Dogs easing travelers during holiday rush

National

SYRACUSE, NY (CNN NEWSOURCE) – Holiday traveling can be stressful with the huge crowds plus having your luggage and gifts all in tow.

Well, what better way to de-stress at the airport than to pet a dog.

That’s exactly what’s happening at Syracuse Hancock International Airport in New York.

A dog named Bert has been called in to help passengers calm down and get into the holiday spirit.

It’s 10 o’clock and Bert is on his way to work.

His job is simple: to make people smile.

“You see that tongue hanging out it’s very silly and cool and puts a smile on your face,” Alberto Castro, a traveler, said.

He does this with his owner, Susan Vaughn.

Together, they walk around the Syracuse airport offering some pet therapy.

“People are coming to us they’re waving us down. I want to pet the dog, I want to pet the dog,” Vaughn said.

Their task becomes important, especially around the holidays, when traveling causes stress.

“I thought it was awesome. Bert was so friendly. Everyone that he walked by, they started smiling and they definitely cheered everybody up, if you had a delayed flight you definitely forgot,” Samantha Proctor, a traveler, said.

To prepare them for work like this, they went through months of training and testing.

“I like to see him making people happy,” Vaughn said. 

It’s their third year at the airport, and Bert has proven himself to be comfortable in a noisy, crowded area.

“It makes me feel good that we’re doing the kinds of things we were meant to do,” Vaughn said. 

A hard job but Bert is rewarded with every pet.

Wednesday and Sunday are the busiest travel days during the Thanksgiving holiday week.

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