This past weekend, United Airlines sponsored Fantasy Flights at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, and Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas. Chicago International Airport In Chicago, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs greeted over forty children afflicted by illness, recovering from illness, and those with special needs and their families at United Airlines O’Hare Terminal 1 as they boarded a plane with their families to the North Pole. This event is a totally volunteer effort by United employees and sponsors. Toy soldiers, Santa, action heroes, Benny the Bull, and LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were there to add smiles to kids’ faces who are going through some of the most difficult health struggles. Every child and sibling received a stuffed Comfort Dog along with a Polaroid picture of them and the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs.
Bush Intercontinental Airport In Houston, LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs greeted seventy-four ill children and their families at Bush Intercontinental Airport for a day full of fun. The fun for them involved a 777 aircraft that transported them from Terminal E to the North Pole and back. Amid cheers and clapping, they exited the plane where all sorts of story book characters, sports heroes, an orchestra and, yes, six LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs awaited them: Elijah (Our Redeemer – Wichita Falls, Texas), Phoebe (St. Paul – Fort Worth, Texas), Triton (Messiah – Plano, Texas), Abner (Bethany – Austin, Texas), Joy (Gloria Dei – Houston, Texas), and Gabriel (Messiah – Houston, Texas).
Further down the Pole area, Santa and Mrs. Claus, face painters and all types of crafts as well as a gift shopping place were ready to take care of more than a few small wishes. The children and their families will no doubt remember the magic of this day. For the comfort dog teams, we know those memories will live on for a long time.