Jimmy and I started visiting the Dane County Regional (Madison) Airport in July 2017. We both thoroughly enjoy it. I learned about this opportunity from a Dogs On Call Newsletter article. Dana, who wrote the article, put me in touch with a contact at the airport who coordinated a security clearance and provided a badge for me to wear during visits.
The airport allows us to visit whenever we want, which works well for us. They provided trading cards with a picture of Jimmy, a vest for me, and a scarf for Jimmy. The words “Pet Therapy Team” are printed on the back of the vest to encourage airline passengers and staff to ask about having a short visit with us. We both go through security, just like everyone else.
We all know how difficult it is to be away from our pet.
Many of us also know that waiting times in airports can be long and tedious. Petting Jimmy and learning about what we’re doing brings smiles to people of all ages. We walk from one end of the terminal to the other, and the entire visit lasts about an hour. The crowd can be light – or it can be heavy, such as the days after the CrossFit Games and the IronMan Triathalon. The children particularly enjoy getting to know Jimmy, and are eager to tell me about a pet at home.