When we arrived at the front entrance to the airport, I saw a woman sitting alone looking stressed so Bert and I went over. She broke into tears as soon as she started petting Bert. She had been in the security line a minute earlier and started to stress and felt she was going to pass out. The anxiety was terrible so she slipped out of the long, crowded line and came outside where I met her. After talking a minute, I decided that Bert and I should spend our whole time with her.We sat outside with the woman for another 10 or 15 minutes while she gathered herself together. I told her Bert and I would go through security with her and then wait with her at her gate. I had previously asked one of the TSA members if I could take her through the handicapped line to avoid the large crowd, and they were very kind in making that happen.After getting through security we met up again and the three of us headed to her gate. Many people stopped us along the way to pet Bert, and I think she was able to temporarily forget her fear of flying.
Once we got to her gate, we found that it had been delayed a bit, which was just enough to set her emotions off again. So we took Bert up to Annie’s and bought him a hot dog (well, we bought one for each of us cause we love Annie’s pretzel dogs).At this point, two hours had passed and it was time to get Bert out of the airport so I had to leave her. I felt awful because she started crying again. I gave her my card with my phone number in case she just couldn’t get on the plane. I got a call from her later in the evening and she had made it home. It was a great chance to see that the teams (both handler and dog) are really an asset in some cases, not just entertainment. Plus, I made a new friend! – Vickie