Five puppies had a howling good time at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Michigan on Tuesday. They weren’t flying planes. (Whew!) They were training to be assistance dogs.
The pooches and their trainers walked through a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint. They rode an elevated tram. Finally, they boarded an airplane.
Someday, these pups may help people with disabilities navigate (make their way through) the airport. When that day comes, they’ll be ready.
The training was led by Paws With A Cause. The group pairs puppies with volunteers who raise the dogs for the first year of their lives.
“Eventually, when they’re placed with our clients, they may well need to fly with them,” says Liz Hood. She works for Paws With a Cause. “So if they have this exposure now while they’re young, then it means it’s not going to be a big deal for them when they’re with their clients when they’re older.”
The trainers also take the puppies to grocery stores, libraries, restaurants, and doctor’s appointments.
The group of puppies included Labrador and golden retrievers as well as one papillon. They bounded through the airport. Airline passengers stared. Wouldn’t you?