I am terrified to fly. I saw the plane hit the Pentagon and from that moment on, flying has become something that I don’t do well. It has gotten better over the years but it’s something that I know will always be a challenge for me.
It getting better is due in part to a man, that I (somewhat) accused of having a shoe bomb on a plane. I mean you can only go up after an incident like that.
It was after the (real) shoe bomber incident. I was on a flight and the guy next to me was fidgeting with his feet NON-STOP. He was bent over his body doing something with his feet for A LONG TIME. I could hear and see my own heartbeat. I got up (from my middle seat) and told the flight attendant that he was suspicious. I was 100% sure we had a situation on our hands. This coming from the most
crazy terrified person on the plane whose Valium had not fully kicked in yet. (In my defense this was RIGHT AFTER the real shoe bomber incident and I was younger and far less…brave. Today, I would just ask the person what they had going on down there).
Turns out the guy next to me with the foot issue, had poison ivy. (This did not make me feel better, but in a different, more itchy way). I had to sit on the plane with him for four more hours. (although they did offer him a seat away from his accuser). He was actually pretty awesome about it. We discussed my fear and he gave me some really good advice. Control the things you can. Have a plan for loved ones, if you have pets, always know what would happen to them if something happened to you. Having your life in order, helps you worry less about it actually happening.
I got Max shortly after that. And I never forgot the advice.
Max had been our family dog so Max was easy, if anything happened to me, my brother would take him. Melvin was way different. Melvin was a lot of things when I first got him but easy was not one them. His vet bills were astronomical. So I immediately started a savings account for Melvin. To be used only in the case of my death. Even if he went to live with his Godmother, I would still be able to help take care of him and he would never be a financial burden on anyone. They could just love him and always be able to give him the care he needed. I took control. It really did help.
I have put money into that account every month for seven years. During the weeks after Melvin’s diagnosis, but before his death, I started thinking about that money. What good could we use it for? If that money was meant to take care of Melvin in a me-less world, how could that money now take care of others, in a Melvin-less world.
The answer came very easy. I took one look at my boy and knew that we would spend that money, helping other dogs. Giving the gift of Joy.
Next week, I’ll tell you more! But for today, have a plan for your pets. Make sure the person you would want to take them, can take them. Set aside a little money for them, it really does give you some peace of mind to know they will have the care and love they need.
And remember, not everyone fidgeting with their feet on a plane, is nefarious. True story.
Here is Jake, jazz-lunging while he eats. This photo is an attempt to make you forget how crazy I once was!