand comfortably, sit with head up, turn around, and comfortably lay down). So again, if the airline is checking (and they really are starting to more and more -- in fact the attendants HAVE to fill out and SIGN and checklist with all this stuff on it now), you may be out of luck if you try to squeek by with a close fit (but you might get lucky, you never know). So if you then go with the 200, depending on the airline, and to some extent, how tough the rules are enforced in your neck of the woods, most airlines will force you to surrender oversized carry-on which will be placed below in cargo. But if the plane is already loaded and packed, the baggage handlers may have trouble getting to the dog crate tiedown areas in cargo. I frankly don't know what they'd do in this situation. And remember, safety is #1 priority for our dogs.

Then finally, if I argue from a business traveler's perspective, there's little I can think of that's more annoying than the traveler who takes up all my legroom (and theirs) with their carry-on, or who tries to cram oversized carry-on in a space in which it doesn't fit, only to have to relinguish it to the flight attendants causing a delay in departure and therefore a delay in getting to whereever I'm going (and a missed connecting flight or real rush to make a meeting once I arrive late). So-o-o-o-o, when you're deciding, the only thing I can offer in summary is to think of everyone on the flight: certainly the puppy, you, the attendants who must live by the book or risk their job, and the other travelers. Like I said, I can certainly see both sides.

-Margie and the Dallybeck girls (Virginia, USA)


Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 19:44:10 -0500 From: To: Subject: Flying to San Francisco

My big concern about flying is the appropriate size of the crate. It used to be that an average female_80-90 lbs. would fly nicely in a 400 crate. Well I had a female in for breeding about 2 years ago. She flew in in a 400 and 10 days later they would not return her home unless she was in a 500 . This was the same airline, everything. They have these rules about the dog being able to stand, lay down, ect. but it seems to be more based on the mood the people are in behind the counter at Air Cargo.

I will be traveling with a 7 month old puppy. I hope to get her in a 400 but I will have a 500 with me. But how about those people traveling with a 110 pound dog. Is even a 700 big enough. And what happens if you get there and they won't take the dog. Do you not go. This concerns me, and is one of the reasons I am not bringing an adult dog.

Good luck to those traveling with big dog.

Dawn Blackrock in PA

PS. I like the picture at the end of Veteran Sweeps. It gives the option of doing the shot before 4 pm if Sweeps finishes early.


BERNER-L Digest 272

Date: Mon, 8 Apr 1996 11:35:56 -0400 From: To: Subject: Sedatives and Shipping Dogs

Since the Specialty is coming soon and dogs will be flying, I thought this article which appeared in the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Health Newsletter, April 1996 would be useful

Eden Jonas Black Forest, CO

Oversedation as a danger to pets

The news comes as something of a bombshell: oversedation is the most frequent cause of death of pets being transported by air. For years owners have relied on sedative drugs to calm a pet who might get into an excitable stage during or prior to shipment(some pets get that way just looking at the traveling cage). But Dr Arthur V. Tennyson of the Amerian Veterinary Medical Association now advises tha veterinarians should not prescribe a tranquilizer or other sedatives for animals about to travel by air except in unusual circumstances. Even though such drugs have been used, it is surprising to find that little is actually known about the effects of sedation on animals that are enclosed in cages and transported at high altitudes.

But what about the dog or cat in the cargo hold? Dr Tennyson says that even if the animal appears excited before the trip begins, once aloft is probably calms down in the dark, closed hold. When the pet is calm, however, the effect of the drug might be excessive, he warns. Another warning is aimed at owners of brachycephalic breeds like Bulldogs, who are notorious for their problems with respiration. Such dogs should not be transported during periods of high heat and humidity.


Date: Mon, 8 Apr 96 12:18:41 EDT From: molly bass To: Subject: Re: Sedatives and Shipping Dogs

On sedation....

I saw a 60 Minutes (or one of those magazine shows) piece on sedating animals for transport. It was recommended NOT to sedate the animals because the reaction times to adverse conditions are slowed under sedation. Therefore, the piece concluded that an animal under sedation was more apt to be hurt in handling because it would not be able to react quickly enough to protect itself.

Neither of my two were sedated when they were inported into the states. Nothing affects Bogen so he had a grand old time sleeping in the cabin of the plane on the empty seat. Bianca came cargo and Swissair would not sedate her. Originally she was to arrive via United and they insisted on sedating her. I had sent over signed release forms instructing them not to sedate her under any circumstances! She was a bit shaken upon arrival but after about 10 minutes of being in my lap, she was fine. Now, she goes into a crate without a problem even after her "disturbing" first flight. It was a smooth flight and the stewards checked on her regularly.

I will not be sedating to go to SF! We'll see you there - wound up and wild!

Molly, Bogen, and Bianca - "Do we have to go in crates? Why can't we fly in the cabin with you and grandma?" Charlottesville, VA mcb7kvirginia.EDU


BERNER-L Digest 296

Date: Thu, 2 May 1996 07:47:48 -0400 From: To: Subject: Northwest Airlines

Hi all,

I have flown Northwest Airlines a number of times with my show rabbits. I hav e had excellent service from Northwest Airlines. They seem to go one step beyon d other airlines when it comes to handling animals.

When you check in they attach a tag to your kennel and give you a receipt. Then after you board the plane the flight attendant finds you in your seat and

gives you one of the receipts that was attached to your kennel which lets you know that *for sure* your animals are on the plane. Then if you change flights, once you board the next plane they do the same thing...bring you a receipt. At least that way you don't have to sit there worrying about whether

or not they made the switch.

First time I flew with animals it was on Northwest and I must say it scared me

when they came looking for me in my seat...thought it was an emergency or something. But I was quickly relieved when the flight attendant handed me the

slip with a big smile and said...just wanted you to know your rabbits are on the plane.

One other precaution I always take is just as I board the plane I make sure th e flight crew knows there are animals on the plane. It never hurts, since they control the ventilation throughout the plane.

I was sitting in a terminal once waiting to board the plane and I saw them bring my rabbits out onto the tarmac. The pilot came around on the ground to do his pre-flight check and spent quite a while checking out my rabbits.

Audrey Schatzhof Darling "Josey" Jo...who's going to be in a Parade of Breed s at the local mall this weekend (proud mom just had to brag)


Date: Thu, 2 May 96 13:18:04 EDT From: molly bass To: Subject: Re: Flying Berners

Laurie and others...

I flew two berners and our trip was fantastic!! We flew Delta and had a plane change in Atlanta going and another plane change in Cincinnati coming home. Neither dog was upset or nervous. I watched them put the dogs on the plane and they handled them very gently. The flight attendants told me several times that both of my dogs were on and were also very interested in what they wee and where we were headed. They let me load the dogs into the crates down in the cargo/baggage area and put plenty of labels and signs on the crates. It was a very positive experience and I would do it again tomorrow.

The best factor was Bogen, who hates his crate, asked to get in his crate at the San Francisco airport. I figured if he had had a bad flight, the last he would want was to get in that crate again. But, after I put Bianca in hers, he went over and waited by the door. As soon as I opened it, he jumped right in and lay down. What a relief.

Upon arrival at both places, the dogs lay beside the crates while I disassembled them. Neither one was anxious or upset or showing any signs of discomfort or bad flights. They almost seemed to enjoy it!

I highly recommend Delta and their partner, Swissair, who imported Bianca for me last summer. Both airlines are very careful and handled the dogs, and ME, beautifully!!!

Molly, Bogen, and Bianca - the Jet Setting Berners!


Date: Thu, 2 May 1996 14:08:01 -0400 From: (Marjorie E. Reho) To: Subject: Re: Flying Berners

Tessi and I flew out and back on United while my husband and son traveled on Delta (frequent flier miles). I didn't want to risk the plane change, so bought a ticket on a direct United flight.

As always, I found United down to business and efficient; everything was pretty much by the book without incident (I've flown a lot of dogs on United over the years). Tessi took the trip BEAUTIFULLY :-)) I was very pleased and proud of her (one never knows when traveling with a 10-month old first-timer). She thought airports were like dog shows -- everybody was there as her personal audience so she could maximize the number of pets received at one time. Her tail didn't stop.

I must say, though, that I much preferred good old Dulles Airport (Virginia) to San Francisco on efficiency of getting the dogs off the plane and back to me. I rate San Fran and United's baggage handlers as poor in this department. Their set up is fine in that the oversized baggage came in right across from the luggage carousel. But they took the dog crate and somebody's golf clubs off dead last and took forever about it -- to the point where I was so worried that I had to find somebody to call out to the baggage crew to check to see if the dog was or was not there. Only then did they go and get my dog. I had my bags (some of the last to come off the plane), the place was deserted, and I still had to wait about 20 minutes to see Tessi. That was poor. Fortunately, it was not 90 degrees out at the time, or heat would have been a problem. Then, they slid the crate onto the oversized baggage receiving platform which is about chest height (on me). I certainly had to let her out of the crate since I couldn't lift it down off the platform. The only way out of the crate, was for Tess to jump onto a stainless steel sloped luggage ramp (which of course a dog can't stand on without quickly sliding down), then over the high lip edge and onto the floor. I guess she'll be just great in agility since she handled it like a pro (she's really part mountain goat I believe). But I would imagine anyone traveling with a nervous dog could have turned that into a disaster.

Dulles was fine as always. Their set up is to slide the crates in through a door right next to the baggage carousel pass-through. Therefore, it's your choice if you leave the dog in the crate or take them out. At least they're already on the floor. Plus, Tessi arrived FIRST off the plane, before any of the luggage. That's the way to do it! That way, there's minimal risk of temperature exposure.

Anyway, we all made it just fine and Tessi had no problem jumping into her crate any time I asked her.

-Margie and Dallybeck's traveling Tess (Virginia, USA)


Date: Thu, 2 May 1996 22:52:30 GMT From: (barbara grasso) To: Subject: Layla's Flight!

First, many thanks to all of the Berner-l's that sent messages to me on losing Clifford aka Lightning. It really does help get through the grief. This story has a happy ending but could have been another tragedy. My specials bitch, Layla, came in season at the specialty so it was decided that she would fly with Ann to Indianapolis to be bred. As Ann had too many dogs to get on her flight, our friend took Layla on her flight that would end up in Indy through Chicago. Neither the dog nor our friend arrived in Indy that day. The story goes......some where over the Rockies the pilot announces that there will be an emergency landing to clean up from a dog! Of course, our friend goes somewhat bezerk thinking the dog blew up...exploded..who knows. The plane landed in Salt Lake City, let our friend off the plane to find Layla somewhat aggitated and cold. They put the dog in the unheated area of the cargo and at 35,000 miles up it got quite cold!!!!! We have no idea how the Captain found out but if he had not landed, poor Layla would have been a frozen cube of ice upon landing in Chicago! You now have hundreds of people on this flight who missed their connections in Chicago because some cargo employee thought Layla was baggage! Can't you just hear the explanation the airlines had to give??? Well destiny was with my dear Layla. We are positive her eggs are frozen for breeding! Somehow I will never forget the beautiful Berner ice scuplture at the specialty dinner. One must keep a sense of humor. Good things do happen! My horoscope for Thursday "there is a natural positive process taking place"...halleluha.

Barbara Grasso and the DeGrasso Kids


BERNER-L Digest 377

Date: Tue, 23 Jul 1996 09:56:37 +0200 From: "Haas, G.C." To: Subject: Re: Shipping Dogs


Just recently we shipped our puppy Ruby from Canada to The Netherlands and thought you might like to hear the story.

I flew to Canada to meet Debbie (the breeder), her dogs and of course the puppies. I had a wonderful time but after five days I had to go back home with our puppy. Debbie drove me all the way down to Calgary which is 8 hours from her house. With some stops in between Ruby did just fine and was happy in her crate. We stayed in a hotel overnight and again, Ruby adjusted just fine. The next day we went to the airport and I checked in at the KLM counter. They told me to leave the crate and we could wait till the last moment to get Ruby in her crate. I was there when they took her with them and I had to go to the plane myself. When I was in the plane I saw her little crate being carried into the cargo area and I could even see they gave her some more water in her bowl. In the plane the crew of KLM gave the notice paper which said that the puppy was in the cargo area (info so they know what "specials" they have on a flight) as a souvenir. When we arrived in Amsterdam they immediately came in with the puppy so I could take her home quickly. My parents and friend were waiting at the airport and she came bouncing out of the crate, enjoying all the attention and seeing her "big brother" Chuckie for the first time. The people at the airport couldn't believe their eyes seeing these two dogs and Ruby and Chuckie got cuddles from everyone. Then back into the car, Ruby on my lap, a one hour drive to our house. She was sleeping in the car and as soon as we got home, she drank some water, took a good look around, decided that she liked what she saw, and started playing with the toys and chased the cat.

Now Ruby was a good socialized puppy with a normal/average character (meaning, not shy or very dominant, just in between). She was nine weeks old at the time and she showed no signs of stress. I was a wreck when I arrived in Holland but as soon as I saw how she was doing I felt much better. KLM does a wonderful job flying animals, very concerned, very nice to the owners, good for the animals (special handlers) etc. If I have to do it again I most certainly would and I would again choose KLM to fly.

Hope this is of some help in making up your mind. Good luck on your search but don't let the distance be the problem.

Gisela, Paulus, Chuckie and Ruby ("speaking" English and Dutch)

Gisela Haas, Business Information Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam P.O. Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Phone: 31 10 4082031 Fax: 31 10 4523595, Email:, WWW: T/GCH Bernese Mountain Dogs, they always smile The American Quarter Horse, you'll always remember the ride



Date: Tue, 23 Jul 96 09:51:27 EDT From: molly bass To: Subject: Re: Shipping Dogs (LONG)


I laughed at your experience in shipping Ruby home because the first time I flew with my dogs was to our National Specialty in April. My dogs had both flown before but I was not with them. Delta did the same thing for me as KLM did for you. They let me know they dogs were on and gave me the slips off the top of the crates when they had been loaded. I, too, could see their crates being loaded but it is hard to miss two 700 crates going on with two men. Since the dogs were adults, men had to ride the belt with them to get them on the plane. I was worried about Bogen since he had only flown in the cabin as an 8 week old pup, but he handled it like a pro. Both bounded out of their crates in San Francisco and lay patiently while we dissembled the crates. Delta let me wait until final boarding calls to put the dogs in their crates and I actually put them on the trolley (behind "authorized personel only" doors) in Dulles that took them to the plane.

I was a nervous wreck the entire flight out and back and did drive one rude airline worker nuts at a counter in Atlanta. He wouldn't tell me if my dogs were loaded but only that "yes, there are pets on board." That wasn't good enough for me. He was very rude and asked what I wanted. I told him I wanted to know if MY DOGS were on the flight. He said, "yes, there are pets on board." Hello? Do you hear me mister? Are MY DOGS on that flight???? I sat down and refused to get on that plane until the captain himself told me he had personally sent a baggage handler to check on the cargo area and yes, there were two huge black dogs down there in huge crates with green labels. Whew! Those are my kids. Ok, I'll get on the plane now.

What was the biggest peace of mind that the flights were ok was the fact that both dogs asked to get back in their crates in San Franscico to come home. Bogen hates the crate and when he pawed at the door and willingly jumped in, I knew their flight had been fine. Back home, when we reached Dulles, both dogs happily greeted me at the baggage carousel and waited for the rest of our luggage.

Funny end note: Bogen loves to go anywhere! I get my car keys and he is by the door begging to go too. A week after we returned from California, I had to fly to South Carolina. I packed my bags and they were waiting by the door. Normally Bogen would be tripping over them and me. Not this time - he sat on his bed and literally waved goodbye. I could hear him say, "Bye Mom! I'm staying home this trip. Just send over a house sitter and I'll see you when you get back!"

Molly, Bogen, and Bianca Charlottesville, VA


BERNER-L Digest 538

Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 02:53:51 -0500 From: To: Subject: Holiday Travels with the ZenMaster

Was anyone else crazy enough to fly with their Berner at Christmas time? ZenMaster Max flew with my husband and me from Seattle, Washington to North Carolina to visit my in-laws for Christmas. We had a great Berner-fest - Max got to meet Molly Bass and Bogen and Bianca, and play with his golden retriever in-laws. I also got to meet Susan Clawson and the Falkental Berners (without Max because she had new puppies) - what a handsome bunch! Things really got exciting on the way home. We found out mid-flight that the Seattle airport was closed due to record-breaking snow and ice storms, and that travel in the Northwest generally was a nightmare. We landed in Portland, Oregon along with hundreds of other diverted and stranded travelers without a clue how we were going to get home. Not only was the Portland airport filled with stranded holiday travelers, but the airport is undergoing major construction, so the place was truly a crowded, noisy, hectic mess. Once we landed in Portland I went to rescue Max since he had already spent 7 hours in his airline crate, and left my husband to figure out how Delta planned to get us back to Seattle. I found a corner of a parking lot for Max to relieve himself, and then we wandered around the airport like homeless waifs... Ah, the joys of having a Berner! Even though the situation was nothing short of chaos, the old Berner charm was like a magnet. Everywhere we went people admired Max and wanted to ask about him and pet him...I answered the FAQ's about 300 times, but always with a smile because people said WHAT a BEAUTIFUL dog he was - and how well-behaved! The real magic was how children all over the airport were attracted to Max...and he entertained them like a pro! He was petted loved by children ranging from little kids in strollers to talkative ten year olds who wanted to see all his tricks. Mothers and fathers thanked me for the welcome diversion of having such a sweet beautiful dog entertain their tired, cranky children. He really put a smile on all those little faces! Max held court at the airport for about two hours before my husband found the LAST rental car in Portland, and we said goodby to all Max's new epic drive brought us safely to Seattle and Max slept like the tired pup he was all the way home. Just because we're gluttons for punishment, we packed up our 4-wheel drive Subaru and took off the next day to drive five hours on snowy roads to our home in the mountains in Mazama - just ahead of the next major snowstorm that closed all the roads behind us...Whew! So now we're all hanging out in Mazama with three feet of new snow, a winter wonderland, and one happy snow-covered Berner. We won't be going anywhere except on skis for a while... Best wishes for the New Year to all our Berner Friends from Max the traveling ZenMaster and exhausted Ruth, in Mazama, Washington


Date: Tue, 31 Dec 96 14:26:08 EST From: molly bass To: Subject: Re: crates and flying


I ended up putting both of my berners in #700 crates. One is 25.5 inches and 110 pounds, the other one is 26.5 inches and 115 pounds. They may have been a bit large but not too large and I figured I would rather them have a little more room to stand and brace themselves than to be cramped. The local pet food store let me bring my dogs in and "try on" the crates. Most people I know use the #500 for their berners and I probably could have too. But, in the #700's, both could lie down comfortably without having to tuck their legs too far under and both could stand up without bumping their heads. In the #500, it was a little tight and their legs looked cramped.

Do comparison shopping around the local stores that carry these crates. I actually got a great deal because my place gave them to me for what it would cost from R.C. Steele without the shipping. Don't let R.C. Steele fool you if you get the #700 (they may do the same for the #500's). The initial price is cheap but they have to be trucked so they become quite expensive. For the #700's expect to pay $120-$150 each! And, get a dolley!!!!! They are invaluable! I take apart my crates as soon as I land, nest them together, put them on the dolley, throw in my luggage, and presto! Easy transfer of tons of stuff. Now if I can only figure out how to hook the berners to the dolley and get them to do all the work!

On the tranquilizer - I refuse to let mine be tranquilized! I have heard horror stories of tranquilized animals not being able to react quickly enough to protect themselves and being badly hurt. Cargo will shift and an alert dog can better brace itself and protect itself than one who is groggy.

Good Luck with it.

Molly, Bogen, and Bianca Happy New Year from balmy Charlottesville, VA


Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 12:45:13 -0800 (PST) From: To: Subject: Flying Berners - can you picture it?

Thought I would offer a few ideas from my experiences flying dogs. I brought all my Danes and IW's here with me from England, and have since flown dogs all over the US.

Firstly, forget any crate which collapses. Not safe in any situation. Well made sturdy plastic, airline approved with two small bowls attached inside the front. All nuts and bolts tightened well. The crate in which a dog is to fly - which might be entirely different or smaller than one in which he would sleep in at home for example, should be "just" large enough for the dog to stand up, turn around and lie down. Anything larger, and he is liable to be injured should the plane hit turbulance.

Add to this a soft blanket especially for the larger breeds to protect those elbows. Some favourite cookies could be put in the little dish often supplied with the crate, but never water, since if it spills, when loading, then the dog must sit on a wet blanket for several hours. Better to offer water, then go for a pottie walk just before leaving.

Toys? - well if the dog is not a chewer I guess it would be ok although I never do, but any toy should be well inspected for dangerous parts if put in the crate with the dog. No rawhide.

Never tranquilize. If a dog is used to being crated (as he should be) before the trip, then it should not be necessary, apart from which it might be dangerous to tranquilize a dog, when he would not be monitored for (maybe) several hours.And on the subject of crating dogs, well all my dogs are crate trained from the time they are about 12 weeks. They sleep in crates all of their lives and whenever they have had to fly, they were never worried since they were just taking their bed to a new place. Once a very long time ago an airline sent a dog of mine from San Diego to Denver. She should have gone to San Francisco - just an hour away. It was actually a day and a half until she finally reached her destination, and apart from peeing for 5 minutes when let out, she was calm and happy upon arrival. After all, she was in her own bed.:)

Try never to fly in extremely hot or cold temps. "Always" chose straight through flights if possible. Make sure you watch the dog loaded and unloaded if possible. Pick animals up immediately or inspect carefully if they are to be quarantined. Put large stickers on crate. Name, address and phone numbers of owner and/or person who will pick up. I always put a sticker on a crate stating "OFFER WATER BUT DO NOT OPEN CRATE". Many dogs have darted away from some well-meaning soul who opened the crate at an airport to offer water.Water can always be put into those little dishes from the outside.

I recently flew two little Dusky Pionus Parrots from Florida to S.Calif. They also flew in a tiny dog crate to which a small perch had been glued. Their breeder supplied them with a wonderful fruit salad and several toys. When I picked them up after being in the crate for almost 11 hours, they were happily eating their fruit and entertaining everyone in the office. Their breeder flies birds all over the world every month, so knew exactly how and what to provide for their trip.

I hope this helps. Animals actually do quite well if the appropriate arrangments have been made.

Liz _____________________________________________ _____| BRIARWOOD - Since 1959 |_____ \ | BRUSSELS GRIFFONS EXOTIC BIRDS | / \ | Visit our beautiful award-winning Homepage | / / | | \ /____|_____________________________________________|____\


Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 20:17:14 -0500 From: To: Subject: Re: crates and flying

I ship my 80 lb bitches in Varikennel 500. Although many dogs this size are shipped in the 400 size, I originally bought the bigger size in case I had a slightly bigger dog. Airlines are enforcing the USDA requirements more forcefully the last year or so. The dog must be able to stand and turnaround easily. This is subject to interpretation and some people have gotten caught checking in with dog and the same crate used many times before only to be told that the crate was too small. They require absorbant material in the bottom and two plastic dishes. Have extra bolts and nuts along. The airlines can refuse to use the crate without all the bolts. Over the years I have lost a number of them.

Airlines have restrictions for shipping dogs both for high and low temperatures. In the winter months try to schedule your flight at the warmest part of the day and in the summer in the early morning. The airlines will take a breed like Berners at lower temperatures than other breeds if you get a note from your Vet that says the dog is acclimated to lower temperatures. Start watching the weather forecasts several days before you departure. Call the airlines 24 hours before to determine if there are any restrictions.

When making flight reservations, be sure to inform the airlines that you are bringing a dog. Find out what type of plane you will be flying. Some MD80 series will not fit a Varikennel 500 or larger. I think it is DC8's that will not carry dogs in the summer due to problems with temperature controls and loss of dogs. Get window seats on the right side of the plane toward the back so you can watch the crates being loaded and unloaded. Always try to get a straight through flight.

Have a health certificate within 10 days. I have not had to show one when the dog accompanied me as excess luggage but they could ask. I always have to have one when shipping a dog as cargo.

I have my dog's call name written on an envelope taped to the top of the crate. I include in the envelope information as to how I can be reached at my destination in case we get separated. You might want to add some special marking to the crate so that it is easily identifiable from a distance.

The dogs are loaded on last and unloaded first. Make sure your crate gets on and off. If it doesn't start bugging the flight attendents until the crate is loaded. Be very persistant. I saw a crate loaded once and I wasn't sure if it was the right one(hence the suggestion of special markings). I decided that the crate was a 400 and not a 500. I made the flight attendant check with the ground crew and they found Shambha still in the holding area. Of course the plane was held up while they loaded her on but think of the inconvenience having your dog not make the same flight.

Have in your carry-on all the dog things you might need. Water, food, treats, leashes and extra collars. You hear the stories of the airline calling your name and asking you to help catch your dog. Ask Mary Rogers about how Kody stopped air traffic at Stapleton Airport.

When checking in, you can do it early but ask them to wait to the latest possible time to come get the dog. I have been able to keep the dogs out from 20 to 30 minutes before the flight instead of the hour.

I never tranquilize the dogs. Tranquilizers slow down the dog's system so they can over heat easier. One study I read from Cornell attributed a higher risk of death caused by the use of tranquilizers.

Some dogs do very well flying and have no ill effects. My dog Andes was very traumatized when I flew her to the Pittsburg Specialty. She was very accustomed to her crate so that wasn't the issue. She is more sensitive to loud noises than my other dogs. I won't fly her again.

I have used Continental before shipping my dogs and they have always handled them well.

Sincerely, Eden Jonas Black Forest, CO


BERNER-L Digest 539

Date: Wed, 1 Jan 1997 12:28:39 -0500 From: To: Subject: Letter to the Pilot

Hi everyone Happy New Year!! After reading the posting about flying dogs, I pulled this letter a friend of mine who, flies her Samoyeds all the time, gave me. The ADOA (American Dog Owners As.) made up the letter. Remember be a big pain on the airplane about your dog!!! Change the wording to fit your needs, the pilots are becoming very familiar with this as many dog people are using it.

Have a great New Year Carri, Thistledown BMDs Caledonia Illinois

April 25,1996

Dear American Airlines Pilot,

I am traveling today on your flight with a two and a half year old Bern ese Mountain Dog, "Switzer", to participate in a specialty dog show in San Francisco. "Switzer" is an inexperienced flyer and is also a valuable show dog. I would like you to be informed of his presence on this flight. Please , assure me he will have continuous ventilation at all times and that he is properly placed and secured in the baggage compartment. Thank you very much for your direct attention and assistance with "Swit zer".



Date: Wed, 1 Jan 1997 13:05:38 -0500 (EST) From: (Rosemary Tierney) To: Subject: Flying Dogs

Hi Everybody,

Whenever I ship dogs or puppies I have the two containers filled with water, frozen overnight, wrapped in wads of newspaper to prevent thawing on the way to the airport, and then attach them to the crate door and secured with thick wire (twisted on the outside of door). This prevents spillage on loading and takeoff and provides fluids for the dog if he/she has a long journey. There will be the odd occasion where it may be necessary to use a mild sedative but this should not render the dog too drowsy or unconcious and probably should be tested on the dog well before travelling. A commonly used tranquiliser used on the ground is Atravet and I personally would not use this one flying, if you feel your dog is easily stressed then discuss with your veterinarian your options. My favourite crate for flying is the Vari-500 and for house-training I prefer the wire crates for puppies.

One last comment, travelling dogs should wear a flat buckle collar and never choke collars, no tags that can get stuck in the crate grills, I use the little plastic tubes that hold a rolled up piece of paper with details of final destination and these have worked well. When I travel with my dogs I carry extra leashes and rolled leather chokers or promise collars.


-- Rose Tierney Sascha Kennel (Reg.d) Nr. Ottawa, Canada.


Date: Wed, 01 Jan 1997 14:14:02 -0800 From: Pat Long Paul Dangel To: Cc: Subject: Crates Flying


Tips on flying: digest 59, digest 61; crates for flying - digest 187, travel arrangements (good for dog events) Fresh Pond Travel 800-225-4897 (digest 197). Airline recommendations, digest 193 (Delta is recommended).

As for tranquilizers - don't. As for crates - don't buy from the airline, buy from the dog supply catalogs like RC Steele or JB - see the berner stuff list at http://www.Mines.EDU/fs_home/cschamau/bmd/bernerstuff.html

As fro crate size, the dog should be able to stand up and turn around comfortably. This usually means a size 400, but if your dog runs small, then the 300 might work. Although some people have said that the airlines like to have more room rather than less, but the size 500 crate can't always be loaded into the plane normally.

Good luck,

Pat Long, Vesta Maggie, (Sam Luther) Philadelphia PA


BERNER-L Digest 542

Date: Sat, 4 Jan 1997 21:14:37 -0500 From: To:, Subject: Flying assorted animals

Let's clear up a few "flying with dogs" facts.

Iyllis Moore wrote:

Also, how cold does it get in the hold where the dogs are? If you're flying to Europe in record breaking cold? Or if you were flying to the balmy northwestern US in ditto?

The hold where animals are kept is temperature and pressure regulated, just like the cabin where passengers are. I don't know the exact temperature it's kept at (I'm sure it's lower than the passenger cabin) but a comfortable temperature for the circumstances. (Except for DC-10s in the summer, see below.)

Believe me, I've flown to Europe in record breaking cold. When we left Colorado for the Netherlands in Feb of 1989 the temps were below zero. The only time our animals were in any danger of the cold was when they were actually being transferred to the plane from the holding area. We watched as they went back and forth between planes (three flights were due to leave Denver and all but ours was cancelled due to snow). We stood in a foot of snow on the tarmac in Chicago as we collected our dog cats from the conveyor belt for a hair-raising ride across the runways in order to catch our about-to-leave-without-us-KLM flight! (As it turned out the plane was stuck in the snow and the flight was delayled until someone could come and give us a huge push anyway.)

I've also flown in the midst of summer. In fact, when we returned to the U.S. it was July. We made it to Chicago with no problems, but there they informed us that DC-10s (one of which we were scheduled to fly out on) could not take animals in the summer since they did not have proper ventilation while on the ground and it is too hot for the animals in case of any delay. Heidi and Indy took a detour to Kansas City (they had their credit card with them) while we went on straight to Denver. (I was not happy about this!)

When we moved from the Netherlands to France our moving date was not dictated by what day we wanted to fly, OH NO--instead it was dictated by when a plane with a hold large enough to hold Manda's crate was going to Lyon! Ah, the joys of moving!

When we shipped one of Indy's pups to Michigan, he could not go on the flight he was scheduled to fly out on because they weren't sure the temperature regulator in the animal hold was working property. So, he waited in the office surrounded by adoring people until another flight left 3 hours later. (He was going by Delta Dash)

Our experience has been very good with flying our animals. I particularly like United and Delta for the continental U.S. and KLM and Swiss Air (United too) across the big ocean. When we had difficulties (such as making tight connections) we found that people couldn't help enough.

By the way, no tranquilizers of any kind were ever used. Everyone did fine, even the cats.

Lynne R. in Ft. Collins CO


BERNER-L Digest 631

Date: Sun, 16 Mar 1997 17:27:20 -0000 From: "Ruth Reynolds" To: Subject: response to Lein and Cheryl re: tips for dogs' air travel

Some things you may/may not think of when flying with dogs:

Preferably schedule a non-stop flight. Consider driving to a major city for departure

The airline will sell you a crate, but get one ahead of time and accustom dog to it.

I prefer Vari-Kennels for travel. Each of your dogs should fit in a size 500 (extra large). I like these crates best due to their safety records. For the militant escape artist, a side door Kennel-aire would be my choice. If you use a crate dolly, take it as carry on or check it in a hanging bag box (box provided by the airline)

Use a 1/2 jumbo roll or full roll cheapy paper towels torn off one at a time and thrown into crate bottom for absorbant bedding. Feces and urine cling to the paper and wad up in a corner of the crate.

Keep leash on your person at all times when traveling with your dog. Don't pack it away. Keep a bowl and small (pint) bottle of water with you also.

Carry at least two days' food on the plane with you. Don't transport all the dog's food in checked luggage.

I put a reflective tape strip around the upper diagonal corners of my dog's crate so I can spot my dog's crate on the tarmack/conveyor,tram from a distance.

I hand the flight attendant greeting me when I get on the plane a 3 x 5 card with my name and seat #. I ask him/her to confirm that my dog has been loaded (if I could not observe it myself from the waiting area) and to return the card to me. Northwest does this for passengers at check in. Card is applied to crate at check in and given to passenger on the plane after dog is loaded

Fly Northwest, Delta, Midwest Express whenever possible. Avoid United altogether. This is based, not only on experience, but on the rules and regulations these airlines have which assure, and in the case of United negate, the welfare of the animals transported.

Check the destination codes applied to the dog's crate. If you have questions about the destination codes...check to see they are the same as stated on your ticket. Mistakes can happen. Check behind everyone for accuracy in routing.

I hydrate the dogs well prior to departure. Upon arrival at our hotel destination, I water them with small amounts frequently. If they are very thirsty and want to drink too much too fast, I'll add ice to their water.

If the weather is warm, use two rolls of paper towels in the bottom, and wet the dog with water before putting in the crate.

I use no tranquilization. In case of accident, I want my dog to use its best judgement. That's why I don't take any either.

Take a deep breath and KNOW your dog will be just fine. Your worrying transfers right to the dog. Picture your dog lying down taking a long nap all through the flight. Practice this mental exercise ahead of time. It really does help me chill.

Bon voyage!

Ruth Reynolds Pioneer Bernese Greenwood FL


BERNER-L Digest 633

Date: Tue, 18 Mar 1997 00:12:59 -0800 From: Kevin McCabe To: Subject: Re: Don't fly with dry ice

I may be able to shed some light on the Dry Ice subject. Part of my job in the Coast Guard is to certify hazardous materials for air shipment, so I am familiar with dry ice and it's dangers.

Dry Ice's chemical name (shipping name) is "Carbon Dioxide, Solid". When it "melts", it actually sublimates...goes directly from a solid to a gas without ever being a liquid in between. The gas that it gives off is, you guessed it, carbon dioxide.

If the cargo hold of the aircraft in question isn't EXTREMELY well ventilated, the carbon dioxide can build to unsafe concentrations. And, carbon dioxide is heavier than air, so it tends to settle to the floor of the cargo hold (read- crate level).

I know in the military, we are strictly limited to the amount of dry ice we can carry on board, and the civilian airlines are generally more restrictive than us.

Whoever recommended NOT flying your pets in a cargo hold with a shipment of dry ice is very wise. I would STRONGLY agree that it is a bad idea. Odds are that the quantities the airline is carrying are small enough that it wouldn't cause a major problem (we're allowed to carry up to 600lbs/272Kg on my planes-and I fly with it), but I certainly wouldn't want to risk my pets life on it in an enclosed cargo hold.

Carbon dioxide is a deadly gas in concentrate, and should not be taken lightly, even though we exhale it with every breath. Exhale=good...inhale=Bad ju-ju!

Still waiting for the day I can be a "berner-mom"-- Jessi McCabe


Date: Tue, 18 Mar 1997 10:00:01 -0500 (EST) From: To:, Subject: Re: United Flights Problems

Dale Peggy,

I know that someone posted NOT to fly on United with your animals (Ruth--I think??), although I have to disagree with her. (Sorry, Ruth!) We have flown MANY times on United and found them to be very good with our animals. In fact, we flew United from Switzerland to Denver, CO on United and we had no problems with two 4-month old Berners and two cats. But, everyone has different experiences.

We flew a Berner (Manda) and three cats from Denver to Amsterdam on United to Chicago, then KLM to Amsterdam. The weather was horrible and we were worried. United went well above-and-beyond to make sure we and the animals all made it in good physical and mental health! To the point of us standing on the tarmac in a foot of snow looking up into the belly of the plane telling the ground crew which ones were our animals, then being whisked away across the runways (with all the animals) in a United ground crew vehicle to catch our ready to depart KLM flight.

In my opinion (and everyone has one on this subject) I will only fly United Delta with animals within the U.S. Of course, some of this is probably my own personal preference in airlines. We flew Indy to Westminster on Delta and they were very helpful in checking to make sure Indy had made our connection.

NO TRANQUILIZERS!!!! You can give some Rescue Remedy before you put your dog in the crate for the final time before boarding, but I would not give anything else.

I always watch for my animals to be put aboard the plane. Sometimes this works, and sometimes they have already been loaded by the time we get there; or they don't bring them out until the last minute and load them the last thing. In this case you can watch out the window of the plane for them. I tell the steward/stewardess that I want to be informed before take off that my dog/cat/whatever is on the plane with me in case I don't see them loaded. They are always very nice and helpful about this. Be firm--if you think they have forgotten, remind them. After all they are very busy getting ready.

Another thing that someone on the list suggested a while back (I think it was Carri Lindblom) was that you put a note on the crate telling the dog's name, its final destination, your name and number in case you get separated. I did this with Indy when we went to Westminster and I could see the ground crew reading it and talking to him.

Most of all, try not to worry too much. Maybe you should give yourself some Rescue Remedy too? ;-)

Lynne R.


Date: Tue, 18 Mar 1997 10:05:55 -0800 From: (Elizabeth G. Walker) To: Subject: dogs in the sky

I want to ditto Lynne's comments. I have had nothing but good experiences with United (so far).

Like Lynne, when I am making a connecting flight, I always go to the desk at the gate of the new flight and have the attendant radio the guys on the ground. I do not board the flight until the attendant gives me confirmation that my dog has been loaded on the plane. Neither do I sedate my dogs; the Rescue Remedy idea sounds good, though.

By the way, someone once told me ('though I've never tried it) that, if you want your dog to have a bowel movement before he goes on a long flight, light a match, blow it out, let it cool a moment or two, then insert it in the dog's rectum. Within 5 minutes, the sulphur in the match head should cause the dog to have a b.m. Has anyone tried this with success?

Liz Walker Dublin, CA


Date: Tue, 18 Mar 1997 13:32:01 -0800 From: (Jim Vanderhook) To: Subject: flying Berners

Dear Dale Peggy,

We flew to DIA from Vancouver on United Airlines last September with our Berner, Sigge. United Airlines were fabulous, despite the fact that our little gaffer bucked and bucked until he busted his crate en route and got out in the hold. Then it turned into one of those horror stories when you get pulled off the plane just as you're disembarking and asked to get your dog. AAAAACK! "Maam, you have a dog on board?" Its amazing how seven little words can make a chill run up your spine and suck out all the blood left in your circulation system..... "Is he all right?" "Oh,yeah he's fine.. We just need you to go get him." They led me down the stairs , onto the tarmac, and to the cargo hold. There were several nervous baggage handlers hovering around the door of the hold; the hold door was ajar and a berner nose was sticking out of it. You could just make out the nostrils which were working overtime taking in all the new smells. "He's really big! Does he bite?" We were going to try and get Sigge back into his crate. It wouldn't have been too hard except when Sigge saw me he catapaulted out of the hold and landed on the ramp beside me and started doing his little greeting dance.. His nose and face were bloody and cut. That, I think is the point where every rule was broken at DIA and also the reason I would fly with United again. Security and the baggage handlers took one look at Sigge's nose, the crate, and me and decided that he would walk through security and DIA rather than get shoved back into the crate. So Sigge and I got an escorted walk along the tarmac, through the baggage handling areas, up the stairs and into arrivals. He even got to ride their new rail system through the airport. He enjoyed himself thoroughly, got petted by children and strangers and even had the audacity to sit on someone's foot in the rail car. Now I won't get into the reasons why Sigge broke out of his crate because that would make a very long post indeed. All I really wanted to say was this. If you're flying to DIA they will take care of your dog. Its true that the baggage handlers at DIA that I met weren't really dog friendly and were nervous but who can blame them? After all a 100 lb dog thats more than just a little excited and traumatized can be foreboding and CAN bite - no matter how wonderful that dog's temperament is- but they did make the right decision for the dog and they DID have the dogs health and safety as their utmost concern.

Magda Vanderhook and Siegfried (I won't be flying again, will I Mum?)

Jim Magda Vanderhook Alpental Bernese Mountain Dogs Garibaldi Highlands, B.C.


BERNER-L Digest 635

Date: Wed, 19 Mar 1997 11:40:26 -0500 From: Pecans To: Subject: the Plane facts

In 1995, I flew with my then puppy, Moses, to the National Specialty in Georgia direct flight there and back on Delta-Delta was marvelous! Here is what I wrote about the experience for BERNERBLATT, newsletter of the Nashoba Valley (New England) club. There are certain facts to know when traveling with a dog, particularly if you are using a 700 (48"LX32"WX35"H) or 500 (40"LX27"WX30"H) airline crate. Originally, I had intended to fly from the Warwick, Rhode Island airport, near my home, on a direct flight to Atlanta. I assumed the cargo door on the airplane was large enough because it was a direct flight to a big city. Upon phoning Delta, I learned that the cargo doors on the planes scheduled between Providence, Rhode Island and Atlanta were not large enough to accomodate a 500 Vari-Kennel, into which young Moses fit nicely. McDonald Douglas MD 80s, 88s, and 11s do not have cargo doors large enough to accomodate 500 or 700 Vari-Kennels. Consequently, I had to depart with Moses from Logan Airport in Boston, MA, about an hour's drive from my home near the Rhode Island border. My flight from Boston to Georgia was on a Lockhead L10-11 plane (cargo door 60"HX43"W)and from Georgia to Boston on a Boeing 757 (cargo door 48"HX55"W) Both were direct flights. IF YOU USE A TRAVEL AGENT, even one you have known for years, DO NOT ASSUME that this person has knowledge of flying big dogs. In addition to the usual tags and stickers which the airlines require on dog crates, I placed a sign on top of Moses' Vari-Kennel saying (on our return flight) "Monday, April 10, 1995 My name is Moses. I am traveling to Massachusetts with my owner, Lisa Allen. Our home is at (write your name and address and phone number here) We are scheduled to depart form Georgia on flight 350 Delta 8:31 AM Monday, April 10, 1995 to Boston's Logan Airport. Please make certain I am put in a well ventilated area on the same plane on which my owner is a passenger. Make sure my Vari-Kennel is NEVER left in the sun as heat is VERY DANGEROUS to me. I am not a frequent flyer so please speak to me in a kind and reassuring manner. Thank you." I always get a window seat on the right side (cargo side) of the airplane so that I can see my dog loaded and unloaded. I also can see airline personnel and YES, They Do Read The Sign! Also, the flight attendant on the airplane will check to make sure your dog is loaded so make certain to request this. Dogs are always the last to be loaded and the first to be unloaded to maximize their comfort. Other things to remember when flying your dog; a health certificate dated within ten days of your flights. I also carry with me Moses' rabies certificate and a record of his vaccinations. Reconfirm your flights with the airlines before departing and returning and make certain that they have not changed the make of the plane as that could mean a change in size of cargo doors. Also, as I understand it, now, due to federal regulations, dogs must be removed from crates (by owners) for examination of crate, so be prepared for this. Also, when I fly with my dog, I park my vehicle in lots near the airport which supply 24 hour security and transportation to my airline. Low-Cost Parking Services near Boston's Logan Airport is very good-their number is 617-561-0156 and so is Thrifty Parking service near T.F. Green Airpot in Rhode Island. Their numbers are 401-732-2000 or 401-739-8660. They have a van to take you and Berner and luggage and crate right to airport and return you to your vehicle. Also, if you rent a vehicle at an airport be sure it is of a size to accomodate your Vari-Kennel and that the rental company allows dogs. So, there is much to be done but you will gain some peace of mind. Lisa Allen


BERNER-L Digest 637

Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 04:16:31 -0500 (EST) From: To: Cc: Subject: Tranquilizers and crates

Hi! CALM DOWN! Travelling in a crate does not bother most dogs. If you cannot get your dog to settle down in the crate, sleep with a dog toy for a couple of nights to get your scent on it and that should comfort the dog somewhat. A knotted rope bone works really well for this. (Get a really BIG one).

A 400 crate should work also. Most dogs make themselves into little balls while airborne. I've used 400's for travel for years and to ship my bitches in to be bred. It works just fine and most of my bitches have been in the 80 pound range.

DO NOT GIVE THE DOG A TRANQUILIZER!!!!! If something happens, youwnat the dog to have all her faculties. FOr example, if she were to get out of her crate in the hold, when you called her, you would wnat ther to come to you.

Write to Delma Smith at and ask her about tranquilzers and Katy. Katy was never the same......

You take the tranquilizers, and verify your dog is on the plane. DO NOT TAKE LATER FOR AN ANSWER. If the flight attendents seem to be blowing you off, stand up and walk to the front of the aircraft. Remain there until you get verification regarding your dog. (They can't take off until you are in your seat!) I once held up a plane for 30 minutes while they went to get the dog which was still sitting in baggage.

I don't know what airline you are flying, but I've never had a bad experience with any airline I've used so far. I've ALWAYS used United when shipping dogs unaccompanied because they are the most likely to try to ge an earlier connection and phone the person at the recieving end when the dog arrives.

I've used Continental, Northwest, United and Delta when flying with a dog. Continental cancelled a flight (returning from the Arizona Specialty) in Denver and we couldn't get connected for 3 hours. The folks at Continental brought us jackets and got the dogs out for us so we could walk them and get them water.

The ground crew ususally make a big fuss over the dogs. People in the airport will stop you and ask questions. Just have fun with your dog and soon you will be seasoned doggy "jet-setters!"

Cindy Valentine (The sun is actually shining here today!)


Date: Thu, 20 Mar 1997 10:35:45 -0500 (EST) From: To: Subject: Travel w/berners

From Dr. Pitcairn's Compete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs Cats: (p.178) For animals suseptible to nausea - "occasionally it is wise to fast a susceptible pet the day before departure or on the first day of the trip...a 24-hour fast will generallly prevent it from eliminating during the journey. Aconitum napellus 30C (homeopathic) is very useful for minimizing fear and upset before traveling. Give one hour before leaving home; give another pellet just a few minutes before actually leaving the house...If nervouseness returns, give your pet another dose(one pellet) during the trip itself...very safe to use and often functions better than a tranquilizer." I personally have not tried this yet. Also mentioned there and from other sources: purchase the little barrel ID tags and insert the address of the place where you are staying while away from home attach to dog's collar. I had a wonderful mutt who over a period of years flew from Israel to Switzerland, Switzerland to New York, New York to London, and London to New York in the days when I didn't know enough to worry. Just as well because never had any problems. Us nervous owners need a few deep breaths plus whater it takes just to get us through the "ordeal". Also - the #500 size Vari-Kennel was recommended to me for my berners- will know if its right when they arrive UPS in a few days. Bon voyage all! Claire Coppola


BERNER-L Digest 639

Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 20:21:35 -0600 From: (Katy Hinman) To: Subject: Flying berner...We made it!

Just wanted to let everyone know that Eliza and I made it safely to Atlanta and to thank everyone for their advice. I did receive some conflicting advice, so I couldn't follow everyone's tips to the letter, but we did okay. I ended up getting her a bigger crate (a 500) just because I figured she might be more likely to go in it. She wasn't, but it made me feel better. The more I think about it, the more I think I can trace her more or less sudden dislike of crates to the one time I had to leave her at a kennel for two days. I'm convinced she didn't sleep, eat or drink the entire time she was there, since the moment we got home she drank an entire dish of water, ate a huge bowl of food and then fell asleep for about a day and a half. Needless to say, I won't be taking her there again.

I was still waffling on the tranquilizer issue last night, and decided to try having her sleep in the crate for a few hours. So I put it in my room and put her in it and tried to go to sleep. When she hadn't stopped whining after two hours and was panting extremely fast, I decided to let her out. She ran around the house for a few minutes and then came back in the room and went to sleep on the floor. Well, I found out this morning that when she was running around the house, she went into the bathroom and had a diarrhea attack all over the floor (yes, I did take her outside and let her go to the bathroom right before I put her in the crate). So I called the vet this morning and they suggested not feeding her at all, and then just giving her half of one of the 25 mg tranquilizers I had gotten (their original recommendation was a whole tablet) to "take the edge off." So I did, and guess what? It worked! She was much calmer about getting in the crate, did not appear to have any problems on the flight (ie, no mess in the crate) and was even well-behaved when I let her out. She still had all her functions, and even responded to commands, but the tranquilizer really helped to make her (and me) less neurotic.

So, everything went well. The flight was fine. We made it. AND, the people at LaGuardia were super-duper nice. The woman who helped me was a dog person herself and really put me at ease. Put in one more vote for taking pets on Delta!

Sorry this is so long, but I really wanted to thank everyone again for putting up with my last minute anxiety attack and for all your good advice.

Katy and Eliza (okay, mom, what was it you were so worried about?) Sound Beach, NY (well, Atlanta, GA right now)


BERNER-L Digest 670

Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 11:21:58 -0400 (EDT) From: To: Subject: the plane facts

Flying With your Dog: There are two terms used for transporting dogs by air. BAGGAGE: You may only transport your dog as accompanied baggage if you are a passenger traveling on the same flight to your dog's destination. CARGO: the animal may travel unaccompanied, either through the regular cargo channels or via the special expedited delivery service that many airlines have developed. Animals in the cargo system are transported in the same pressurized holds as those in the checked baggage system. The United States Department of Agriculture says that your dog must be at least eight weeks old and fully weaned before traveling with the airlines. Plane travel can be frightening for any age dog as they are separated from their masters. Sedation is not advised since the effects of tranquilizers on animals at high altitudes is unpredictable. THE KENNEL: the USDA has regulations on the size of the kennel used. The crate/kennel must be sturdy, properly ventilated and large enough that the dog may freely stand , turn around, and lie down. It must also close securely with a mechanism that requires no special tools to operate. The kennel should contain no more than one adult dog or two pups under twenty pounds. It should also display "LIVE ANIMALS," in letters at least one inch high, on the top and at least one side. Also indicate the top with arrows and/or "THIS END UP" signage. At the time of travel, you must certify the last time (within four hours before tendering the dog to the airlines) that your dog was offered food and water, but do not make the mistake of over feeding your dog as it may cause motion sickness. Food and water dishes, both empty, must be secured within the kennel and be accessible from the outside. If any food is necessary, an ample supply should be attached in a bag outside the kennel along with a feeding schedule. The crate should also contain an absorbent material or bedding such as newspaper. As far in advance as possible, let your dog get to know the flight kennel. Leave it open in the house with a favorite toy inside so he will spend some time in the kennel and his own "cave" will give him a sense of security. from April 4, 1997 DOG be continued...Lisa Allen


Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 19:32:05 -0400 From: Pecans To: Subject: the plane facts, conlusion...

HELPFUL HINTS... Carry a leash so you can walk your dog before and after his flight. Do not put a leash on the animal, either inside or attached to the outside of the kennel. Mark the kennel with your dog's name. Mark the crate with the telephone number of a person at the destination who can be contacted about your animal. The person designated to pick up your dog, if you are not flying with him, at the final destination should be trustworthy and relaible. After a plane journey, your dog and the airline personnel, will be most unhappy if someone is not at the airport when the flight arrives. INTERLINE TRANSFER If this is necessary, fly on the same flights with your dog. If it means driving to an airport farther away from your home to get a direct or non-stop flight, do it! A "non-stop" flight is exactly that. Leave airport "A" and fly non-stop to airport "B". A "direct" flight means service on the same airline/aircraft from airport "A" to airport "B" but there will be one or more stops in between. When making your reservations, check to see that there is not, in fact, a change of aircraft on a "direct" flight. You will find this occasionally to be the case. On a trip involving more than one airline, you will have to claim your dog at the connecting stop and then check in your dog for the second flight. This is if your dog is traveling as excess baggage. Be sure to plan adequate time for this transfer. If your dog is traveling cargo, the dog will be transferred by airline personnel to the next airline but here it is vitally important that you do not book a flight when the change of planes will take place in extreme temperatures. INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL Really tricky unless you plan ahead. Check to see if country to which your dog is traveling requires a period of quarantine. For example, Great Britain, Japan, and Australia have a quarantine; you will have to make arrangements. Other countries such as Norway and Sweden will allow dogs to enter provided they are individually identified by tattooing or a readable micro chip, have been vaccinated for rabies and have a specific laboratory tested immunity. Some countries require all documents regarding your dog's travel to be in their language. Your travel agent should be able to give you the address and phone number of the closest consulate or embassy of the country your dog will visit. Contact them for complete shipping and entry requirements. Do everything you can to assist the airline in providing the safest and most comfortable trip for your dog. from DOG NEWS April 4, 1997 article by Dee Mattern Lisa Allen


BERNER-L Digest 676

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 11:23:45 -0400 (EDT) From: To: Cc: Subject: Airline kennel size ALERT

ALERT FOR THOSE TRAVELING TO THE NATL WITH THEIR DOGS!!!! Continental Airlines has been giving out INCORRECT information about kennel size that can be accomodated in the cargo area. PLEASE CHECK WHAT SIZE PLANE ON WHICH YOU ARE TRAVELING. On airplane models "McDonald Douglas 80" , (MD 80) , the cargo door will not accomodate any kennel larger than 32x22x33 (Vari-kennel intermediate size- too small for most adult berners). This specifically affects Continental Flight 138 on Sunday, May 18 , Denver/ Newark. Also, Continental in/out of Cleveland and Houston are afffected. United Airlines also uses alot of these planes, too. TO BE SAFE, CHECK WITH YOUR AIRLINES ASAP.


BERNER-L Digest 679

Date: Sat, 19 Apr 1997 00:23:39 -0400 (EDT) From: To: Subject: More on Airline Restrictions


I have been reading quite a bit lately on the findings of many concerning airline travel with our pets...........

As an Airline employee with United let me share some knowledge that may help quite a few of you that still have unanswered questions about kennel sizes and aircraft types.

Aircraft All Year ::: Aircraft 1 May - 30 Sep ----------- ------------- ----------- ------------------------ 320 {airbus} 4 pets 727-100 5 pets 747 10 pets 727-200 6 pets 757 4 pets 737 5 pets 767 9 pets DC-10 0 pets 777 4 pets

As you can see our DC-10 has an embargo from 1 May to 30 Sep that restricts pets from being transported in the cargo hold... Also keep in mind that - If outside Tempature is above 85 F / 29 C or below 45 F / 7 C Airport personell will make the final decisionas to whether the pet will or will *NOT* be accepted..

All United aircraft{ Except United Express } are pressurized/Heated and can acomadate all airline approved kennel sizes [ small through extra large ] with the following restrictions: Extra Extra large/over 115" Model 700 series kennels will NOT fit on 737 be very careful when booking your flight...

I also have another suggestion of my own and that is make sure you put a large sign on the kennel that says " Do not open door to pet this dog" I wont go into detail just make sure that sign is on along with the other necessary info...

I hope this will clear up a lot of confusion at least to those flying in on United [ which I will be doing with 2 of mine ]...there are a few more things that those of you who have never flown with your dogs should be aware of but I will not take up any more room here.....feel free to E mail me with any questions and I will be glad to help

E mail me at BERNER 7 Kelly Ireland


BERNER-L Digest 751

Date: Sun, 8 Jun 1997 14:03:11 -0400 (EDT) From: To: Subject: the plane facts

According to the American Animal Hospital Association, 53 percent of pet

owners vacation or travel with their pet... The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture regulates the transportation of animals such as dogs and cats, so airlines generally have the same requirements for pet travel. Travelers should contact the airline in advance for specific travel information. Reservations for pets and people should be made at the same time since only a certain number of pets are allowed on each flight. A direct midweek flight or one with minimum stops usually is best. AAHA suggests and many major airlines require pets be examined by a veterinarian no more than ten days prior to the date of travel. Current health and rabies vaccination certificates from the veterinarian are required at the time of departure. The age and size of the pet, time and distance of flight and regular dietary routine must be considered. Regulations state that dogs and cats must be at least eight weeks old and weaned at least five days before flying. The pet also should be exercised, placed in a cage with complete identification and a license tag by the owner and picked up promptly upon arrival. The proper cage is available from most airlines and pet supply shops. It should be large enough to allow the pet to stand, turn and lie down; strong, free of interior protrusions with handles or grips; leakproof bottom covered with plenty of absorbent material; ventilation on opposite sides with exterior rims or knobs to prevent blocked air flow; "Live Animals" label, including arrows indicating upright position and owner's name, address, and phone number. Travelers should also be aware that there may be quarantines or other health requirements to consider at various, particularly foreign, locations. A full-service travel agency may be able to provide this information. Travelers may need to contact the appropriate embassy or consulate at least four weeks in advance. Finally, owners should consider whether the pet is comfortable with traveling. Some animals do not function well in unfamiliar surroundings. Some physically impaired dogs cannot withstand the rigors of travel. Lisa Allen from July 1997 DOG WORLD


BERNER-L Digest 798

Subject: the plane facts Date: Mon, 14 Jul 1997 21:12:08 -0400 From: Pecans To:

The American Humane Association cautions veterinarians and pet owners not to sedate or tranquilize pets traveling by air. "An animal's natural ability to balance and maintain equilibrium is altered under sedation," noted Dr. Patricia Olson, Ph.D., director of veterinary affairs and studies for the American Humane Association. "When the kennel is moved, a sedated animal may not be able to brace and prevent injury." Whether flying in the cabin or in cargo, animals are exposed to increased altitude pressures of approximately 8,000 feet. Increased altitude, according to Olson, can create rspiratory and cardiovascular problems for dogs and cats who are sedated or tranquilized. "Brachycephalic dogs and cats are especially affected," noted Olson. "Although thousands of pets are transported uneventfully by air, airline officials believe that when deaths do occur, they often result from the use of sedation."

Lisa Allen from 7/97 "Northeast Canine Companion"


BERNER-L Digest 802

Subject: RE: SHIPPING PUPS IN SUMMER Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 08:04:04 +0000 From: Delma Smith To: ""

I shipped a pup to California last summer using American Airline. I chose a DIRECT FLIGHT that left Kansas City around 6 A.M. Although it meant some inconvenience to me, it was worth it to know that Duncan would be shipped in the EARLY MORNING hours. Since he needed to be checked in an hour and a half prior to departure, I chose to drive up the evening before and check into a nearby motel. Yes, I know it was more expensive but still worth the peace of mind. I did not bill the buyer for the extra expense but they kindly added an extra $40 to their check when they found I had to go up early. It worked out very well for Duncan but I'm aware there are always exceptions. EVERY airline, just like every vet, every breeder, every owner etc., has slipped up or overlooked a critical detail at some time or other. It happens! Still, considering the thousands of animals shipped per day, the track record over all seems pretty darn good.

My advice: If possible, choose COUNTER TO COUNTER. SUMMER..ship very EARLY on a DIRECT flight. WINTER..ship after NOON, on a DIRECT flight. Ask to keep the pup with you during the hour or so before loading..Most airlines are happy for you hang around so you you can exercise the youngster just before they are ready to load him. Good luck and congratulations on a lovely litter. Delma Smith (In Pittsburg, KS where the grass is green and growing)


BERNER-L Digest 803

Subject: Question about Shippiing Dogs by Air Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 18:49:12 -0400 From: "Herb Hoffman" To:

Most of the messages have been very good on this subject. Someone said don't ship in the summer, but that could be totally unrealistic. The winter could be bad also.

Each airline has its own regulations regarding shipping of animals. The best thing to do is determine what airline has the best non-stop flight for you. Someone suggested to ship early in the day in the summer and that is very good advice. However, if you live in San Francisco it is not nearly as important as if you live in Philadelphia during a heat wave. When you have determined what airline has the best schedule for you, call them up and find out what is required of you and what their rules are. The best folks to call for this information is the local air cargo office of that airline. The number is usually different than the reservations number and there is usually a number that actually connects with someone at the local airport. The airline will usually let a pet owner stay with the dog until the last minute and you should do just that. If you have picked a non-stop flight (I wouldn't choose anything other than a non-stop flight if at all possible) then the dog will have less stress. I have seen dogs on the ramp in a crate waiting between flights that are very unhappy. The noise is loud, the smells are very unusual and strong, vehicles are speeding by and bags are flying. I was an airline pilot for many years and always felt sorry for animals that were waiting on the ramp for a connection. Do not be afraid to cancel the shipment at the last minute if you find out that there is a heat wave at the intermediate stop or something else that will affect your dog. Actually some airlines have rules about maximum temperatures allowed at intermediate stops with regard to shipment of animals. You have probably read that it is not wise to sedate a dog for shipment. I would not, but if you have no opinion, ask your vet for advise.

One other thing. Many times when a cargo door is opened, an animal who has gotten out of their container, jumps out and runs away. This just happened again at our local Atlantic City Airport and I never did hear whether or not they found the dog. Just do whatever you can to ensure that the crate door will not come open unless someone wants it open.

Someone else said that there are many dogs shipped every day by air and get to their destination unharmed. There is no reason you can't have the same results if you plan accordingly.

Good flying, Herb Hoffman (Sue is the dog expert half, I'm just the lugger) Hoffhund Bernese Mays Landing, NJ


BERNER-L Digest 826

Subject: Airline Prices to fly Dogs Soar! Date: Sun, 3 Aug 1997 08:16:04 -0400 (EDT) From: To:

With United airlines, flying a dog is going to increase 100%. United recently doubled the one-way ticket price for larger dogs from 50 dollars to 100 dollars on all domestic flights. Round-trip fare is now 200 dollars. Under United's new policy, a Pekingese can still fly for 50 dollars but the owner of a Pointer has to fork over 100 dollars. No other major airline has followed the same track. But some airline representatives believe that the other carriers will soon follow because airlines usually follow each other closely in pricing. Reservation agents said the carrier changed its canine ticket prices in March. The new fares are for intermediate size dogs, large dogs and extra large dogs. Technically, United charges different amounts for the size of the crate or kennel used to transport the animal. The higher ticket prices apply to passengers who fly on the same plane as their dogs. Shipping your dog alone by air freight is more expensive with the cost determined by the weight of dog and crate.

Lisa Allen from Sun. 8/3 "The Providence Sunday Journal"


BERNER-L Digest 920

Subject: Flying Our Dogs Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 10:34:55 -0400 (EDT) From: To: CC:

Hi Teresa and Everyone:

I would like to thank Teresa for alerting us all to this situation with American Airlines that resulted in the tragic loss of Bunny. It is absolutely inexcusable to me that any animal would be put into an area of the airplane that is not meant for transporting animals, whether the flight is 4 minutes or 44 minutes or 44 hours. The thought of what that poor dog went through trying to breathe during that flight causes me to weep in anguish and truely breaks my heart. The fact that this dog suffered as the result of a decision made by an airline employee who KNEW that this dog would not have air and chose to put the dog in the compartment anyway........well........there are no words.

I accessed the American Airlines webpage, and the address for their Consumer Relations Department is as follows:

American Airlines Consumer Relations PO Box 619612 MD 2400 DFW Airport, TX 75261-9612 FAX (817) 967-4162

If this story moved you (the way it did me), I would suggest dropping them a line to let them know how you feel. Maybe if we all do this, we can help prevent another tragedy, maybe even one closer to home. Let's do what we can to help insure that all animals flying do so as safely as possible.


Jaye Carl and Lucy


BERNER-L Digest 938

Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 04:13:44 -0800 From: Lary Lawson To: Cc: Subject: re:airline travel help

My 21 month old Berner "Whitney" and I have flown three round trips, Boston/San Fransisco, within the last 8 months. Here's some things I learned that might help your sister, Kathleen...

The fare is based on whether you fly with your dog on the same plane. Animals are considered excess baggage so cost from $50-$100. If you are not on the plane with them, it cost like a human ticket. If she has the option, have her on the same plane! Insist on it! If her dog has the reservation as cargo or excess baggage, then it should be no problem.

Check with the airline for their policies to see if the kennel needs to be assembled or not before check-in, and/or if you can take it to the cargo area and leave it (dogless). It might need to be inspected at the check-in desk. I've dealt with both situations and her dog may get impatient waiting for her to undo and do back all those screws if they insist on an inspection. (I had it happen)

Check with the airline as to what type of plane she will be on. There are two commercial aircraft that the cargo doors are not big enough to accommodate a large or extra-large (series 500 and up ) crate. I'm not sure but think it's the MD-80 and Fokker-100. Maybe this is the reason the airline says they might not fly together. If this is the case, have her change airlines or flight times that a larger cargo doored aircraft might make the same trip.

Check with the airline about food, water and cup requirements for the crate. United says you must have two cups attached to the kennel door, and fed and watered within 4 hours of flight time. (I forgot a cup once, but they had a spare) The airline will make you fill out a form and sign about this, so get it right! American Airlines only requires one cup. As she has a layover, I'd put two, and a note over the door of the crate saying "Water me". On her layover, the baggage crew will fill the cups.

Check with the airline about time limitations for health certificates. Keep one with your pets ticket, and tape one to the crate. Also on the crate have it well marked in at least two places with the destination address and an emergency address. I do this in a plastic baggy, taped on the crate. Be sure the dogs name is on the crate, as the baggage handlers might talk to them...

Have a collar on the dog in the crate (breakaway type) with ID tag on.

Have her take her dog to the airport several times before flight day, and just walk around, making it a positive experience. Jet fuel exhaust smells strong, and luggage carts can run over tails! Look around for that last minute "pee spot", and have someone in Jacksonville find the nearest spot near cargo pickup so the dog can go ASAP upon arrival. I always pack a carry on for Whitney with treats, paper towels, plastic bags, her favorite toy, and a bottle of water she is used to drinking.

Here is the routine I use with great success: I pack the kennel, and my luggage on a cart, and with Whitney on leash head for the check-in counter. She gets lots of attention for distraction, and then we are escorted to cargo. Here we assemble her crate, take her outside to pee, then load her. I wait with her until she has to be taken away (lots of treats). I rush to the gate and take my right side window seat so I can see the cargo trucks. On a 3x5 card I write "Captain and Crew, My large dog Whitney will be on this flight with us. Please notify me before push back that she is loaded safely. Thanks, Lary Lawson seat XX-X.", and hand it to a flight attendant. I always get a response to this, in fact even over the loudspeaker one time!

You occasionally hear horror stories about this topic, but after peeking inside the cargo hold of a 757, and talking to airline employees from pilots to cargo handlers, feel fine about the pets physical safety. Animals are always loaded last and unloaded first. Several times Whitney was waiting for me at baggage claim before I got there. Most baggage handlers are aware of a pets needs, so they keep them in the shade and talk to them. The crates are strapped in tight, and usually in the forward hold (the last loaded and smooth as first class) so not to be surrounded by luggage. The air in cargo is the same we breath in the fuselage so is temperature controlled. There is always a light on.

Dogs don't sleep well on planes and get mighty thirsty, so upon arrival Whitney likes that familiar water I carried on that we give her after uncrating, and a good pee in the area we scoped out at the airport earlier.. Then after a few more treats she takes a long nap in the car, snuggled with her toy from the carry-on, on the way to the destination she has set out for. She always wakes up just being glad to be with her dads no matter where she is!

Hope this helps ...

Lary and Whitney (who sends big hugs to her grandmas, hopes Boris is OK, and says, have your dogs CERFed!)


BERNER-L Digest 962

Date: Sat, 15 Nov 97 23:05:36 EST From: (538280000-Scott) To: Subject: BMD under a airplane seat????

Hello List, Just a question for the Canadian l-ers.I am looking to ship a puppy from Ontario to Calgary,Alberta in the next 3 weeks.I do not want to send her cargo am looking for anyone flying there who could possibly take my puppy as "carry-on" luggage to store under their plane seat.Thanks in Advance,

I was told that any puppy that is placed under the seat must be less then 8 inches high. A 8 week old puppy is 10+ inches. Has anyone on the berner-l flown with a BMD under the seat?

Dean Scott Kutztown, Pa.

************************** BERNER-L Digest 963

Date: Sat, 15 Nov 1997 23:42:37 -0900 From: Kevin McCabe To: Subject: Re: BMD under an airplane seat??

Hello all!

I flew from Nashville, Tenn to Kodiak, Alaska (roughly 4,000 miles) with a 9 week, 5 day old Berner under my seat on United Airlines. Toga weighed just under 20 pounds at the time. I bought one of the Sherpa Bags that many of the mail order catalogs carry. I got the large size (measures 11.5"W x 11"H x 19.5"L) from RC Steele. The bag fit perfectly under the seat in front of me lengthwise, although it does stick out a bit and cut down on leg room for you. Toga just barely fit in the bag comfortably, and had I waited another week, I would've been out of luck.

It depends on the airline you are flying, but most of the majors accept the Sherpa bags in cabin. It was well worth the cost of the bag (about $80US) to have Toga right by my feet... okay, she was actually on the seat alongside of me for most of the flights! The bag even has a strap on the side to run the seat belt through! :o)

The 8" high thing is for the hard sided carriers that fit under the seat, and I don't think even my cat would fit in one of those. If your airline accepts the Sherpa's, I would highly recommend it! I use mine now for transporting the cat to the vet when needed. The first time the vet saw it, she burst into laughter and said there's no way my little bear, Toga, who now weighs 47 pounds at just over 4 months, could have fit in it.

Hope this helps!

Jessi McCabe and Toga (Look Mom, I can still fit my front feet in the Sherpa!) Kodiak, AK


BERNER-L Digest 1165

Subject: airline prices for dogs Date: Thu, 26 Mar 1998 08:51:51 -0800 From: Ervin April Rifenburg To: ""

What are people paying for their dogs to fly to the Specialty with them?

April Rif


Subject: Re: airline prices for dogs Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 00:50:51 EST From: KARBARU To: CC:

April, I am paying $50 each way from Denver to Boston on UAL. I think that's their standard price. I am not aware there's a variance in price for baggage (I work at DIA). Air Cargo can be another story. Karen

************************** BERNER-L Digest 1166

Subject: Re: airline prices for dogs Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 06:56:57 EST From: Barishof To:

Karen wrote:

I am paying $50 each way from Denver to Boston on UAL. I think that's their standard price. I am not aware there's a variance in price for baggage (I work at DIA). Air Cargo can be another story. Karen


Are you sure that is the price?

I was going out to California a few weeks ago on United with Andy. I asked specifically for the price (called back again to confirm the rate) and both times they said they now charge by weight even if the dog is baggage. Andys fare was quoted to me as $125.00 each way. This was a quote for a dog and crate weighing over 100 lb.. I have to use a 700 size kennel for Andy but the kennel size did not seem to matter (except for weighing a bit more). I ended up having to cancel my trip as one of the other dogs was ill so I dont know for sure as we never had to actually pay. Hope they were wrong but you might want to double check. I had heard some of the other airlines were doing the same.

Stacey the Bouncing Berners Ft. Collins, CO


Subject: Airline Prices Date: Fri, 27 Mar 1998 06:19:40 -0600 From: "William E. Jacobson" To:

Wow Karen!

How are you getting away with only $50 on United Airlines? They raised their prices a bit a go to $100 each way, at lease for me when I travel with my dogs.

If fact last month my friend was charged $150 to fly her Berner with her (one way) home. This Agent was very firm about this, repeating that charge is and has always been $150 for an extra large crate.

What could we do? We payed the money because the dog had to go home!

Does anybody else have inconsistency problems with UAL?

- Mary Rogers Bound for RI, but dogless this year Fort Collins, CO

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Date: Thu, 07 May 1998 00:21:54 -0600 From: Iyllis Moore To: Subject: Flying berners

Vilma, these will not be words of wisdom. Just how it is going ok so far for us. Guido has flown 5 times. The first at 8 weeks, Toronto to Denver and he was so composed I could hardly believe it. Much more composed than I was. Then last summer we flew Denver to Newark and back, and last month flew Denver to WashDC and back. On the last trip, I realized that his crate is more spacious for him than the seat is for me.

But I don't like doing it and will try to minimize it as much as possible. And in the same breath, I am thinking of spending almost a year in Europe and will of course take him with me. Or I won't go. Anyway, that long flight spooks me.

Guido is a very friendly and outgoing dog, as well as composed. And on the way home a few weeks ago, just two days after we arrived, he charmed a man standing next to us as we were checking in. So much so that the guy got finished, walked off, and then rushed back to give Guido a last pat and farewell. I was busy but my Mom was getting a kick out of it. And when I opened the crate to fix something before we went for one last walk, he leapt into the crate and had to be coaxed out. So . . . I think he isn't suffering.

I know and have seen that they are the last things loaded on and the first off. And have listened carefully to advice from others. Now his crate has something written on it in very big red letters (about 3" high, bigger would be better) on every side. I didn't know what to do on the front, so I put his tattoo vertically down the front. Also a cut out of the BMDCA logo with the berner is just above the door along with his name. I wanted the handlers to know it is a sweet dog in there, and the photo looks sweet. My business card is taped on the top too. Plus food and leash and collar. Whatever, I know it is my crate even at a long distance, like inside the concourse watching his crate sit by the stairs of of the plane as they load the luggage on ahead of him.

He is also crate trained but I imagine your dogs are too. It would seem just ghastly to put a dog on a plane if it were new to being crated.

On the flight home after he had charmed the business man and the lines of people watching him, the plane was so empty that there were three empty seats between me and the man on the other aisle on our row. I was wishing I could afford to buy three seats to fly to Europe and have him in two of them. Water is my biggest concern on that 8 hour flight which will no doubt be 10 or more in the crate. Once we are there we will use trains, and that should be fine except I will have to buy him a seat for sure.

Buff Moore


Date: Thu, 7 May 1998 08:48:47 EDT From: MaDeBoe To: Subject: Re: Flying berners

Vilma --

I'm certainly not an authority on the subject, but I'll tell you my experiences over the past couple of years. My son took our Berner, Cronus, with him when he left for college in Colorado. (OK, OK, I'll admit HE would insist Cronus is HIS dog, merely because he bought him, trained him, etc. But I love him too much to acknowledge it.)

Anyway, we have flown Cronus back and forth between Denver and Washington, DC several times, with no problems -- knock wood. Some of the trips were accompanied, some were not. I did read several articles from several magazines and books to gather all the collective wisdom available before we shipped him the first time, and I do a quick review each time, to make sure I've remembered to do everything.

First I make sure he's on a direct, non-stop flight. It just seems to be common sense to me that less can go wrong. We've always flown him on United because United has more nonstops between DC and Denver and it also has some planes with temperature-controlled cargo bays. So I make sure to book those flights. I always use the same travel agent when booking these flights. He was initially unfamiliar with the intracacies of shipping dogs, especially big dogs. So I had him research the rules, etc., and I also made NUMEROUS calls to make sure he was getting the right information. Between the two of us, we learned a lot. Now when I call to book a flight, the first thing he asks is whether Cronus is going, too, so he knows what kind of plane we're limited to.

You will need to get a vet's certificate saying the dog is OK to travel. We always have the vet note that Cronus can fly at colder temperatures than the airline "rules" say -- generally they won't accept a dog if the expected temperature at any touch-down point of the trip is below 45F or above 80F -- but, of course, this isn't a problem on a non-stop, temp-controlled flight. Make sure you also have all the vaccination documents when you go to board. Sometimes they ask for them, sometimes they don't.

I do the same as Buff Moore regarding marking the crate. I also make sure the floor is well-padded, and put his leash, collar and a small bag of food in the crate, in case my carefully laid plans go awry. I put a chew bone in too. I freeze the water in the dish so it doesn't spill and just melts gradually over the course of the trip.

We don't give him any sedatives. The vet advised against it the first time and we found it not necessary. He's not well crate-trained (our mistake -- we'll know better with our next dog) so getting him into the crate at the airport is always a game, but once he's in, he happily settles down. He's always been happy to see us at the end of the trip, but doesn't seem overly excited of hyper or anxious.

The first time he flew, it was unaccompanied, so I had to pick him up at the cargo terminal. As I drove up, I could see him, in his crate, at the front of the loading dock. I watched him for a few minutes before I got out of the car. He was calm, alert, with that big Berner grin, kind of like he was saying "cool! now what's going to happen?" As soon as he saw me, however, he went wild. If I hadn't observed him for a few minutes ahead of time, I would have been extremely upset, thinking he had been hysterical for the whole flight.

I'm still anxious each time he flies -- he and my son are flying home for the summer in two weeks so I'm getting nervous again now -- but I view it as the preferable alternative when the other choices are to leave him behind or not go at all.

Margaret DeBoe Northern VA


BERNER-L Digest 1360

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 17:29:59 -0700 From: "Donna M. MacDonald" ( To: ( Subject: Re: Shipping via Airlines

Recently five Belgians were left in the cargo hold while the plane was delayed. All of the dogs died from the heat. If they can forget about five dogs, I sure wouldn't want my dog flown if there is any chance of heat. I have a copy of the news article if anyone is interested.

Donna MacDonald (still looking for a Berner) on Vancouver Island

Letekoe Reg'd Belgian Shepherds All Varieties British Columbia, Canada


BERNER-L Digest 1377

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 19:08:19 EDT From: To: Subject: The Air Up There!

First, I would be glad to give a donation to help with the rescue pup situation. Let me know what I can do.

Second, in regard to air travel, I read this today in "Purebred Dogs In Review." "American Airlines has announced that dogs will not be accepted as excess baggage on any flights between June 8-Sept. 15. Nor will AA make any exceptions to this policy, regardless of any cooler temperatures. The other major airlines contacted, such as United and Continental, will continue to accept dogs as excess baggage when accompanied by a ticketed passenger and when the temperature at both the arrival and departure points is acceptable."

Lisa Allen


BERNER-L Digest 1474

Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 15:46:10 +0300 From: "Randy S. Ames" ( To: Subject: RE: Flying with dogs

Hi. I'm Darleen, and I've been gone from the list for about a year. I'm finally back, although I've moved and am presently living in Kaunas, Lithuania. I've been told that there are 24 BMD's registered here, although I haven't seen any besides our Molly. Even here people are always asking what kind of dog she is. Since I don't speak Lithuanian very well, I usually end up saying she came from America, or that she's a Swiss breed if, at the moment I can remember how to say that! I would really hate to see people breeding BMD's in this country, as their idea of a good dog is one who is extremely aggressive. Even the Newfies I've seen are mean, disobedient, and quite agressive.

About flying with a berner, I can say I was very nervous bringing Molly all the way to eastern Europe. We had to change flights twice for a total of 3 legs. One of the flights was 11 hours. What we ended up doing was checking Molly at each new airport, rather than all the way through. I think you can even do that on domestic flights, and it gives your dog a break from the crate, esp. if you have quite a layover. Flying this way seemed to really help Molly understand that we were traveling together. She had been on one other short flight from California to the '97 Specialty, but still I was impressed with her traveling abilities. Of course she was eager to get out of the crate at each stop, but she was calm and reasonable when she had to go back in. I used no tranquilizers of any kind, and she made friends with the airline staff and didn't even seem stressed at all. I guess I was stressed enough for both of us! But really, you know how people fall in love with our berners. They really do take good care of the dogs, at least from my experience.

For the other person who was having trouble with Northwest airlines, I'd suggest buying or borrowing a lighter crate. Molly is also 80 pounds, but I'm sure her crate doesn't weigh 30 pounds... or maybe you were just joking about your dogs' weight.


Darleen Ames Kaunas, Lithuania


Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 09:35:38 -0600 From: "Jenny McCune" ( To: ( Cc: "Berner List" ( Subject: Re: Flying with Dogs

Hi Diane: I have a feeling that it's just good old Northwest. My sister recently relocated from NYC to Marquette, MI. Northwest is pretty much the only way to fly there. In her case, she was trying to transport the family cat (in a carrier) in the regular airplane cabin. She got a different story each time she called the airline. It finally got sorted out but only with a great deal of effort on the part of my sister and her travel agent. (Just what she needed in the middle of a big move with an infant and toddler in tow!) If you use a travel agent, I would suggest enlisting his or her aid in getting Northwest to allow your dogs to fly. If not, then I would work my way up the customer service reps until you can find someone that can help you. All I can think of is that you might have to pay extra for flying with two dogs and your baggage, much like you would pay extra for going above your baggage allowance with extra luggage. After all, many commercial jets not only carry passengers' baggage but other cargo as well, so why not your two dogs? Good luck. Jenny


Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 12:20:00 EDT From: To: Cc: BERNER-LPRAIRIENET.ORG Subject: Re: Flying with Dogs

In a message dated 98-09-25 12:02:09 EDT, you write:

(( All I can think of is that you might have to pay extra for flying with two dogs and your baggage, much like you would pay extra for going above your baggage allowance with extra luggage. ))

There's another consideration as well, the cargo door of many planes is too small for the larger sized kennels. This can be particularly troublesome flying in /out of the non-hub airports where smaller jets are the norm.

-Sherri Venditti


BERNER-L Digest 1520

Date: Thu, 29 Oct 98 08:00:25 EST From: (538849100-Dean S. Scott) To:

Subject: Flying dog from Scotland

Ruth R. Wrote: Attach a two quart metal bucket to the crate door with a double ended snap and secure the bottom to the crate door with tape wrapped around the bucket and through the wire mesh of the door. Add some water to the bucket.

I would like to add to what Ruth said about flying dogs: We always freeze the water buckets full of ice. This way the water isn't spilled in the first 10 minutes of ground transportation to the airplane. And the dogs have fresh water 2-4 hrs. into the flight when they really need it.

Dean Scott Kutztown, Pa.


BERNER-L Digest 1792

Date: Tue, 23 Mar 1999 08:50:27 -0500 To: From: "J. E. Dinger" ( Subject: flying berners

I have flown my dogs, shelitie/mix and berner, very successfully in the US and to Europe. Here are my suggestions:

- get them used to the crate well in advance. I crate trained Woody(berner) but didn't Barne(sheltie). Get a book about crate training, feed 1st in the front of the crate, then move food further back, then short periods in the crate followed by longer periods. My sheltie was an adult when introduced to the crate and this took a couple of weeks.

- fly direct flights. This may be inconveinent for you but from what I hear problems start when the dogs have to make connecting flights.

- consider the time of year, heat and berners do not mix.

- all along the way ask the person you are dealing with to check to ensure your dog gets on the flight. Ticket agent, when you get to the gate, when you board. When you get aboard ask the flight attendent to ask the captain to make sure your dog is loaded. In almost all cases, the flight mechanic has come on board after climbing in the hold to check and will describe the dogs to me.

- ask vet about restricting food and water. My dogs have never had any problems but were only on direct flights of no longer than 8 hours.

All in all, I have been very happy to have my dogs along, and they seem to be just fine after the flight are are so happy to be with us...Good luck!!!

Jo Ellen Dinger, Woody, and Barne Apex, NC

J E Dinger


BERNER-L Digest 1875

From: "Ruth Reynolds" To: "Berner-L" Subject: Re: Purchasing from another state? Date: Fri, 7 May 1999 13:15:58 -0700


We have shipped most of our puppies (over 65 percent) for over 10 years now. I suppose it could be traumatic for an unprepared pup...especially one shipped at too young an age or one going through its fear imprinting period or one who had not been introduced to crates, confinement, noises etc.

One of the things we do initially to prepare our pups for life which may include air travel is to break down an airline crate into two halves. Each is turned so it makes a little cave and is left in the puppies' play area. Our pups like to nap in these things....and will pile themselves so compactly into a small upturned crate it reminds me of the clown car at the circus when they emerge after a nap. :-)

We have had good luck with shipping over the years. Our buyers send full payment for pup and shipping prior to the pup's departure. We ship only on non-stop flights to a major airport nearest the pup's home. Minimal handling and transfer reduces risk of errors in this regard.

Accidents can happen so preparation is to everyone's advantage Preparing the pups, selecting the optimal carriers and flights, and having backup plans in case things go awry have resulted in successful transport for our pups over the years.

Ruth Reynolds Pioneer Bernese Greenwood, FL ---------- From: Mears, Diana To: Subject: Purchasing from another state? Date: Friday, May 07, 1999 6:42 AM

Hi All,

I have a question regarding purchasing a Berner pup from another state far enough away so that the dog needs to be put on an airplane. I have heard of a lot of people doing this and I was sort of wondering two things. The first being, how does that work? Do you send a check to the breeder and they put the pup on an airplane and then you just pick it up at your airport? The second being, isn't that really traumatic for a puppy? I mean, I have seen kittens go into shock from a short car ride so wouldn't a puppy be terrified on an airplane? What about the possibility that the dog could get lost just as luggage does?

Am I just being silly or is this a real concern?

Thanks, Diana


BERNER-L Digest 1876

From: Nicole Lennon To: "'Bernese Mountain Dog Mailing List'" Subject: Flying Puppies / Payment / Contracts Date: Sun, 9 May 1999 12:13:48 +-1000

Hi All,

I have flown a number of puppies, intrastate, interstate and overseas. I have never had a bad experience with this form of travel and have found the airline staff to be professional and caring. I feel that 1 hour in a plane could perhaps be less traumatic for a puppy than five hours in a car of strangers (new owners).

I have generally had outgoing bouncy full of themselves puppies so this type of event does not phase them. Occassionally I will come across a puppy not as forward as the others and a little noise shy, in those cases I would not send that puppy on a flight until it had matured a little more. Sometimes a puppy can be a little put off at 8 weeks by new experiences but by 12 weeks they're all firing ready to go.

With regards to payment the purchaser usually sends the cheque first for the puppy (after they have seen pictures and or video or have visted the puppy earlier). The one time I sent a puppy without prior payment I ended up waiting well over a week before the cheque arrived and then another four days to clear. While I did not make a fuss about this I do feel that it was rather uncooth of the new owners to not have their payment organised.

Another hint for breeders is to have any contracts sent off to new owners prior to delivery of the puppy and returned to you signed. I have had a couple of puppy buyers forget to send back the signed contracts and it gets a little uncomfortable having to chase them up. I prefer to work my contracts as an agreement in words understood by both parties I don't like the "contract" to become the "centre of attention" at this exciting period of family introducing new puppy to their family!

Breeders should never forget that feeling of euphoria that they had when they introduced their first BMD puppy into their life. Breeders should let their new owners have that feeling without too much "gastapo" attached to the "sale" side of the puppy!


Nicole Lennon


BERNER-L Digest 1879

From: "Traci Manning" To: "Mears, Diana", Subject: Flying puppies! Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 12:50:17 -0700

Diana -

One more idea for puppies in flight. I'm picking up my boy in two weeks (soooooooooo excited, just got photos this morning! sorry - disgressed). He lives 12 hours from me by car but only 1 1/2 by plane. Many airlines will let you bring animals in the cabin with you if they go in an approved crate under the seat in front of you.

The breeders and I felt this would be less traumatic for all concerned, plus I get to hang out with the breeders, parents and a fellow puppy mommy [thanks Dawn, you're wonderful!]. It doesn't cost too much more for me to go fetch him.

Here's the caveats: 1. Not all airlines allow it - check their website or call. 2. They'll only allow a certain number of pets per flight so book ahead. 3. A crate that fits under the seat is only 7 1/2 inches high - but wearing them out a bit plus the vibrations of the plane almost guarantees (I hope!) they snooze through the experience. 4. The airline will charge you for bringing the pet on - even though it counts as one of your carry-ons!

We're hoping this will be a win - win way to go. And if nothing else, provides another option.

Good luck!

Traci Manning expectant mommy Portland, OR


Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 16:39:48 -0400 From: Molly Bass To: CC: "Mears, Diana", Subject: Re: Flying puppies!

Traci ,

1. Not all airlines allow it - check their website or call. 2. They'll only allow a certain number of pets per flight so book ahead. 3. A crate that fits under the seat is only 7 1/2 inches high - but wearing them out a bit plus the vibrations of the plane almost guarantees (I hope!) they snooze through the experience. 4. The airline will charge you for bringing the pet on - even though it counts as one of your carry-ons!

Have a back-up plan! I found out all the same information when I went to fetch my mother's golden puppy at 7.5 weeks of age - he was 8 pounds and TOO big for the under the seat carrier - the airlines say the animal has to be able to stand up and turn around in the carrier. I was so happy I had taken a #200 crate with me as well as the under the seat crate. He ended up being checked plane side and delivered to me as I came off the plane. Boy did USAir dislike me after that flight - I refused to get on the plane and hand them the puppy until everyone was on board and the engines were ready to start. He flew like a real trooper! Probably better than I did! I think his ticket cost $50.

None of my berners would have even thought of fitting in that crate at 8 weeks of age! In fact, they were too large for the international carriers' 5kg/10lb. standard limit but luckily international ticket agents find bernese faces so cute they do not weigh them :)! And, international carriers do not require crates in the cabins so the puppies can ride on your lap - makes it hard when meal time arrives and your puppy is grabbing the tray of the person next to you :) Thank goodness they are so cute.

Molly, Bogen, Bianca, and Raven Charlottesville, VA


From: "Traci Manning" To: "Molly Bass" Cc: "Mears, Diana", Subject: Re: Flying puppies! Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 14:29:14 -0700

None of my berners would have even thought of fitting in that crate at 8 weeks of age!

Thanks Molly!

You know, I started to suspect when I got the photos this morning....

I've already started making alternate arrangements with the airline and breeder. And, thanks to the reassurances of everyone on the list - while I'd rather have a better option - I'm not as worried about flying him cargo. I still think it's better than 15 hours in a car (+ pit stops!).

Thanks again Molly.

Traci expecting mom Portland, OR


From: Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 17:50:29 EDT Subject: Re: Flying puppies! To:, CC:

In a message dated 5/10/99 4:31:28 PM EST, writes:

I'd rather have a better option - I'm not as worried about flying him cargo. I still think it's better than 15 hours in a car (+ pit stops!).

Seems I came in on the tail end of this conversation..but I just thought I would throw in my $.02 worth.. I just took my 15 week old puppy girl on a whirlwind trip from Va. to Buffalo..We left early in the morning on Sat..arrived in Buffalo at 2:00 in the afternoon..we only had to stop once on the way up. We had no accidents and then were in a hotel room for the night again no accidents ..and drove back to Va again on Sun..with one stop along the way.. She was a real trooper slept mostly the entire way...

I ..In my own opinion would be more afraid to fly the pup than a 15 hour car ride..

Sherry Von Engel Von Engel BMD'S


Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 22:30:24 +0000 From: Molly Bass To: CC: Subject: Re: Flying puppies!

Hey Traci,

I'd rather have a better option - I'm not as worried about flying him cargo. I still think it's better than 15 hours in a car (+ pit stops!).

Don't know about that - pit stops in cars are a lot easier than pit stops in the air :)!!!!!!

When I imported Raven 2 years ago, she had flown non-stop from Paris to JFK in NYC. The breeder would not let her fly cargo so a friend and I drove from here (Charlottesville, VA) to JFK AND BACK in one night. We left here at 3:45pm, got to JFK at 10:15pm - picked up Raven and her travel companion - turned around, and got back here at 7:30am! She slept the entire ride from JFK to here. According to my friend who hand carried her, the ride on the plane was also uneventful - I think it was a 9 hour flight. These little guys will amaze you!!! My friends and I had to make more pit stops from the Diet Coke and coffee than Raven did :).

Molly and the gang! Charlottesville, VA


BERNER-L Digest 1880

Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 22:36:41 -0700 From: "Brian P. Costello" To: Bernese Mountain Dog Mailing List Subject: Airline carrier recommendations

A friend of a friend will be traveling from the east coast to the west coast and needs advice on sending his dog. I seem to recall information regarding some airlines treating dogs better than others. Would anyone care to comment on their good and bad experiences traveling with big dogs on airplanes?


Brian P. Costello San Francisco Bay Area


Date: Tue, 11 May 1999 10:39:09 -0700 From: Kathy Mihalek To: CC: Bernese Mountain Dog Mailing List Subject: Re: Airline carrier recommendations (long)

I recently flew two dogs to Tuscon, Arizona, along with a friend who also flew two dogs. All were big Berners, and all four flew in "500" Vari Kennels. My friend flew with out any problems. I on the other hand had all the problems. We had made all our arrangements several weeks ahead of time. We flew american airlines, and before I go on; they did take very good care of me and Trooper, in spite of all the problems. As I said we had flight reservations for all four dogs. We flew from Syracuse to Chicago, O'Hare. Then on to Tuscon. Flying was fine. Our change of planes at O'Hare went smoothly. then we landed on Tuscon; soon of us landed a little harder than the rest. When they unloaded Trooper, as they were putting the crated dogs on a conveyer belt from the belly of the plane to the ground, his crate flew off the belt as soon as he cleared the belly of the plane. Probably a 6ft. drop, upside down. They picked him and crate up, and set him on the cart. Fortunately his crate held up. And fortunately we had seen what happened, as they didn't make any effort to tell us what happened. We ran to the baggage claim, as at that time we didn't know which of the four dogs had fallen from the plane. Trooper's crate was cracked and had a couple of holes in it. He came out bounding and as happy as ever. None the worse for wear, and we wasn't injured. American after a few miner problems, did pay for a new crate, and offered to pay for a vet. check. Trooper went on to show well and even placed in this Futurity class. Now you would think that that would be enough; the flight home was even more fun. We flew home on the same aircraft as we flew to Tuscon and the same flight path going back, but with only three dogs. When we boarded at O'Hare, to fly to Syracuse, one of the grounds people told his Caption that she couldn't board all three dogs, they went over their point system, which I still can't figure out, as we had been flying four dogs; anyway it wasn't a battle the Captain was going to let me win. They would not board Trooper!.. Next flight was not for another eight hors. I told the Captain, I was Not going to leave this dogs unattended for another eight hours, as he'd already been crated for about six hours! You guessed it, off the plane went not only Trooper, but me too. The airlines have greatly qualified people to handle "upset" travelers. A Representative, was at hand , with a earlier flight on another airline, and a voucher for a free flight, all of which would be paid by American. After a few problems in Baggage, as they wanted to know where the rest of my baggage, and the other dog was......................, on the plane they kicked me off of! We moved on to United Airlines, they graciously fixed up Troopers crate to meet their rules, got me a cup of coffee, and called home for me, so I could let my husband know when I'd be arriving. American also paid for Troopers flight on United as they billed me for that. Trooper, and I spent five hours in the terminal at O'Hare, and I must say we had a wonderful time. People of all kinds stopped to speak to us, and it wasn't because of me ( as wonderful as I am), Trooper was a star! It was a very interesting day, and ended well, at Syracuse, Trooper came our of his crate, landing me on top of someone's very soft luggage. I'll always remember that day, and it makes a wonderful story. American has decided to look into their animal policies, and make them more consistent. The people all were very helpful, and I was very distraught at some of the moments in dealing with people. I would try and make sure that the next time I fly a dog, that every one is quite sure they know how to deal with the animals; and what the conpany rules are. In the long run, no harm done, and Trooper did fine, and we'd fly again,.......... we certainly don't lead dull lives..................Kathy Kathy Mihalek Fulton, NY


BERNER-L Digest 1986

Subject: A Plane Sign Date: Wed, 23 Jun 1999 15:50:40 -0400 From: Pecans To:

Here is the sign I put on the crate of a dog during air travel. Hi! My name is (DOG'S NAME). I am traveling to (destination) with my owner, (your full name). Our final destination is (name, address, phone number of place to which you are flying). We are scheduled to depart from (name of state, name of airport, flight number, time, date) to (name of airport of destination). Please make certain that I am put on the same airplane as my owner and that my crate is NOT left standing in the sun, even in cold weather, as this can cause me to become overheated. Be certain that my crate is placed in a properly ventilated area on the plane and in a well-ventilated area while waiting to be loaded on the plane. I am not a frequent flyer so please speak to me in a kind and reassuring manner.

Lisa Allen