Long lines and delayed flights are sometimes unavoidable when traveling, but at Aberdeen Airport in Scotland, a new team of employees makes the process a little easier. The "canine crew" is the first airport therapy dog team in the UK, and the dogs will be deployed at Aberdeen permanently beginning on May 4.
The dogs' job is to be available to interact with any passengers or employees who may feel stressed out in an airport environment (or just want to give a doggo a pet). After a successful trial run during the holiday season, the therapy dogs are now ready to comfort guests on a regular basis.
The initial crew is made up of 14 dogs of varying sizes and breeds, including German shepherds, golden retrievers, beagles, and a pug. They will all wear matching jackets and bandanas so that they're easily identifiable as trained therapy animals.
“All our dogs—and their owners—have undergone rigorous training and assessment to work in a variety of environments and the dogs are used to being stroked and petted and generally made a fuss of so they will lap up the attention and thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to interact with passengers and staff," Aberdeenshire North Therapet trustee and representative Diane Wood said in a statement.
“The mere action of stroking a dog slows down the heartbeat and reduces blood pressure, so they will be a great help to anyone feeling nervous about their journey."
Dogs will visit the airport in pairs and work for two hours at a time once a week. And in case staff members or travelers have favorites, the airport plans to share each dog's schedule.