Dog owners Kristi and Jared claim they have no idea how the Chihuahua ended up in their suitcase. Photo / included
A Texas couple told Southwestern Airlines they had no idea how their pet Chihuahua got in their suitcase.
The dog was discovered in luggage at Lubbock Airport in Texas, destined for Las Vegas, on September 26, after the suitcase was found to be nearly 3kg overweight.
The extra weight belonged to Icky, a Chihuahua found folded up in one of owner Jared Owens’ cowboy boots.
The photo of the dog being pulled out of a shoe was shared on Facebook by Jared and Kristi Owens, who claimed they had no idea how the animal got in there.
“You know it’s going to be an epic trip to Vegas when you get to the airport to check your bags …. 6 pounds overweight and a Chihuahua popping out of your boot,” he wrote.
The couple blamed the stowed Chihuahua for a last-minute package. They were late when they dropped their other two dogs and children (ages 4 and 8) with their grandparents. They had lost sight of Icky.
“I guess this little burrower just buried itself in the ground and we never had a clue,” Jared told Insider.
“It didn’t make a beeping sound,” said Kristi. “We had no idea and as soon as we opened the zipper it just crawled out.”
The owners thanked Southwestern employee Cathy Cook who made the discovery for her understanding.
“She offered to take care of Icky until we get back,” said Jared.
Cook said this was the first time in their 25 years of working with the airline. Instead of sending the Owens home, she offered Icky to sit a dog so they could catch their flight.
“I will always tell the best story about overweight bags,” she said.
Fortunately, the Owens were able to take their flight and family members picked Icky up from the airport shortly afterwards.
An airline representative confirmed the story to local media.
“We thank our coworker for showing the hospitality Southwest is known for to everyone – even our four-legged friends!”
Southwestern Airlines allows pets to travel in the cabin for a fee rather than smuggling dogs in cargo. However, the rest of the Owens’ travel plans had no room for Icky, so she had to be left behind.
Icky avoided a potentially fatal journey.
Some airlines expressly prohibit Chihuahuas and other snub-nosed dogs from traveling due to possible breathing difficulties and cannot be taken as cargo.
Airlines like Air New Zealand will not transport brachycephalic dog breeds over long distances, saying that air travel may pose “an increased risk for brachycephalic breeds”.