My friends often tell me that I am a dreamer who makes things happen. Sometimes it appears that the more unrealistic, wild, or out there the dream is, the more likely it comes true. Today, I decided to share something that I have shared only with a handful of my closest friends.
I am sitting on a flight to Vancouver with my dog Pax snoozing at my feet. I imagine you are about to ask me how I did that. As someone who has experienced flying with dogs, I will share the following story with you in hopes that it will inspire you to follow your dreams, knowing that even the negative events in life can have a silver lining.
My father was also a vet, and he suffered from night terrors and sleepwalking like me.
My nightmares started when I was about 5 years old. The dreams were vivid and often terrifying. I saw faces standing in my bedroom that looked so real that I often screamed in my sleep, jumping up and trying to escape the imaginary danger.
Sleepwalking and nightmares brought me a lot of challenges as a child and adult. Whenever I went to a summer camp or shared a dorm or a hotel room with anyone, I was mortified about having a nightmare and screaming in my sleep.
When I was 22, I came back home for the summer holidays after going through a series of very challenging exams. Stress always aggravated my condition. I had a nightmare, ran through the glass door of my bedroom, and lost more than 3/4 of a gallon of blood. A piece of glass cut one of the branches of my femoral artery, and the doctors told me I was very lucky to be alive.
Today, I don't see my sleepwalking as an annoyance anymore. As a sleepwalker, I am in need of a service dog to keep me safe. This is the reason why both Pax and my first dog Skai are allowed to travel with me on commercial flights. Pax is an ADI (Assistance Dog International) certified service dog.
Navigating pet-friendly airlines and understanding airline pet policies can be tricky. For those looking to fly with their dogs, it's essential to research dog travel in cabin options, emotional support animal regulations, and any pet travel requirements to ensure a safe journey.
I only hope that soon, every well-behaved dog will be able to join us, as I strongly believe no dogs should be put in the cargo hold mainly due to safety, but also for ethical reasons. I look forward to seeing you and your canine friend on board soon.
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