Pups offer therapy for stressed-out airport travelers

First Pups and Planes program in Texas

San Antonio International Airport is now offering a unique stress therapy unlike any other in Texas and few in the country.

Airport joy is often hard to find in the long security line. At SA International, a cup of coffee for jangled nerves was about all you could expect -- until now.

The newest airport ambassadors are four legged friends that help you get some fun back into your flight plan.

It's a new program call Pups and Planes. It's the first in Texas and one of only five in the country.

Monday Saxon the pug and Whiskers the Airedale mix, among other canine consolers, offered therapy for the stressed out travelers.

"We ask them (travelers) if they would like to pet them," said Judy Huey, Pup ambassador. "We explain the program to them and it really brightens their day."

All of the pups are trained as therapy dogs, and somehow, even though they really don't do much except wag a tail, they all draw smiles. 

"It's so sweet," said traveler Gail Gwizdala. "It's so human in a place that has a lot of technology, a lot of people, a lot of hustle and bustle. It's just that minute of peace."

This may be Saxon's first airport gig, but he's a pro, offering a paw and a bit of therapy to humans for four years now at nursing homes and schools.

"They do have to have basic skills like sit, down, come, leave it," said Miguelita Scanio, Pup ambassador. "That's a very important command at the airport where people are dropping food."

The program leaves a good lasting impression of an airport, and perhaps the city itself.

"I think it's great," said Minneapolis traveler Lachelle Drayton. "It just gives them an opportunity to know us and get your spirits up before you take your long trip back home. I think that's fabulous."

This new breed of hospitality was unleashed just in time for the busy holiday travel season. 

Travelers can see the pups at random times now in two hour shifts, but a permanent schedule is being worked out in the next few weeks.