I was flying…again! This time with a hound and nearly all of our belongings from Bulgaria. You know, just in case we can’t ever get back there. I’d hate to leave all our good stuff there forever.

So, we left on Monday morning at very early o’clock and checked in at Lufthansa. With the “kuche” (dog in Bulgarian). The girl at the counter asks us if his cage is too small.

“Ummmm, no. It’s the largest kennel your airline allows”, we respond.

After about a half an hour of her figuring out how to put the proper stickers in the proper places on the kennel, she sends me over to yet another counter to pay. Here, the lady charges me double. One charge for the dog and one because the dog is heavy. Does that make any sense to anyone??? Really??? But whatever. The plane is supposed to leave in like 20 minutes, so now is not the time to argue. I’ll get the refund later.

Then she informs me that she cannot access United’s system to make sure there is a doggie reservation. I explain to her that if she has a doggie reservation on Lufthansa, there MUST be one on United because we ONLY called United. The Lufthansa flight is one of those “United, operated by Lufthansa”, so United handles our reservations and all that. Since we NEVER called Lufthansa, and they know about the dog, well then common sense would say that United must have TOLD them about the dog. She isn’t following my logic. She insists on calling United. With 20 minutes to go.

But…she doesn’t have the right number. Seriously. I’m not kidding. All her numbers don’t work. So she has to make a life and death decision of whether to allow the hound on to the plane. I tried to soothe her by saying, “Look, we have 6 hours of layover time in Frankfurt to work this out. How about if you just board the hound and we will deal with it there?” Finally, she agreed.

Once we arrived in Frankfurt, we found the United counter and asked the lady to check on the hound situation. She made a few phone calls, and BAM. What d’ya know? The dog IS allowed on the plane. Go figure. But when she was talking on the phone, she said “ein hund”, pronounced AYN HOOOnd, which means “a hound” in German. Well, we loved that name for Guiseppe, so all day we kept asking about “ein hund”.

Our 6 hour layover turned into 8 hours. During the wait, Mark went to check that ein hund was in the right place. Good thing. Because ein hund was missing. MISSING, people. But after about 20 minutes, they located him. Where? In Baggage Claim. Yeah, no one had claimed him yet, I guess. Probably because he was supposed to be on a plane. But who am I to mention that little fact??

Since we were late in from Frankfurt, we missed our flight from San Francisco to San Diego. I was hoping we would get to stay the night because I LOVE San Francisco, and I know, just given the chance to explore, that ein hund would love it there, too. But alas, there was another flight out at 10:15pm. So we got on that. (Don’t ask Mark about how the airport changed gates on us right before the flight and how we had to hoof it all the way to the other side of the airport with him carrying a couple of very heavy bags. Don’t ask him. He seemed….I don’t know….agitated about the whole situation.)

We got into San Diego at 11:30 and there was ein hund, as happy as could be. He seemed so well-adjusted that we thought he was just meant to take trans-Atlantic flights. But then we heard from his new keepers that he had jet lag ALL DAY on Tuesday, and has just recently been snapping out of it. I wish I could snap out of it. I keep waking up at 3:30am and can’t go back to sleep. So after days of insomnia before leaving Sofia, and now a few days of weird hours, I am a zombie. I can barely remember my own name.

But see how I remembered to update you all…my faithful readers? That’s just solid love for ya!