This story had a happy ending but it could have just as easily had been tragic.
In late September, Jared and Kristi Owens had a flight scheduled for what they were calling an epic vacation, complete with Kristi’s mom watching their kids and pets. The Texans were flying from Lubbock to Las Vegas on Southwest.
They had packed carefully but when they went to check-in, somehow their bag was a few pounds overweight. They had the option to check the bag but, like most of us, didn’t want to pay the fee if they didn’t have to. They figured they could just redistribute the weight.
So they opened the bag to rearrange things. And as they did, out from the suitcase – specifically from Jared’s boot – popped the head of their little chihuahua, named Icky.
Needless to say, they were stunned.
Kristi said that she had packed her stuff in the suitcase the night before. Jared added his stuff to the bag the morning of the flight.
The last thing Jared said he packed was his boots. And sometime between putting the boots in the luggage and closing the bag, Icky snuck in and made herself comfortable.
Icky apparently likes to burrow. And she’s not one to come out of hiding if her name is called, either (our dog is the exact same way. Dobby comes on HER terms, LOL!). So she just hung out in Jared’s boot, in their suitcase.
Once they got over their shock, the Owens were worried that Southwest would think they were trying to smuggle Icky aboard, to avoid paying the airline’s $95 pet fee. But gate agent Cathy Cook, a veteran with Southwest for over 24 years, was super sweet about the whole thing. She even offered to dog-sit while they were in Vegas!
The Owens live in Lubbock though, and with a support system of family to help. Jared’s uncle raced to the airport to pick Icky up, and he brought her to Kristi’s mom, so she could hang out with the rest of the Owens pets and kids while Jared and Kristi were out of town.
“[Southwest employees] were great about it. They helped us do everything we could to get our bags checked,” Jared said to the Washington Post. “We went outside to make phone calls, and Cathy even came back outside a couple of times to check on us.”
Of course, had the bag not been overweight, the ending could have been tragic. True, flights between Lubbock and Vegas aren’t super long. But chihuahuas aren’t super hearty dogs either. And Icky – named as such because when she was found on the side of the road 5 years ago, she was all skin and bones and the Owens kids said she was”Icky” – was described as an “old lady,” on top of it. Things could have gotten really icky for Icky.
The Owens are considering the Icky incident a good omen – they even won money in Vegas, so… 😉
Here are some pictures of Icky at the airport, from Facebook:
Thank goodness the story ended as it did, huh?
Feature Photo: Austin Kirk / flickr
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary