Over the past year, you may have noticed a few new faces enthusiastically making their way around the airport. These furry, affectionate companions are tasked with bringing joy to the terminal. Sitting, shaking and even rolling over, these sweet dogs know they have a job to do; and they take it very seriously.
The Paws for Passengers program celebrated one year of play last month. The pet-therapy program that started with nine dogs has almost doubled in size, and passengers traveling through AVL have been delighted to see the dogs spreading smiles from gate to gate. From passing the time to calming anxiety, our furry friends have a knack for making a difference.
We know travel can be stressful when things don’t go as planned. Luckily, these playful pups specialize in alleviating the stress of last-minute changes to a packed itinerary.
“My flight was delayed twice, and it was refreshing to see Jelly and Paul,” said one passenger. “They made passing the time easier and the anxiety go away.”
Our affectionate playmates are also naturals when it comes to curing pre-flight jitters.
“Paws for Passengers absolutely made our day,” another traveler recounted. “Being able to pet a sweet dog while waiting for our flight was the highlight of our trip, and completely erased my anxiety of flying for the first time!”
Our special canine volunteers can even add a happy touch to an otherwise challenging trip.
“Once we met a woman who was on her way to go visit her ailing sister, and this program gave her something to think about other than her flight and what she was on her way to go do,” said one of the Paws for Passengers volunteers.
There’s nothing like seeing a wide smile stretch across our passengers’ faces, and our four-legged ambassadors know just what to do.
“The dog was so cute and fluffy,” said a 10-year-old passenger. “He just jumps around everywhere!”
These furry faces brighten every aspect of travel, even easing the all-too-real pain of leaving the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains.
“Samson and I got to meet a girl who was coming home from camp, and she was bummed,” a volunteer shared. “She was on her way back to Florida with her parents, and she was crying because she didn’t want to leave Asheville. Samson licked the tears off her face and allowed her to pet him until she felt better. I really felt like he was helpful that day.”