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A picture of your dog

It’s a good idea to bring a picture of your dog with you, at least on long trips, for two reasons. First, if your dog is lost while you’re traveling, you can act rapidly, giving copies of the photo to local animal shelters and rescue organizations, and creating lost-pet posters and handouts. Either carry a hard-copy photo with you, or upload a picture to a website (e.g., Flickr, SmugMug, FaceBook) so you can make a printout any time at FedEx Kinko’s or your hotel business center.

Second, and more happily, it helps to have a picture of your dog to show your airplane seat mates, especially if they seem dubious about spending the next few hours with a dog at their feet. All U.S. airlines require you to keep your dog in her carrier during the flight (at most I’ll unzip a corner of Chloe’s carrier and stick my arm in to pet her), so a photo is the best way to win your neighbors’ hearts and satisfy their curiosity. Tuck your hard-copy photo into the end pocket of your dog’s carrier, or create a collection of particularly winning dog photos on your phone.

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