Another option is loading the crate first and using the baggage door to load the dog. Soft-sided crates are easy to load and assemble but not always suitable for an excitable dog.
Warning: my own Doberman preferred to help pilot the aircraft. In such a case I recommend loading the crate with the door facing aft then loading the dog through the baggage door. After the crate door is secured, slide the crate aft to block the crate door against the aft cockpit bulkhead. My Dobie was an escape artist who could open a full-sized, airline approved crate by arching his back and head-butting the crate door which I discovered while setting up for an ILS when he bounded out of the baggage area into the back seat of the Arrow on his (attempted) way to the front seat.
"saving one dog may not change the world, but surely the world will change for that one dog"