In all my planning for various theoretical disasters, however, I carelessly neglected to take the Eyjafjallaj�kull volcano into acount. It erupted on March 20th 2010, and by april 15th the ash cloud had reached Europe, leading to a complete shut-down of air traffic in Northern Europe. Beedoo! and accompanying dog made it as far as Detroit before being turned around, and overall she managed to travel for some 20 hours only to end up where she started: back in Flagstaff.
Fortunately, we are patient dragons, and she could fly in 9 days later. But it just goes to show: you cannot plan
meticulously enough. ALWAYS consider Icelandic volcanoes when planning your trip!
When I reached Detroit, I was called by an agent, who then rebooked me to Phoenix immediately, and made sure someone was taking care of my dog in the meantime. I was told to call and rebook my flights to Europe ASAP. Good advice, since everyone who had to rebook flights to Europe would ALSO be rebooking as soon as possible. Thankfully, the ash cleared within the week, and I was able to leave the following Saturday.
My dog, Kayenta, was a little shaken up, mostly because I was out of sight for hours on end, and partly because she was stuck in a very small space for so long. Kayenta will have to stay here with Arno and his parents when I come back to the States; no airline will fly a pet when the temperature is more than 85 degrees at any point along the route. That makes Phoenix more or less impossible to fly into, and Flagstaff isn't worth flying to, since it is such a small airport and most of its flights come only from Phoenix anyway. So, for better or worse, to her joy or remorse, Kayenta has to stay in the Netherlands when I go home. Depending on what kind of things I need to go through for Dutch citizenship, this may only be for a month. I hope... Here, Arno.... Have a dog.
Also, thanks to Leva for sending me the link for Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Ash Clouds above... I've been passing this along to everyone who asked about it. ;)