Okay. Any of you who have searched my blog archives and read through my entries on traveling with Geronimo, Chloe and Samson know that pet etiquette in the air is not something I take lightly. Knowing that the minute you walk through security you no longer have ANY control over the treatment of your animals for the duration of your time waiting to board, your time on the tarmac, your time during take-off, in the air, during landing, and then your time waiting to be reunited with them in the very sexy, very clean cargo area is often more than I can take. What can I say? I’m childless. These little guys are as close as I’ll ever come to a human that relies solely on me for its every need.
So, imagine my surprise when I see the little 3-pound Shitzu in this picture resting comfortably in the cabin. No kennel. No under the seat during take-off. No under the seat during landing. No being plied with treats to keep from whining in the kennel during the entire flight. Oh, and that’s just if the little creature travels with you in the cabin. I can only imagine the horrors they endure in the supposedly pressurized, supposedly climate-controlled cargo bay for pets… But I digress… Back to the Shit. I mean the Shitzu.
This little guy slept unencumbered and uninterrupted the entire flight from Minneapolis to NYC IN ITS OWNER’S LAP! Check out the little vest he has on: “Registered Companion Animal.” “Do Not Pet.” “I’m Working.” Now call me crazy, but did the Seeing-Eye Dog Union just kick in some serious affirmative action? A 3 pound Shitzu as a working, companion animal? Can you imagine that little guy leading ANYONE around NYC without getting squashed?
Now, granted, I have a soft spot for the little dogs, so was incredibly intrigued. And then I realized. It’s the perfect scam. It’s like Oceans 11 for dog-owners. Slap a little vest on your four-legged family member, print out some fake registration papers required by the airlines, and presto — instant companion animal and instant rights to fly the friendly skies muzzle-free, kennel-free, and fancy-free! Why didn’t I think of that? Here I’ve been needlessly sweating, crying, cursing, and praying for the life of my dogs traveling in cargo, when we all could have been sharing honey-roasted peanuts and diet cokes in coach!
So the next time you see me, Chris, Chloe, Samson and Geronimo in pack formation and heading through security? Please don’t pet any of us. We’ll be working.