The Departure

Early in the morning of December 24, 1998, we loaded our car with the crate, our luggage, and, of course, the little puppy. We drove the 300 kilometers  from Wuppertal to Frankfurt, where we would catch the Lufthansa flight to Washington. Dasko was deep, deep asleep throughout the trip to Frankfurt.

In Frankfurt, he reluctantly woke up and walked with us in the airport as we checked in our luggage. We agreed with the airline representative that we would bring Dasko back in his crate about 45 minutes before departure so that the crate could be loaded onto the aircraft.

As we put Dasko into his crate just as the 45 minute deadline approached, he appeared to collapse. I opened the crate and tried to wake him up, but to no avail.

I panicked. Could we find a veterinarian immediately? But Jutta remained calm, assuring me: “He is just exhausted. Let him sleep.”  We had to make a decision – rush to a veterinarian or turn in the crate to fly to Washington. He seemed to be sleeping calmly. Jutta prevailed. We turned the crate in.

Had the piece of plastic he probably swallowed done some damage to his stomach? Was he bleeding internally? I wondered. Through the eight and a half hours flight, I could not relax. Should we have skipped the flight and gone to a veterinarian? Would he be alive when we arrived?