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How NOT to Ship a Goat (Conclusion)

Continued from previous post…

The young man from the valet service and I rushed through the doors of the cargo building. He sat down with the carrier on his lap. The goat bleated. All six people working in the office looked around. “Is that a goat?” someone hollered from behind the Customer Service counter. People began filing over toward the crate. “Can we hold him?” one of the older men asked. “Sure.” I said as I approached a woman at the counter looking around me at the goat. The man proceeded to open the crate and remove the goat.

I explained to the woman at the counter that I had a reservation to ship the goat. She handed me a clip board with some paperwork. She left me standing there to head around the counter and out into the lobby area to pet the goat. The goat was loving all this new found attention.

As I completed the forms, the same woman approached me and proceeded to tell me how cute the goat was, but…there was a but. They would not be able to ship the goat because of the hay. It is combustible material. Apparently. This was absolutely not mentioned to me nor noted on the webpage! Ugh! She skimmed over the forms I had completed only to add another problem. I was missing a vet certificate. What???? She apologized for the website not having all the information but proceeded to tell me I would have to reschedule the flight.

Oh, NO! I looked at my watch, realizing I needed to get to the airport myself or I would miss my flight. I was sweating. What the hell am I going to do with this goat? I was 70 minutes from home and taking him with me obviously was not an option. Although I seriously considered it! As everyone oohed and awed over the goat, I was cursing under my breath and frantically trying to figure out what to do next.

I went to the woman and told her rescheduling was not an option and I needed help. The hay had to go, I needed water, food (it was a two hour flight and the hay WAS his food) and the vet certificate. Okay! I asked if they would watch the goat. I grabbed the poor valet guy and begged him to take me to my Jeep at Valet parking. I had my dog’s water bottle and a blanket in my Jeep. I could use the blanket for padding in the crate and the bottle for water. We left.

Now, I am really sweating as we pulled up to my Jeep in the garage. On the way I had texted the vet with a harried message about the certification. I called the Valet and asked them to unlock my Jeep. I grabbed the blanket and the bottle, jumped back in the poor guy’s car and we whipped around back to the cargo building.

I was on my hands and knees on the dirty tile of the lobby (in my nice non-farm clothes) digging hay out of the crate with a trash bag provided by the staff, stopping only to text with the vet providing details she needed for the certificate. I put the blanket in the crate. My cell phone dinged. The vet had emailed the certificate. I asked the woman for her email so I could forward it. We had 10 minutes to the check in deadline for the flight. While I completed the rest of the paperwork, one of the staff who had been holding the goat strapped the water bottle to the crate and had provisioned some animal crackers from the vending machine at my anxious behest. No hay- check. Food- check. Water- check. Certificate- check. 2 minutes to go.

The woman, too casually for my current mood, reviewed everything and inspected the crate. With no time left to spare she gave me the thumbs up and everyone clapped. They took a couple more pics with their cell phones as I kissed the goat on the head and placed him carefully into the crate. I watched briefly as the woman disappeared behind a secure door.

The poor Valet guy surely thinks I am nuts at this point. I looked at him with pure desperation and asked if he could please drop me at the airport for my flight. We scurried to his car. I thanked him profusely for his help and patience. He proceeded to share it was by far his best day on the job. We laughed. As we pulled up at the airport 5 minutes later, I reached in my wallet and pulled out my only cash and handed it to the guy. He tried to decline, but I sat it on his car seat and jumped out before he could object.

I made it to the gate for my flight with 10 minutes to spare in the boarding process. I smelled like goat. And as I settled in my seat for the two and half hour flight, I looked down to notice a few straggling pieces of hay on the front of my shirt. Classy.

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