TYLER, Texas (AP) - Dixie Diedering, 89, of New London, and her daughter Dee checked in for their flight to Dallas on Monday at Tyler Pounds Regional Airport.
Elly and Klondike met them near the Transportation Security Administration checkpoint before their flight.
The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports the visit wasn’t to discuss what was in their bags or if they had their liquids packed properly in their carry-on baggage. It was to provide a bit of comfort and a distraction from the stresses of holiday travel.
Golden retrievers Elly and Klondike and their owners are volunteers with Therapet, a Tyler agency that works to provide volunteers and therapy animals at schools, court hearings and at the airport during busy travel seasons.
Dixie reached over and gave Klondike a pat on the head and stroked his golden hair before she was wheeled to the security checkpoint.
“We loved seeing the dogs,” Dee Diedering said. “I’ve never heard of them before. It’s such a great service for people who are traveling.”
Tyler Pounds Regional Airport manager Davis Dickson said the dogs are always a big hit during holiday travel and he even realized how just having them around can ease his stress on a busy morning at his workplace.
“The customers enjoy seeing the dogs,” he said. “Their interaction with the people is a real bonus. It’s a little stress relief from the traffic and shopping and they appreciate it.”
Dickson said the volunteers who come out to the airport are a big help.
“The dogs are very laid-back and well-behaved,” he said.
Linda Goodwin, of Tyler, said she loved petting the dogs on Monday.
Goodwin was on her way to Huntsville, Alabama, to visit her sister for Thanksgiving.
“This is the first time I have seen the dogs,” she said. “I loved it and I think it’s a good thing.”
Klondike’s owner Sherry Guinn said the response at the airport is always positive.
“Everyone who touches them has smiled,” she said. “We’re just here to make holiday traveling a little less stressful and easier.”
Elly and Klondike are two of seven dogs that have been volunteering at the airport in Tyler, located 90 miles (144.83 kilometers) southeast of Dallas.
Information from: Tyler Morning Telegraph, http://www.tylerpaper.com
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