UK Airport Employs Team Of Therapy Dogs To Help Calm Nervous Fliers

Joshua RogersJoshua Rogers in News, UK, World
Published 01.05.19
Stay in the loop. We've got you covered
We'll soon be launching our easy-to-digest daily roundup of everything you need to know.
Your email address will be shared with The Hook and subject to its privacy policy.

A UK airport has just announced that it’s recruited a number of therapy dogs to calm people with pre-flight nerves and anxiety. The Canine Crew, as they are known, is the first of its kind in the UK.

Who doesn’t love going to the airport?

That wasn’t rhetorical. I’m genuinely interested to know who doesn’t enjoy it.

In my opinion, going to the airport is hands down the best part of any holiday because like most things in life, the build-up is often better than the reality.

And while I wouldn’t consider myself a nervous flier, I do get the jitters when the plane starts accelerating before lift off. In my mind, I’m convinced that this elongated tin can travelling at 200mph has no chance of getting airborne and instead will¬† crash and burn. Even when it is airborne, there’s always that part of me thinking ‘this defies all logic.’

Man shouldn’t be able to fly.

After that I just suck on a sweet and watch a film, but as I say, nerves come to the best of us.

However, for some people, flying can be a stressful, anxiety inducing, and often terrifying event, meaning they either have to force themselves to go through with it or just stay at home.

But you can’t do the latter; there’s so many places to see in so little time!

So what’s the solution? A therapy dog, obviously.

Thankfully, Aberdeen Airport is recruiting a number of dogs to help calm their pre-flight nerves, making it the first in the UK to do so.

The #CanineCrew, as they are known, are a group of registered Therapets, part of the Canine Concern Scotland Trust. According to the airport’s website, the team will be there to “bring smiles and brighten your day.”

“The Canine Crew and their accompanying handlers roam the terminal every week to help you feel welcomed and relaxed,” reads the site.

“The dogs in bandanas and handlers in blue vests are an excellent addition to the customer service team.
“Passengers love seeing warm, wet noses and wagging tails that help create a friendly, PAWSitive experience at ABZ!”

And get this – they’ve already unveiled their team of dogs tasked with calming you down from the daunting task.

There’s 14 dogs in the team, made up of breeds including Golden Retrievers, Border Collies, German Shepherds, Beagles and even a Pug.

Bronte, Bruno, Luna, Pax, Grace, Enzo, Doug, Cullen, Noodle, Tweedie Bear, Zosha, Shuna, Breagh, and Bentley are the good doggos, and they’ll be working every Saturday for two hours, soothing anyone with nerves ahead of boarding.

Therapet’s north-east representative Diane Wood said: “We are delighted to take the lead in this project and have the opportunity to work with the Aberdeen airport.

“All our dogs – and their owners – have undergone rigorous training and assessment to work in a variety of environments and the dogs are used to being stroked and petted and generally made a fuss of so they will lap up the attention and thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to interact with passengers and staff.

“The mere action of stroking a dog slows down the heartbeat and reduces blood pressure so they will be a great help to anyone feeling nervous about their journey. The dogs will work in pairs, for two hours at a time once a week and we plan to keep everybody updated about what dogs are visiting and when.”

Aberdeen airport duty manager Fraser Bain added: “We’re excited to be the first airport in the UK to offer this service to passengers. As well as benefiting our visitors, we also recognise the benefit to the mental health and wellbeing of our staff.

“The Canine Crew is made up of a variety of dogs, with a mixture of brilliant traits and personalities and we cannot wait to see the reaction of our passengers.”

This is is great and all, but I’m fully anticipating deviants like me to abuse this kind of scheme by pretending to have nerves when actually they just want to stroke the dogs.

Don’t blame me, I wasn’t allowed a dog growing up.

I have to take these kind of opportunities as and when I can.

Images via Aberdeen International Airport

Comments