There’s a lot of push back happening and on the way because of the huge number of people claiming their dogs are Emotional Support Animals.  Oy vey.  Such a can of worms.  Two, count ’em, two dogs who live in my building fly as emotional support or comfort dogs.  I only know who one of the dogs is and he’s an untrained, nervous little dog who cannot be left alone so the family who cheats with him kept on the kids’ nanny to stay with the dog once the kids no longer needed her.  Peacocks, snakes, hamsters, comfort turkeys, for Godssake, it’s a farm up there in the air.  And isn’t it difficult enough getting your carry-on bag up into the bin, sitting next to someone who takes the arm rest for the whole trip, smelling the disgusting food on flights that even offer you disgusting food, using the disgusting bathroom after the first few hours of a flight, feeling woozy because there’s not enough oxygen in the cabin and putting up with a rude flight attendant should you be unlucky enough to get one of those.  Do we also have to sit next to a comfort turkey?

Do animals offer comfort?  Yes, they do.  And always have.


Drawing from DO BORDER COLLIES DREAM OF SHEEP? by Carol Lea Benjamin and C. Denise Wall

So shouldn’t we all be allowed to bring our kitties, chinchillas, rabbits and our fish tank with us when we fly?  Uh, no.

The thing is that a real service dog does more than offer comfort and the other thing is that he or she is – or damn well should be – trained.  Trained?  What a concept.  A proper service dog might be asleep before the plane starts to taxi for take-off because (a) that’s what dogs do in the face of boredom and (b) dogs wake up quickly and are totally alert once they do so that if and when they are needed to help their partner, sleeping on the plane does not present a problem.  They do not bite the person in the next seat.  They do not relieve themselves on the plane.  They do not escape and run in the aisle.  They do not bark during the flight.  They are, as they are on the ground, not only helpful, even life saving, but unobtrusive.  I have never met an unobtrusive turkey but then again, I have never met a turkey, not a live one, anyway.  Alas.

I don’t suppose anyone who cheats with his dog is ever going to read this and I don’t suppose that anyone who cheats with her dog gives a hoot about the needs and rights of people with real, working service dogs.  I don’t suppose they care that people who have and need trained service dogs are given the fish eye now because the escalating number of untrained, pretend Emotional Support Animals makes people assume that everyone one of us with a genuine, trained, life saving service dog has a fake comfort animal and a cheating heart.

As always, thanks for stopping by.