(WSVN) - Face it, flying can be stressful. But now some airports are enlisting the help of trained professionals …. dogs! Craig Stevens shows us how service dogs are taking the stress out of flying in our special report … Ruff Flight.

There is plenty of space to roam. Tons of treats and all the hugs imaginable for Phoebe.

Kyra Battle, Phoebe’s handler: “I have everyone enjoying her demonstration of love and kisses.”

Phoebe and Tiffany are certified therapy dogs who spend their time making tough situations a little brighter.

Kyra Battle: “She sees patients in the psych ward, she goes to hospice.”

Their latest mission, the Ambassadogs program at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, a new way for passengers to decompress, when they’re dog tired.

Deborah Leach, Volunteer Coordinator at the Broward County Aviation Department: “They are volunteering their time, their energy, to come here and take care of our passengers.”

Long lines, delayed flights, changing terminals — it can be stressful.  But Phoebe and Tiffany are trained to calm those frayed nerves.

Deborah Leach: “Research has shown that interaction with a dog lowers your blood pressure and reduces your stress, so what better place to have them?”

It’s not all fun and games though. It takes a lot of work to earn the right to wear these vests.

Deborah Leach: “They are experienced and certified before they get here, and then they receive additional training here at the airport. We run the dogs through a training program, and then we teach the handlers a little bit about the airport, so they can answer questions as well.”

For Phoebe’s handler Kyra,  seeing the reaction of passengers is priceless.

Kyra Battle: “There was this little boy, maybe 6 or 7 years old. I was told this is a custody issue and the poor child had to go back to California and the tears were coming down, and so Phoebe took it upon herself to make him feel good.”

With a simple swish of her tail and a sloppy kiss, Phoebe is able to make a tough trip a little easier.

Kyra Battle: “I get paid in smiles and recognition that they are happy.”

And for these ambassadogs, the goal is simple: continue getting you off the ground with less stress and more smiles!

Kyra Battle: “It’s wanting to make a difference and make time to make others feel good.”

For more info about the dog teams go to website.


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