[author: Jenna Baranko]
Airports in San Jose, Miami and Los Angeles are bringing in dogs to greet travelers, as part of a new program aimed at de-stressing the traveling public. While the Miami airport only has one dog, a 4-year old golden retriever named Casey, she has become a local celebrity. Casey has her own website, fan mail, business cards and a role on ‘Airport 24/7: Miami,’ a reality show on the Travel Channel. The Los Angeles International Airport, on the other hand, has as many as 30 dogs which are all as varied as the passengers they greet. Among the many dogs, LAX has a long-haired Dalmatian, a Lab-pointer mix, a field spaniel, a poodle, three Australian Labradoodles, a Doberman and an Irish wolfhound named Finn. The dogs have to be healthy, skilled, stable, well-mannered and able to work on a slack 4-foot leash. They have to be comfortable with crowds, sounds, smells and must pass through security like all airport workers. Best of all, the dogs “speak” the universal language of tail wagging. The next time you are at one of these three airports, keep an eye out for these four-legged goodwill ambassadors who are eagerly waiting your arrival.