The following post was written by Bob Sacramano
I live in San Francisco, California. Its 3,000 miles away from where my family and most of my friends from high school and college live back on the East Coast. This inevitably leads to me having to fly from California to Boston to see family for Holidays, come back for weddings, etc. I also abhor flying with the passion of Kevin Garnett when trash talking to Carmelo Anthony. My need to fly 3,000 miles to get home and my hatred of flying never mesh well, and as such, I become an incredibly grumpy person the day of and throughout my entire flight. Cut to the Saturday before Christmas 2012. Due to the over crowding nature of traveling around the Holidays I got stuck in a middle seat for a transcontinental Red Eye Flight with no other available seats. This would have been a bad enough flight based on the fact that I had to wedge my massive frame into a middle Coach Seat. However, sitting to my left was a woman who had a little wiener dog in her lap. I, trying to be nice and social (Trying to garner some good will as sitting next to me on a flight cannot be easy just on pure size reason), start talking to her and had a few questions about the dog.
One of my questions was, “Is it because she is small enough, you can put her in a case on the plane instead of having to Crate her in the belly of the plane?” Answer: “No. This is my emotional support dog. I have a note from my therapist that allows me to bring him on the plane and hold on to him the entire flight.” Slight problem at this point as this is a ridiculous statement. For the first 45 minutes of the flight I have no problem with the little guy just laying there. Now remember this is a red-eye flight. I would like to sleep and try and forget that I am on the plane. At three, repeat three, separate instances I was woken up the furry companion sitting next to me. The first two times, I felt a wet lick on my elbow. The third time, the little shit dog got loose from her sleeping owner, and walked on to my lap and started to nestle in.
What the hell America? Emotional Support Dog? What kind of horse shit is this? Freaking ridiculous. What if I was allergic to pet dander like say the 8% of the population that is? One freaking percent of the population is allergic is peanuts and I can’t have those on the plane! And where do we draw the line? I have a friend who is a Flight Attendant for Virgin America. She has told me that she has had Emotional Support Mini Ponies on the flights before. If I can get a doctor’s note saying I need an emotional support Bengal Tiger on the plane or I’ll just lose my shit, could United say anything about that to me?
And what about just the common decency of not having a dog on the plane licking and crawling on the people next to you? Yes, the girl was extremely apologetic about it every time but it shouldn’t happen at all.
Lets all be honest about why the dog was on the plane. To crate a dog for a flight costs between $200-$400. To have a dog fly in the main cabin as an emotional support dog costs $0. It’s a money saving device, pure and simple. And, yes, before I get all the hate mail I will say that I am not a dog person. I never had one growing up. However, I do enjoy the company of my girlfriend’s dog Maggie and my brother’s dog Holly. So, its not like I hate all dogs.
So congrats to the people that have found another way to beat the system and I’m going to continue you to hate you for it. Just be prepared for my Emotional Support Hawk…