Last week from the 28th of January till the 2nd of February, Ella Zeus and I traveled down to Beaufort South Carolina the home of Parris Island marine corp base to witness and celebrate the graduation of our beloved nephew Matthew Gabriel Perez as a US MARINE.
Now in the almost 17 year I have called the United States home, yet because of hard work then disability I have never seen any more than airports as I fly home every 18 months to Australia and Back. Well this week I saw beautiful low country south Carolina,
for the most part the people were wonderful, the stores inviting, and the acceptance in all but one establishment of service dogs was above and beyond even to the point of offering a doggy menu for Zeus.
Zeus had His first airline flight and first TSA checkpoint and handled both like a seasoned professional.
Now it was meant to be 1hr and 48 minutes of total flight time, well you know what they say about the well laid plans of mice and men we had a water leak in the cockpit and didn’t take off for almost 2 hours.
So by the time Zeus had landed in Savannah Georgia ready for the one hour taxi ride across the border to Beaufort South Carolina, he had been confined on a small local jet for almost three and a half hours with no mess no complaining he acted like a seasoned pro we were very proud of him.
He wriggled a bit on the hour cab ride to Beaufort, but still well within training guidelines and was relieved to arrive and relieve himself, but no accidents in airports or on planes he made me proud.
We stayed at the Beaufort Garden Hilton, which on their website was advertised as ¾ mile from downtown Beaufort it was in fact almost 2 miles.
During our time in Beaufort we had two days prior to Matthews graduation, and Family day to explore and every day we did over 5 miles each day in the chair and Zeus handled it even in torrential rain.
He sat quietly for colors and the national anthem , then sat quietly during speeches at the beginning of family day was not phased by thousands of parents as they ran to greet the marines at the beginning of liberty.
During our five days in South Carolina we caught over a dozen cabs and he behaved in all, he sat in the bar at nights while we drank and in the breakfast restaurant in the AM and was loved by all staff and we were honored to share our time with a unit of marines and navy aviators just returned from duty in Afghanistan and he was their mascot.
The trip back to Savannah was at 5 am to fly home and he slept all the way he behaved in the airport and even during the disgusting behavior of the wheelchair staff assaulting me on the plane he stood down and did not engage. his training showed when at one point of the trip the air hostess wheeled me to the bathroom and zeus got up into my seat and looked around the chair watching me go and come back.
At times in his younger puppy days he was a chewer, and he terrorized our cats but as of this trip I would not give him up for anything he completes my life and he is loved by both of us. The future looks amazing the best day of my life was the day I chose him to be my service animal.