A few weeks ago, I blogged about how I was going to be brave and take Frankie with me to New York if the invitation that a friend had extended a few months earlier to stay in her place worked out.

It didn’t.

Frankie and the Co-op Board

There were the expensive rugs that my friend was worried about. There was the fact that she and her partner came down from upstate New York on some weekends — something I didn’t realize — and it would be crowded for the four of us (even though one of us is very small) in a studio apartment.

And there was the co-op board approval.

As anyone in New York whose building goes co-op knows, you pay a lot of money to own a co-op apartment in the city, but you don’t have the final say about what you do with it. The co-op board does. So after five years of subletting my Manhattan apartment — to someone that the board had to approve, naturally — I was given an ultimatum: Move back for two years to re-establish residency or sell it. By this time I had a house in Tucson and couldn’t afford to return, so I had to sell.

I still can’t walk past my old building. It’s too painful.

So I hate co-op boards, and didn’t want to subject Frankie to the indignity of having to pass their review.

I imagined the questions:

  • Can you guarantee you will never do your business within a 10-foot perimeter of the building?
  • Are you a barker?
  • A humper?

Frankie could only guarantee that he has never humped any humans, but there is photographic evidence of his attempts at doggie dominance in the privacy of his own home. The pee perimeter? If you gotta go, you gotta go, is his attitude. As for barking, he could not swear that there would not be many things in New York that he needed to protect me from. And, being small, speaking loudly is his only recourse.

So New York was out.

But you know what they say about things working out for the best. I’m not generally that optimistic, but in this case it was true.

Off to San Diego

Just about the time that the New York trip was falling apart, I got an assignment for a very nice publication to write about San Diego. I’ve been to San Diego with Frankie several times before — see here and here — and know that he likes being there but I’ve always driven.

This time I decide to fly.

For one thing, the flight is short — only an hour, direct on Southwest from Tucson — so Frankie might prefer this form of transportation to the loathed seven-hour drive. For another, gas is expensive and flights to San Diego are reasonable, so when you factor in the travel time saved, it almost evens out. I say almost because Frankie is a freeloader in the car, whereas on Southwest he has to pay $75 each way.

Most important, I think that if you are writing a book on pet travel, your pet should try different modes of travel. So I’ll go into the different aspects of preparing for our flight, now that I’m becoming intimately involved with them.

Stay tuned….

22 thoughts on “Frankie Will Fly!”

  1. That’s such a great description of the problems of being an urban dog person. Having to justify yourself to a co-op board indeed! Where’s the dignity?

    I’m glad you’re getting a terrific assignment to another neat place and will have the chance to try out flying with Frankie on your very own. I guess this counts as lifestyle journalism.

    And, as much as I love NYC, even I think the ocean breezes in San Diego will be more salubrious than the melting sidewalks of Manhattan in August.

    1. Thanks, Pamela. Not to generalize but there was a woman in my building in Manhattan who used to walk around with several pugs in a baby carriage. I think NYC co-op boards can drive you to that. Talk about loss of dignity!

      It’ll be downright cool in San Diego — which is fine with me (and Frankie). I do worry a bit that I’m using Frankie for my “lifestyle journalism” purposes. I mean, as a travel writer I’ve done a lot of things that might be construed as unpleasant — certain types of adventure travel, like treetop zipline tours that terrified me — but I wasn’t impacting anyone else. But then again, I’m going to try to make the experience with Frankie as pleasant as possible — and being with me does make him happy.

      1. On the other hand I think it is great you give it a try. Maybe Frankie prefers a short plane trip over a long car trip. You first know when you try. Happy adventures!

    1. If Frankie starts critiquing my chapters, I’m in big trouble! I know what his complaints… too much about boring stuff like packing, not enough about food.

  2. Crap! Here this whole time I’d been assuming you and Frankie were going to have this grand NYC adventure. I’m disappointed on your behalf, but the San Diego trip sounds great. I’ve only been there once (ages ago), but I liked it a lot. Safe Travels!

    1. Thanks, Roxanne. I’m a bit relieved New York didn’t work out, truth to tell. I’m already stressed by this flying plan, and to worry about how Frankie will react to all the noise, etc. would probably put me over the edge. This way I’ll keep New York fun and relatively relaxing for me, and know that we can both enjoy San Diego.

  3. Co-op boards! Yikes. Who know a few pounds of fluff could stir up so much trouble. That kind of stuff makes me nuts. I hope you and Frankie have a wonderful time in sunny San Diego and that he’s welcomed and treated like this little prince that he is.

    1. Thanks, Deborah. I don’t have the hotel details yet, but it looks like Frankie and I are going to be staying in some pretty hoo-hah but of course pet-friendly places. So he will definitely get the royal treatment!

  4. I think it’s wonderful that you’re putting paws where your pen is! There’s no doubt in my mind that having the experience in real time rather than in theory will add some flavor and humor to your already very promising book. Sigh…if only Archie were still able to join me in driving down to meet you there.

  5. Well, on the bright side, Frankie’s 7 hour drive may be shortened quite dramatically. I look forward to reading of your adventures no matter where you and Frankie go. =] And if he starts critiquing your chapters, Koda will fully agree that there’s just not enough about good food in there. ;]

    Happy adventures; hope you two have a lot of fun!

    1. Everyone’s a critic — even Koda ;-).

      Thanks for your good wishes! I have plenty to report already in the slow process of getting Frankie accustomed to the carrier.

  6. Bummer that the NYC trip didn’t pan out 🙁 A one hour flight will be a good flight intro for Frankie and I am looking forward to seeing what you have to say about San Diego.

    1. Honest, I’m more relieved than bummed at this point as I realize how stressed I am for even this short trip! And I LOVE San Diego and know Frankie will be happy… once he gets there.

  7. It’s so wonderful you are getting to travel with Frankie and he can inspire you.
    Last year a friend and I did a cross country primitive camp out from Nevada to Indiana Newfoundlands and JRT’s are great topic starters and we shot photos everywhere, It was so healthy for the dogs and we had a blast. No motorhome, just pulled the back row seats out and off we went. Truly great photo shoot, met some other water trainers and worked more on my book..

    1. Thanks for coming by, HC. No question that a Jack Russell Terrier would go unnoticed! But what’s a water trainer?

  8. I’m sorry your big NYC trip fell through. I know you were excited about it. But it does sound like this new opportunity might be even better, especially since you say Frankie already enjoys San Diego. Once all the nasty stressful travel part is over, you should both have a good time.

    I can’t wait to read all about it!

    1. Thanks, Kristine. It was more the manic kind of “talk myself into something in public” excitement that sometimes results in great things — like my book accountability committee — than untempered enthusiasm, but even I can’t always distinguish between the two! And yes, I have no doubt that I’ll enjoy San Diego. I have lots of good friends there, even aside from having a nice writing assignment, so I don’t doubt it’ll be fun.

  9. Thanks for creating a sweet able & popular blog site.
    Paws Pet Supermarket has been in the retail pet supply business for sixteen successful years.

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