A Friday Chat About Dogs on Planes

Featuring Billfolder Vicky Austin!

That is a very expressive face.

VICKY: Happy Friday from the Swamp!

NICOLE: Where is the swamp?

VICKY: Washington, DC. 😀

NICOLE: HAHAHAHA when I put up that photo of the SunTrust bank outside Dupont Circle the other day I thought of all the times I’d walked through Dupont and checked the temperature — once it was, like, 114.

But that was years ago.

What’s the weather like today?

VICKY: Not quite “I can see why diplomats got hazard pay” but 90 or so and the humidity’s climbing. How’s Seattle?

NICOLE: Perfectly comfortable in the low 70s.

My phone says it is 58 degrees out right now but my apartment says otherwise; high today of 76.

So what are your plans for this weekend? Anything expensive?

VICKY: The weekend itself should be pretty low key, but on Sunday I’m flying to California for vacation!

I took the Kelly Conaboy vacation plus one or two days advice to its logical conclusion and gave myself a weekend alone at home before and after my “real” vacation.

It Should Be Vacation + One Or Two Days

NICOLE: Kelly is the best. We should take her advice on everything: vacations, Spoon, candles…

VICKY: 100%.

My vacation is a staying with family thing so I’m hoping to keep that low cost as well. Just, like, drinking tea with my stepmother and watching my dog enjoy the luxury of a real yard (I live in a high rise so it’s a real treat for him).

NICOLE: Are you flying your dog across the country?

VICKY: I am! He’s an emotional support animal.

Before I had a prescription for him, it was $99 each way on Southwest.

Now that I have a prescription for him (sounds weird to say it like that but you know what I mean) it’s free.

I had to do an evaluation (on me) to have him with, and that was about $250 — an annual expense but worth it to bring him. Very little in the world that a tiny dog with an expressive face can’t put right.

NICOLE: That’s so adorable! Does he go in cargo, or on the seat?

VICKY: He’ll ride in the vicinity of my seat. I’m not sure if he’ll prefer the floor or my lap, probably the latter.

NICOLE: I have to ask: do dogs get nervous during turbulence, or is that just humans? Is there any part of them that registers “we’re flying in a giant tube 30,000 feet above the ground?”

VICKY: This particular dog does not care about ANYTHING if he can see (and preferably touch) me.

NICOLE: That is the best kind of dog.

VICKY: But he’s also not scared of thunder or anything and he only barks at people if he thinks THEY are scared of HIM, like “yes, I am the most intimidating, fear me.”

NICOLE: Specific breed, or all-American mutt?

VICKY: We made up a fake breed name for him — he’s a shelter mutt that they labeled as chihuahua mix — we call him a Crevice Terrier.

NICOLE: Now I’m trying to remember the Tumblr post I saw the other day… it was a chihuahua mix wearing a knit hat that was, like, designed to look like a Crock-Pot?

It was, you know, Tumblr.

VICKY: #peaktumblr

Do you ever see things on Tumblr and ask yourself how much did this project that is clearly just for Tumblr (or Instagram, I guess) cost?

Like the Doctor Who scarves that people were putting on Livejournal like 100 years ago… That is so much yarn!!

NICOLE: That’s a good question. I guess I haven’t, because I always assume people who knit Crock-Pot hats or set up dominoes in some perfect order or whatever are doing it out of love.

But yes, the Fourth Doctor’s scarf is way too excessive. 😉

I’d actually love to do a piece on that, if anyone wants to pitch The Billfold.


NICOLE: Have you ever made a thing mostly because you knew it would look good on social media?

VICKY: Not just for social media, but social media has motivated me to redo finishing touches on projects to get them just so.

Like I re-did the binding on this baby quilt I was making because I knew it would probably feature in my niece’s baby pics online, it made me a little more self conscious.

NICOLE: Oh wow, I’m impressed. The most I ever do is, like, put the book I’m reading next to a vase of flowers before I take the photo.

Does it cost you extra to do the extra work?

VICKY: Not really — for a project I usually buy a little extra in case I mess up along the way or in case my math isn’t quite right so it’s a sunk cost to fix, just time/pride

So either it’s a sunk cost, or my purchase strategy has already accounted for the cost, I guess you could look at that two ways.

NICOLE: Hey, as long as it’s with in your budget and financial goals. 😉

VICKY: If the Billfold had a tattoo, that would be it.

Lattes? Travel? 50 foot stacks of books? As long as…

NICOLE: Now I’ll go figure out what it costs to design and print temporary tattoos.

Want to be part of an upcoming Friday Chat? Email nicole@thebillfold.com.

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