Dad pulled me out of the dark box, hitched my leash to my harness and I was then standing next to some dude in an official-looking outfit, holding a long, black wand in his hand. I could feel Dad was a little tense, maybe this dude was about to give him some trouble. I shook out my body, my long ears flopping back and forth against my head then throat. It was good to be out of the dark box.
Looking around, I could see lines and lines of humans taking off their sweaters, coats and shoes and emptying out their bags. What is this place?
The official dude took the black wand and waved it above, below and around the dark box. Was he casting a spell? Saying some kind of hippie prayer? Hmm, I didn’t get a whiff of that smelly smoke like I do at home. We walked through an archway and official dude nodded so I guess everything was okay.
Other Dad was sitting down on the other side of the archway. He was grabbing his belt from a beat-up, dingy-grey tray that also had his shoes and some other stuff. Why do they have to take all that stuff off just to put it all back on. Why do they have to have so many bags of stuff anyway? Is there food in that stuff?!
As we got to Other Dad, I could sense relief from him. I wagged my tail and shook my whole body, happy to see him.
“Glad to see you made it through security okay.”
“Yep, no problem. Another hurdle conquered.”
He picked me up and sat me on his lap. He nuzzled my ears and kissed my head.
“Hello, my Scraps guy. How are you doing?
“Ahh, he’s great, such a good boy!”
When they were both packed up and dressed, we walked along a really wide corridor with cold, off-white tiles. There was a variety of scents but really no messages to check. I got a whiff of a message off the bottom of a shoe now and again but nothing that I could really make out. It was just nice to be out of the dark box and walking around again.
So many humans were walking all different directions, coming in and out of different rooms with bright lights glaring down from doorways and windows, carrying bags of various colors, filled with stuff. Food?
“There’s the pet station.”
“Let’s check it out, see if he wants to go.”
Dad pulled open a door and we went into a small room with cool tiles. Oh and messages! This is a place with many scents but most have been washed away, leaving only traces of the smarfs that have been here before.
…’sup dawgies?…woof from paulie alto…I’m so scared right now, what do you do about…hola perras…EAT, I need to EAT…
“It’s nice that they have a relief station for dogs. It looks like a converted restroom. Maybe it was a handicap or family station. I’ve seen some online that have fake grass and fire hydrants.”
“Yeah and now with all the patrol dogs in the airport, it makes sense to have somewhere to take them in an emergency.”
I sniffed around a bit more but this place wasn’t much fun. So I headed for the door.
“Guess he’s done!”
There was so much I was sensing from the humans going by: anxiety, fear, pressure, exhaustion, and a little bit of happiness here and there. A mini-human was up ahead, and I saw she had noticed me as she started to laugh and smile.
Other Dad noticed the small one and yanked my leash away from her. Good thing. She looked like the kind who would use her hand to slam my back instead of smooth my fur.
It got more and more crowded and then Dad bent down and picked me up – yay! He carried me for a while and then I guess we got to where we were going as they sat down, putting me in the seat between them on top of his puffy vest. He reached into one of his bags and gave me a soft chew treat.