Los Angeles: Travelling with Diego, the Malibu chihuahua. Viva la fiesta!

Amy Newborn with Diego and Geordi.Amy Newborn with Diego and Geordi.
Amy Newborn with Diego and Geordi.

Amy Newborn with Diego and Geordi.


I know we just had a column, penned by our travel scholar, Mark Medicoff, on travelling with dogs, but he didn’t have the pictures to prove it.

This May, Irwin and I took a wonderful 10-day vacation to L.A. to visit my daughter Amy, her partner, Todd, my sister Sheri and my little niece Cleo. We took Diego, our 4-year-old Min-Pin-Chihuahua along with us.

A few passengers asked us about how we managed to get Diego into the cabin, maybe thinking we had snuck him in. People don’t seem to know a dog can travel under a passenger’s seat, provided the dog is under about 15 pounds. On Air Canada, the one-way cost is $50.

This wasn’t the first trip for Diego. We adopted him in L.A. two years ago and brought him across the border to start his new life in a slightly colder climate. (Would you believe he has grown an extra coat of fur for his new habitat?) This was his second time back in L.A. to visit.

Fellow travelers marveled at how quiet he was. He didn’t move the entire six-hour flight. At 10 pounds, he is slightly fatter than when we first brought him, but he loves to snuggle in his case, be it in an airplane or any other indoor venue.

When we landed, our fellow passenger in the window seat had no idea he had been under the seat the entire time.

We were advised by our vet not to tranquilize him because he is small and there can be side effects. Knowing our Diego to be extremely quiet and just happy to be with us, he didn’t need meds for the trip.

There is a limit to the number of small dogs allowed on a flight, so when you make your reservations, check that you have your dog’s ticket, too. Crossing the border was no problem. We had the ticket and no one asked for his vaccination forms, but we had them just in case.

Here are some pictures of Diego and Geordi (Amy and Todd’s dog) rollicking on Malibu Beach, just to show you that it was all worth it. Diego stayed with Amy and Todd when we were at the Tarzana Inn visiting my sister. But we did find out that the inn allows dogs, as do many L.A. hotels, for a fee. At the Tarzana Inn, it was $10 a day.

As far as going to Europe, we haven’t crossed that bridge yet. It will be our next adventure with Diego.

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