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As office buildings are opening back up, not all employees are eager to return, especially those who have enjoyed spending their days working alongside their pet. Going back to the pre-pandemic way of leaving pets behind all day does not settle well. “I get it,” says Gayle Martz, author, entrepreneur, and pet travel advocate. If you’ve ever taken a pet with you on a plane, then you have Martz to thank. Martz invented the iconic SHERPA bag — creating the soft-sided pet carrier category —all because of her not wanting to leave behind her beloved Lhasa Apso, SHERPA, when she traveled. Now, Martz continues to advocate for a world that responsibly welcomes pets wherever their humans go. Martz was responsible for American Airlines changing its policy in 1992 to allow pets to travel in the passenger cabin and is eager to help change workplace policy to allow pets at the office. Read more
One thing entrepreneurs quickly learn about Gayle Martz while reading her new book, “IT’S IN THE BAG: How to Turn a Passion into a New Business” is that Martz is not only a successful entrepreneur, writer, and pet-travel pioneer and advocate, but she is also an avid volunteer. For every success Martz has had, she makes sure to give back. She doesn’t just donate money; she also shows up, giving her time. From volunteering with stray animals to helping other entrepreneurs on their journey to success, Martz’s story is rife with a spirit of giving. One of Martz’s favorite quotes is, “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Wise words, and research can prove it! Read on to find out why volunteering is so beneficial and how to get started today! Read more
Hello Dear Reader,
“IT’s IN THE BAG” is now available on Amazon: eBook, physical copy, audiobook.
It’s in the Bag is more than the life story of Gayle Martz, the founder of the SHERPA pet carrier brand that has revolutionized pet travel. It is a dramatic illustration of what one SuperHERO woman can do to change an industry and build a major brand, as Gayle did through sheer grit and lots of puppy love!
—Wendy Diamond, Founder/Chief Pet Officer Animal Fair Media, Inc/ Founder LDP Ventures/CEO/Founder Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization (WEDO)
A dead Fiance, no place to call home and furloughed from her career as a flight attendant–all happening at the same time– would have derailed a lesser person. Having been close friends with Gayle for the past 45 years I have enjoyed a front row seat on her talents and work ethic. Thus, I am not at all surprised Gayle Martz has let nothing stop her. She also did it with great style, as her fashion sense is extraordinary, personally and professionally. Gayle’s unique recipe for success is in this page-turning inspirational memoir. I highly recommend it to everyone– aspiring entrepreneurs and animal lovers alike! Read more
Preparing for the Journey
Before taking off on a travel adventure with your pet, you have some preparations to complete. Preparing for the Journey will let you de-stress and focus on the fun of traveling with your pet by helping you collect and organize all of your pet’s necessities which includes your paperwork, food and medications to carriers, beds, and toys – ahead of time.
Pets live blessedly in the present, and their unbridled excitement over what is happening here and now is part of what endears them to us. The flip side of all this enthusiasm is that they don’t stop to weigh the pros and cons of a potentially dangerous situation before chasing a squirrel into the street of dashing out of a motel room door. So for safety’s sake, it’s up to us, as caring “parents,” to keep a sharp eye on our inquisitive charges at all times.
It is never a good idea to leave your pet unattended, whether tethered to a parking meter outside a store or alone in a car because unattended pets are often stolen. If you absolutely must stop at a store or a restaurant that doesn’t permit pets, park in the shade, crack the windows, and keep watch over them from the store windows. If you can’t order carry-out food, ask for a table near a window and door where you can tend to your car and your pet.
If you take your pet on a boat ride, she should be kept in a carrier that is fastened to a stationary support or she should be in a harness, tethered a safe distance from the edge of the deck to ensure that she does not fall overboard or run onto the dock and get lost. Always use a pet floatation vest; these life savers have a handle so that if your pet does fall overboard, you can easily pull them back into the boat.
It bears repeating that pets should always wear collars and ID tags (fastening tags to halter is more secure), but a microchip ID is the preferred form of identification. And remember to always carry a recent of your pet in your purse or billfold to help describe her if needed. Read more
Flying With a Dog or a Cat: Domestic Travel
Anyone who plans to travel while flying with dogs to another state with her pet needs to have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI). This official document is a health Certificate signed by a licensed and accredited veterinarian. It guarantees that the pet shows no signs of communicable disease and gives a date that the inspection (examination) took place. This document should include rabies vaccination information with the date the rabies shot was given. Rabies vaccination documentation is required by all states for dogs and by most states for cats. I recommend you contact the particular state’s agricultural or veterinary department directly for updated information before you travel. In addition to your CVI certificate, for travel within the United States, your pet needs to have a health certificate from your veterinarian dated within ten days of departure stating that your pet is fit to travel. The health certificate and your pet’s vaccination certificates should be attached to the kennel. Always carry extra copies on your person, in case you are asked to produce them. If your pet is tranquilized before travel, your veterinarian must supply the name of the drug, the dosage, and how the drug was administered. This information should be included with the pet’s health certificate and other veterinary paperwork, and a copy of this information should also be attached to the kennel.
There are a wide variety of airlines now that accept pets, always be sure to call the airlines and ask about their pet policies before you purchase a ticket. While small dogs and cats are generally allowed in the cabin, large dogs are often required to be checked as baggage. Baggage holds can become hazardous if pets are exposed to extreme heat or cold for extended periods because they miss flights or planes are delayed. There is no way for owners to assist baggage-checked pets during flight. For this reason, the United States government recently required better training in pet handling for airline employees, and airlines must now notify the Department of Transportation about incidents involving animals.
Flying With a Dog or a Cat: International Travel
Before flying with dogs to another country, always contact that country’s consulate or embassy for information concerning their requirements. Every country has specific health requirements for the entry of animals and most countries, including those of the European Union, have a veterinary certificate specific to their country. If foreign countries do not have written policies specifically addressing your species of pet, I strong advise that you obtain something in writing from both the country’s embassy and your chosen airline carrier to avoid potential problems. Read more
I have been very fortunate. SHERPA, SuNae, KIMBA, KARTU, and KoKo never suffered from motion sickness. But many people do have to deal with this problem. I’ve had many people ask me “my dog gets car sick what can I do?”. Fortunately, motion sickness is something that most puppies outgrow. If you want to include your puppy or other pet in your active lifestyle, don’t let your pet’s tendency to become sick stop you from taking him or her in the car.
Part of an animal’s inclination toward motion sickness stems from the stress or anxiety of riding in a car. Try to create positive experiences for your pet that she will associate with the car. Why not try a trip to the new park for a game of Frisbee or catch? A ride to a pet bakery? A trip to a favorite friend? Maybe your pet enjoys riding through the car wash with you. SHERPA used to love it when I sang in the car and she would chime right in. Cats that don’t travel very often can moan and wail all the way there and back. That’s unpleasant for both of you; So, I advise you, if you have a kitten, to start car training now, and he may soon take it to. Be sure to keep your cat in a carrier while traveling and invest in squirm-proof halter and leash so that you can exercise him during long-distance trips.
Warning signs and treatments
Keep an eye on your pet. Usually the first signs of motion sickness are yawning or drooling. The good news is that a lot of the same things that help people overcome motion sickness also work for pets. If you stop the car and take your dog or cat out for a walk when you notice warning signs, you can often prevent sickness, at least for a while. Cracking a window to increase ventilation in the back seat can help these pets and small, crate bound pets too. Sometimes the churning juices in an empty stomach can make matters worse. If you see the warning signs, offer your pet an unsalted cracker or piece of plain bread. Other bland, calming foods you can offer any pet suffering from nausea or diarrhea include a little plain, boiled hamburger, rice, oatmeal, or the appropriate type of baby food for your pet species. Calm your pet by talking to them. Read more
The Extreme lengths that people have taken emotional support animals is ridiculous. What separates emotional support animals? To legally be considered an emotional support dog, the pet needs to be prescribed by a licensed mental health professional to a person with a disabling mental illness. Although this sounds reasonable, problems arise with just how easy it is to get your current animal to be approved as an emotional support animal. They are not service dogs, no training or specialization is required. One place where this really manifests is on airplanes, where specific policies were put into place to both allow pet owners to safely travel with their animal while still protecting other passengers on board the aircraft. One of the prime reasons for the surge in popularity of emotional support animals on planes are you don’t have to pay the airline fee for brings a pet aboard. Read more
SHERPA, a Lhasa Apso was born June 23, 1987 in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts. She was the canine love of my life and inspiration for SHERPA’S Pet Trading Company, which I launched in 1988. She was the most wonderful gift ever given to me, that gave me the opportunity to do what I was really meant to do in my life. Angels With Tails Now Have Wings is about the wonderful life that SHERPA gave me.
From the moment I began SHERPA, more than 30 years ago, I have made it my mission to ensure our beloved pets can travel safely, comfortably and stylishly with the people that love them the most. SHERPA was always a real “spokes dog” about pet travel. She was always by my side delivering her message with grace and humility. SHERPA loved meeting her four-legged friends across the country and the world and was so honored to be on Oprah’s Millionaire a Minute, Cesar Milan and the many other superstars and super shows who also believed our mission and goal. Fame never went to her head! A new friend or a new treat still sent her into total delight!
Thanks to our mission on pet travel advocacy I continue to this day with my vision, mission and dream. SHERPA’s soft-sided pet carriers and other luggage became a truly iconic lifestyle brand which I can proudly say has an impeccable legacy, celebrating the exceptional care today’s pet-loving consumers expect and that our pets richly deserve for the love and joy they bring to us. Read more