Jared and Kristi Owens were travelling to Las Vegas at the end of September when they were told their bags were too heavy.
“They put it on the scale and this bag is basically like five, five and a half pounds overweight. Really quickly we are like, ‘oh, we have got to rearrange some stuff’,’ Mr Owens told KCBD.
“Opens it up and literally, there’s our dog coming out of my boot, coming out of my boot with his head bopping up.”
Mr Owens said the chihuahua, called Icky, likes to bury herself in hard-to-reach places.
“She’s the burrower, that’s what she does. She burrows in clothes, she burrows in, obviously suitcases now,” he said.
“You know it’s going to be an epic trip to Vegas when you get to the airport to check your bags … 6lbs over weight, and out pops a chihuahua from your boot!! Unreal!” he wrote on Facebook.
He also posted pictures of Southwest Airlines agent Cathy Cook holding up the chihuahua, who was still half-buried in the cowboy boot.
Fortunately for the couple, Ms Cook offered to take care of the puppy while they were on holiday.
”’Let the shenanigans begin!! Shout out to Cathy with #southwestairlines for her awesome customer service!! She offered to watch Icky until we got back!! Let’s go!!” wrote Mr Owens.
He told KCBD: “They have got a heck of an employee in Cathy. She went above and beyond and never made us feel, you know, they could have turned us in saying we were trying to smuggle a dog to Vegas or something.”
“Thank goodness we found this dog because you would have gotten to Vegas and you probably would have had a deceased animal in your bag.”
Icky was not harmed and is now back with her family.