June 1991 rolled around and the family was almost ready for the return to Canada. Our four-year assignment in France was over. John left in August 1990 to begin studies at Harvard University and was working in Toronto for the summer, so we were excited about the prospect of being together in our own country once again.
Glen called Air Canada to book flights for – Eleanor, Elizabeth and himself. Then he mentioned the dog would be travelling with us. “Will he be traveling in the cabin or down below?” asked the Air Canada agent. We hadn’t really thought about it. We could imagine Beau sitting in seat 21 C, bib tucked in, enjoying his steak and Perrier as we flew over Greenland to Toronto. Since the cost of that was prohibitive we answered that he would travel below – in his cage rather than in seat 21C. Beau was not consulted in the decision – we knew what he would say and we did not want to go there.
Beau had to be prepared for the trip. Elizabeth took on that responsibility, administering tranquilizer pills each day for the week preceding our trip home. On July 1 we headed to Charles de Gaulle airport and put Beau in his cage for check-in at the Air Canada counter. Elizabeth administered the injection of a tranquilizer and Beau headed off for boarding. Beau, not a fan of needles squirmed as she knelt on the airport floor, holding his paw in her hand, as a result spraying a portion of the injection on the Charles de Gaulle floor tiles. As we stood at the gate awaiting our boarding, we watched him as his cage was towed across the tarmac to the plane – with Beau, the only canine still awake, standing up observing the entire adventure. It appeared that the tranquilizer was not having any immediate effect, no doubt due to some spilt drops…
We boarded the plane for the 8-hour flight to Toronto. After clearing customs in Toronto we emerged to meet our family and collect our luggage. From behind we heard a familiar sound – the plaintive bark of Beau in his cage, welcoming us to the new land, asking when he could get out.
|Word Guild Award|
|Word Guild Award|