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Monday, March 15, 2010

Mmm... Delicious... You Must Have Stepped In Vomit On Your Way to the Airport, Am I Right?

Posted by on Mon, Mar 15, 2010 at 3:28 PM

dogonflight.jpg

So... the presumably crazy lady gets on the flight with a dog. A giant, yellow, hairy deadly-dander-covered dog. She's late! She's got lots of carry on bags! But there's no more room in the overhead compartments because she's late! And presumably crazy! Everyone has to drop everything and HELP HER! And, once her bags are sorted, the presumably crazy lady naturally plops her presumably crazy ass down next to my definitely-allergic-to-dogs-and-very-serioulsy-asthmatic-and-not-sure-I-brought-my-inhaler ass and proceeds to vigorously pet her "companion animal." Because she's presumably CRAZY and if her companion animal's hair and dander isn't floating all over the airplane with her then presumably she'll presumably CRAZY AND SAD. Presumably.

After the presumably crazy lady falls asleep I ask the flight attendants WTF?

"We've had horses—mini ones—on planes. And monkeys. It's awful," says FA #1.

"It all went downhill after they started letting children on planes," says FA #2.

And, yeah, I know—first class, bitches! I had a complimentary soda water served to me in an actual glass and a complimentary bag of Sun Chips served to me in an actual bag of Sun Chips and an actual asthma attack courtesy of the presumably crazy lady and a huge yellow dog sprawled out at the floor on top of my feet. The dog LICKED MY SHOES after the presumably crazy lady went to sleep. Which as every knows is dog for, "Hey, man, I don't like the crazy lady anymore than you do. Got any food?"

 

Comments (125) RSS

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Urgutha Forka 1
I love you Dan, but you complain a LOT.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 15, 2010 at 3:32 PM · Report this
2
Ableism, on SLOG? I'm shocked.
Posted by AnonymousCoward on March 15, 2010 at 3:32 PM · Report this
3
Oh NOOOOOOO! How awful.
Posted by gloomy gus on March 15, 2010 at 3:34 PM · Report this
4
What a cute doggie! He can fly with me anytime.
Posted by Justin on March 15, 2010 at 3:34 PM · Report this
5
Dear Jesus,

Next time let it be a pit bull.
Posted by Jeff on March 15, 2010 at 3:35 PM · Report this
Dougsf 7
I'd be stoked to sit next to that dog for a few hours, personally, but have zero tolerance for crazy-ass plane people. I can think of very few good reasons to bring your dog on a plane.
Posted by Dougsf on March 15, 2010 at 3:38 PM · Report this
8
I think crazy trumps allergic/asthmatic. I'm sure if you explained your situation to the crew before they shut the door, they'd let you ride a later, dog-free plane.
Posted by tiktok on March 15, 2010 at 3:38 PM · Report this
emma's bee 9
Sounds like a better time than 90% of my flights.
Posted by emma's bee on March 15, 2010 at 3:40 PM · Report this
Cook 10
that sounds horrible. they don't serve peanuts anymore on most planes because of peoples allergies, and i assume more people are allergic (i guess not deathly) to dogs than to peanuts
Posted by Cook on March 15, 2010 at 3:42 PM · Report this
kim in portland 11
Thank you, Dan. You made me smile. Wish I had that exact problem today, instead of what is on my plate. Sorry for the asthma attack, though, and I'm glad you're okay.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on March 15, 2010 at 3:42 PM · Report this
zephsright 12
The FA's should have swapped you with another first class passenger if you told them about your asthma. You did tell them right? Or did it not matter the distance due to the hermetically sealed tube?
Posted by zephsright on March 15, 2010 at 3:42 PM · Report this
Hernandez 13
Dan, you are adorable when you're indignant.
Posted by Hernandez http://hernandezlist.blogspot.com on March 15, 2010 at 3:44 PM · Report this
14
Um, perhaps next time forgo the complimentary soda water and instead have 4 or 5 complimentary vodka sodas? You might still have allergies, but at least you'll be drunk (and one would assume, more affable towards your canine companion.)
Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on March 15, 2010 at 3:45 PM · Report this
15
I'm totally with FA #2.
Posted by Michael Wells on March 15, 2010 at 3:45 PM · Report this
N 16
So what happened when you asked the FA to be moved to a different seat?
Posted by N on March 15, 2010 at 3:48 PM · Report this
17
if you're as allergic/asthmatic as you claim, doesn't sitting next to this dog warrant a health risk that would make it totally reasonable for you to MOVE? jesus.
Posted by olive on March 15, 2010 at 3:48 PM · Report this
rara avis 18
i think petting a nice golden would calm me down (i'm a nervous flier), but i'm not allergic to dogs.

now, a horse on a plane is something i'd like to see. see, mind you, not have an 8 hour flight with.
Posted by rara avis on March 15, 2010 at 3:49 PM · Report this
Julie in Eugene 19
I had a woman sitting next to me on an international flight with a dog, who was only too pleased to tell me about how she got some bullshit diagnosis so she could get her dog labeled as a "service animal" or "companion animal".
Posted by Julie in Eugene on March 15, 2010 at 3:50 PM · Report this
crap bag 20
Charles?
Posted by crap bag on March 15, 2010 at 3:53 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 21
I always bring my service Orca on plane rides with me.

Keeps the pitbulls from disturbing my sleep.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on March 15, 2010 at 3:54 PM · Report this
Dougsf 23
Look at the disappointment on the dog's face. I'm guessing the dog had something different in mind, road-trip wise.
Posted by Dougsf on March 15, 2010 at 4:00 PM · Report this
josh 24
um, haven't you written about keeping a dog in your own house? would you be less indignant if the person sitting next to you had been blind?
Posted by josh http://www.sciencevsromance.net on March 15, 2010 at 4:02 PM · Report this
balderdash 25
Dan, just about the only thing, the only single thing, that I don't like about you is how much complain about dogs. Christ, man. The relationship between man and dog goes back longer than agriculture. Suck it up. If your allergies are that bad either get some exposure therapy or carry your inhaler.

"Some people might be allergic" is about the worst possible reason for us to stop doing things. The less we do things, the more people will wind up being allergic to them. Sterility is bad for you. It is to health what "Some people might be offended" is to culture.
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on March 15, 2010 at 4:03 PM · Report this
willendorf 26
Wait . . . does Stinker give you asthma attacks?
Posted by willendorf on March 15, 2010 at 4:03 PM · Report this
Tracy 27
http://www.ada.gov/qasrvc.htm

A "service animal" is basically a medical device. I'm not sure that a "companion animal" has any medical necessity. A registered service animal has to be allowed, a companion animal doesn't.

but yeah, next time you can just ask to switch seats.
Posted by Tracy on March 15, 2010 at 4:04 PM · Report this
28
Wow, normally I'm 100% a Dan fan, but what a whiny, presumptuous, bigoted post. You have no idea why she needed that dog (unless, of course, you asked her and failed to mention it in the post). She could have a severe anxiety disorder, maybe even a flying-related disorder, and petting the dog might be the only thing that keeps her from having a full-on panic attack. Dismissing her as "crazy" is really low.

Agree with others. If you're allergic, you should have asked to be moved. Totally reasonable request, I'm sure they would have honored it. Passively-aggressively insulting the woman online over her need for a service animal doesn't help you any, and doesn't make you look any better than the religious chauvinists you disdain.
Posted by lymerae on March 15, 2010 at 4:04 PM · Report this
29
whatever. i hate dogs. so very much. and yeah i get that some people without visible disability need them, but it sounds like this lady was being additionally flaky and expecting people to cater to her. also, whatever happened to human escorts for crazy/unabalanced people?
Posted by sallybobally on March 15, 2010 at 4:05 PM · Report this
seandr 30
Not sure which is more annoying:
a) people with "service dogs" who are not blind
b) people who expect everyone to drop whatever they are doing because of a mild case of asthma
Posted by seandr on March 15, 2010 at 4:06 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 31
Sounds pretty nuts, but I think I'd still prefer that to having somebody's screaming baby next to me.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on March 15, 2010 at 4:06 PM · Report this
32
It didn't happen to be Amy Tan did it?
Posted by bassplayerguy on March 15, 2010 at 4:07 PM · Report this
33
@29, "whatever happened to human escorts for crazy/unabalanced people?"

You seem to be assuming that every disabled person is independently wealthy/has incredible health coverage and can afford a full-time caretaker.
Posted by lymerae on March 15, 2010 at 4:07 PM · Report this
T 34
Boo-fucking-hoo. Chances are this woman has a mental illness (probably an anxiety disorder) that makes flying a very unpleasant experience for her. Reducing her to "crazy lady" is a dick move. Instead of asking the flight attendants "WTF" like a typical passive-aggressive Seattlite, you could have asked to switch seats with someone who might not be allergic.
Posted by T on March 15, 2010 at 4:09 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 35
@ 1 and 5 FTW (and I'm usually with Dan about pit bulls).

@ 15 and 31, I'm going to make sure my family sits in your row next flight you take.
Posted by Matt from Denver on March 15, 2010 at 4:13 PM · Report this
Truckloadbear 36
Fortunately you were seated in first class and had free soda/snacks and a complementary change of diaper.

Posted by Truckloadbear on March 15, 2010 at 4:16 PM · Report this
37
what everyone else said, plus: at least you were in first class where there was some semblance of space between you and the dog. Plus I'm thinking of my friend who moved across the country last week and took both of her cats on the plane with her - nope, not service animals, that's just how they roll with cats I guess.

I think Dan just likes to screw with us with thse posts. Is there some sort of prize at the Stranger for Slog posts that whip everyone into a frenzy?

Mini horses? That I'd like to see.
Posted by genevieve on March 15, 2010 at 4:16 PM · Report this
38
@15, 31

I'm with you. I'll take the pooch over the screaming rugrats any day.
Posted by Confluence on March 15, 2010 at 4:18 PM · Report this
blip 39
29 also assumes dan's "diagnosis" is correct, and also implicitly assumes that this woman's diagnosis is anybody and everybody's business.

"crazy" people and the blind aren't the only ones who use service dogs. considering people with disabilities occasionally fly on airplanes, and people with disabilities sometimes have service dogs, it's a safe assumption there may be service dogs on your flight. carry your inhaler with you, and while you're at it take ownership of your personal well-being rather than blaming your problems on the "crazy" person sitting next to you. problem solved.

Posted by blip on March 15, 2010 at 4:18 PM · Report this
chrisrnps 40
What did we say about tracking off-the-rack-unwashed-indigo jeans, athletic socks, and grubby Nike sneakers onto the plane? BAD local gay icon! BAD! No more champagne cocktails for you.
Posted by chrisrnps http://www.dollfactory.org on March 15, 2010 at 4:19 PM · Report this
41
As someone who has overcome a nasty case of the fear of flying, I would have loved to have a widdle puppy with me on those recovery flights. Alas, as I try not to be too annoying, a glass of wine, some visualization exercises, and a nervous but friendly short conversation with the stranger next to me was what I settled for. I flew over 40,000 miles last year (mostly comfortable, though Vietnam Air could take those take offs and landings a wee bit more gently). I love dogs and would have been thrilled to have this baby as my seat companion. You should have asked to move. Oh, and I'm also with FA#2...
Posted by Ms. D on March 15, 2010 at 4:19 PM · Report this
NumberOne 42
Better to have a dog than to have no one. Dan, for being such a pot friendly fellow (the second hand smell of which, along with cigarettes, offends many who have to tolerate it), you sure are quick to judge what is therapeutic to some people.
Posted by NumberOne on March 15, 2010 at 4:21 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 43
@29: somebody needs a big wet kiss from a doggy, lucy van pelt!
Posted by Max Solomon on March 15, 2010 at 4:22 PM · Report this
NumberOne 44
Better for her to have a dog than to have no one. Dan, for being such a pot friendly fellow (the second hand smell of which, along with cigarettes, offends many who have to tolerate it), you sure are quick to judge what is therapeutic to some people.
Posted by NumberOne on March 15, 2010 at 4:23 PM · Report this
45
I ask to move 35, if I can hear them over the noise cancelling headphones. But I was required to behave in public, so what do I know?
Posted by Ms. D on March 15, 2010 at 4:24 PM · Report this
46
"Some people might be allergic" is about the worst possible reason for us to stop doing things. The less we do things, the more people will wind up being allergic to them.

You know that's bullshit, right? Of course you do.

Personally, I love dogs. LOVE. THEM. Had lots of dogs growing up, was totally allergic to them, really enjoyed them. But I passionately hate the overwhelming majority of dog owners. I don't know what the causality is -- if getting a dog makes someone nuts or if only crazy people get dogs -- but the attitudes of dog owners towards their animals, and their expectations with regard to how much other people should have to accommodate their animals, are, in my experience, almost universally insane.

One good example? The inability to distinguish between the legal rights of children and the legal rights of dogs. A dog is not a human being, and if you can't keep that fact firmly in mind, you shouldn't fucking own one.
Posted by Judah http://www.suoxi.net on March 15, 2010 at 4:25 PM · Report this
douchus 48
If your anxiety is so bad that you go crazy during a flight... YOU ARE A CRAZY PERSON!!!
Posted by douchus on March 15, 2010 at 4:28 PM · Report this
NumberOne 49
Better to have a dog than to have no one. Dan, for being such a pot friendly fellow (the second hand smell of which, along with cigarettes, offends many who have to tolerate it), you sure are quick to judge what is therapeutic to some people.
Posted by NumberOne on March 15, 2010 at 4:31 PM · Report this
Dingo 50
Oh wah. If you're that deathly allergic to dogs then you should be informing the airlines whenever you book a ticket, carrying your medication with you at all times, and asking to be moved immediately when a Very Large Dog ends up being seated next to you on a plane.
Posted by Dingo on March 15, 2010 at 4:31 PM · Report this
johnnie 51
My dogs surround you in hell, Dan.
Posted by johnnie on March 15, 2010 at 4:33 PM · Report this
52
You should get a service lion for your dog allergies.
Posted by meks on March 15, 2010 at 4:39 PM · Report this
kk in seattle 53
To everyone that wants to fly next to this dog, I hope you'll also enjoy flying next to a therapy snake.
Posted by kk in seattle on March 15, 2010 at 4:44 PM · Report this
igub 54
A dog? I should have been so lucky. I flew on a fucking 4 hour flight with a bitch who brought a SNAKE! She had a note from some sicko psychiatrist who said the snake was a service animal. No offense to people who struggle with mental illnesses - I understand how difficult life must be. But, I draw the line at having to fly with a fucking SNAKE.
Posted by igub on March 15, 2010 at 4:50 PM · Report this
Sloggy McGee 55
Ugh. Dan Savage, you're such a whiny little bitch. For real. If you have allergies, carry the shit you need to allow for that - antihistamines, inhaler, epi-pen, whatever - like the rest of us. I'm allergic to some perfume, and while I find it in poor taste when people bathe in the stuff, my allergies are my own problem. You're always up in arms about SOMEthing. It's boring.
Posted by Sloggy McGee on March 15, 2010 at 4:51 PM · Report this
venomlash 56
@54: Samuel L. Jackson presumably feels your pain.
Posted by venomlash on March 15, 2010 at 4:58 PM · Report this
igub 57
@53 - Oh my God. I swear I hadn't read your post before I posted mine. Happened to me early last year.

I had never heard of folks bringing along their snake as a form of therapy and I admit that I pitched a royal fit about paying $900 to fly in a first class seat with a snake in the row in front of me.

What about my mental health? I'm terrified of snakes and nearly shit my pants every time I saw that damn thing.
Posted by igub on March 15, 2010 at 4:59 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 58
Well, Sloggy, it wouldn't be much of a blog if all he did was write about how wonderful and rosy and happy everything was, would it? I'll bet you wouldn't spend much time here. If that's what you want, go join the fucking Hari Krishnas or something.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on March 15, 2010 at 5:01 PM · Report this
Teslick 59
Dan, you STILL don't believe in a God/Goddess/Deity with a sense of humor after this?
Posted by Teslick on March 15, 2010 at 5:05 PM · Report this
60
I'm 100% with Dan on this one. I'm astonished at the backlash I'm seeing here in the comments. But that goes to show you how insane Seattle's dog culture has gotten. I know you love your dogs more than children, but at least children will learn to talk and stop drooling.
Posted by rarelycomments on March 15, 2010 at 5:05 PM · Report this
Dingo 61
Give me a well-behaved dog ---hell, even a caged snake--- over a screeching child on a plane any day of the week.
Posted by Dingo on March 15, 2010 at 5:11 PM · Report this
samanthaf63 62
I've flown most every week for the past 12 years, and frankly, it's a lot more pleasant to be near a dog than near a baby/small child.
Posted by samanthaf63 on March 15, 2010 at 5:19 PM · Report this
onion 63
do you know if she had to pay for that thing to ride in the cabin?
i now have to pay $125 ONE WAY to fly my cat. she rides tucked way under the seat, does not come out, and takes up no more room than my carryon.
so often, her round trip is just as much as mine.

no i don't take her with me as a "service animal." i work abroad for a chunk of the year and she has to move to another place while i'm gone.
if a service animal is free, i think i might try that. i would still leave her under the seat and try to to get in people's faces, but the fee is just ridiculous.
ok, commence trouncing me for saying that.
Posted by onion on March 15, 2010 at 5:20 PM · Report this
onion 64
uh, typo. try NOT to get in peoples faces. i meant to say try really hard to keep her tucked away and allergics like Dan dander-free.
Posted by onion on March 15, 2010 at 5:23 PM · Report this
65
Being able to breathe is a pretty fundamental right last I checked. Thank you, Dan, for raising awareness of what people with pet allergies have to deal with. I love critters of all sorts, and I recognize that many serve very important functions for people, but there need to be ways to allow them without risking the health of other people.

What I find really hilarious is how many dog/cat owners freak out at the idea of someone keeping a pig or a snake as a pet and carrying them around. At least those are more hygienic and less likely to cause allergies in people around them.
Posted by MemeGene on March 15, 2010 at 5:24 PM · Report this
66
I'm sympathetic to Dan's complaint, having MANY allergy sufferers in my family (we're also animal lovers though, so it makes for a strange combo). But OMG, dude, YOU COULD HAVE ASKED TO CHANGE YOUR SEAT. Guarantee you 50 percent of the folks in first class would have been delighted to swap so they could spend the flight with a well-behaved golden retriever. Anxiety issues are real, and trust me, you didn't want to be sitting next to someone having an anxiety attack (or have the plane rerouted because of it).
Posted by JrzWrld on March 15, 2010 at 5:25 PM · Report this
Dingo 67
The number of people who are allergic enough to cats and dogs to suffer discomfort from just travelling in the same plane with one is incredibly small; dogs and cats aren't banned from all airplanes for the same reason that nuts aren't banned from all restaurants: however horrible allergies to animals may be for their sufferers, there simply aren't that many people who are sufficiently allergic for it to be a problem.

Not that I don't sympathize with people who are deathly allergic: I do. But it is those people's responsibility to ensure that they protect their health. If sitting close to a dog triggers your allergies, then ask to be moved. If you can't even be in the same airplane as a dog, then you need to make special arrangements.
Posted by Dingo on March 15, 2010 at 5:34 PM · Report this
Eric F 68
Stinker's a poodle. No asthma-induction from that cutie. Sorry about your flight, Dan, that sucks.
Posted by Eric F on March 15, 2010 at 5:40 PM · Report this
Dougsf 69
#53 and 54. Speaking as someone that lives in the "emotional support iguana" capital of the world, I've noticed this shit is way out of hand. ADA lawsuits are no joke, so everyone's a little squeamish to call anyone out on this, but the lack of restrictions on service animal licensing needs to be reformed, big-time.
http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-01-02/ba…

Then again, I know people here that've gotten marijuana prescriptions for anxiety, for Chrissake.
Posted by Dougsf on March 15, 2010 at 5:42 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 70
Dan, Dan, Dan. I love you, but you can be awfully passive-agressive at times.

Would it have been that difficult to ask to switch seats?

Oh, and for the allergy-ignorant: The Kid's dog is some sort of poodle, if I recall. Poodle's don't shed. Many people, presumably including Dan, are allergic only to dogs that shed.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on March 15, 2010 at 5:43 PM · Report this
71
I, personally, am allergic to bees. Thus, my evil scheme to destroy every single bee and bee hive on the face of the planet. It is, after all, all about me.

Full disclosure - I am not a pet owner.
Posted by madscntst on March 15, 2010 at 5:45 PM · Report this
JunieGirl 73
At least that's a typically well-behaved breed of dog. Though if the owner is as much of a flighty nut as you portray her to be, the dog probably has learned some of her neuroses as well.

It doesn't look like a service animal--they usually have special harnesses to identify them as such. Even the ones in training are usually identified. Maybe it was a bomb-sniffing dog, Dan! Maybe you arrived home safely thanks to that little pooch. Maybe she was late getting on the plane because Goldie there was busy doing her job.
Posted by JunieGirl on March 15, 2010 at 5:51 PM · Report this
T 74
@60 I don't have a problem with dogs at all, or even Dan's posts about dogs for that matter (fuck pit bulls, dogs don't belong in restaurants, etc). What I have a problem with is the perpetuation of Seattle-style passive-aggressiveness, where Dan would rather make fun of a possibly mentally ill woman on the internet and bitch about the situation to the flight attendants instead of seeing if he could switch seats. It's obvious he's not deathly allergic to dogs, or else he'd know exactly where his inhaler was.
Posted by T on March 15, 2010 at 6:02 PM · Report this
75
I don't know who I want to sit next to more on a plane - Dan Savage or the cute DOGGIE!
Posted by kersy on March 15, 2010 at 6:06 PM · Report this
Canadian Nurse 78
@52 FTW!
Posted by Canadian Nurse on March 15, 2010 at 6:27 PM · Report this
The Max 79
Dan, I love you about as much as it's possible for a fat hairy straight southern HFA to love a gay Yankee he's never met face to face.

So please forgive me for enjoying such milk spewing out the nose delight at this tale of your misfortunes.
Posted by The Max on March 15, 2010 at 6:33 PM · Report this
lewlew 80
Not only doggy dander but engine oil too!

http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/…

I not kiddeen.
Posted by lewlew on March 15, 2010 at 6:44 PM · Report this
Nora 81
You cannot have a dog or cat in the cabin unless it is small enough to ride in a carrier under the seat in front of you. That's pretty small--my 16" at the shoulder Shelties would have to ride in cargo, though my 14 3/4 inches at the shoulder Sheltie might just make it. If a dog that size was allowed in the cabin, it HAD to be a service dog.

THAT also said, if you say a dog is a service dog they aren't actually allowed to challenge that. But that's kind of a dick move.
Posted by Nora on March 15, 2010 at 6:59 PM · Report this
Shena Lee 82
@ 63
i believe that jet blue lets service/therapy animals ride for free, you just have to have papers and notify them in advance. not sure about other airlines, but i would guess the charge would be minimal if any.
Posted by Shena Lee http://www.shenalee.com on March 15, 2010 at 7:05 PM · Report this
Dingo 83
there is a huge difference between nuts being served in restaurants even though there are nut allergy sufferers and dogs and cats being allowed on planes even though some people suffer from allergies to these animals. You can always inform the kitchen that you have a food allergy, and they will prepare your food with that in mind. Crisis averted. However, if there is a cat or dog on an airplane--anywhere in the main cabin--the allergy sufferer is fucked. I would know. I am severely allergic to both animals, and my rescue inhalers only work so well. If the flight is sufficiently long, the extended exposure guarantees that I won't sleep that night due to respiratory issues and I will likely be weaker the next day. I understand that some people need their dogs with them, but I would hope that only those who must have their service animals ride with them do so.

But as I said before, the overwhelming majority of allergy sufferers are not as sensitive as you are: people who are as sensitive as you are a very, very, very small minority of allergy sufferers. Which is why people who suffer from dog allergies to the extent you do have a responsibility to ensure that they won't be travelling on any planes with dogs on board, by informing the airline of their condition well in advance so that they can ensure that no dog will be on board at the same time as you.
Posted by Dingo on March 15, 2010 at 7:07 PM · Report this
Shena Lee 84
@ 81
i'm pretty certain that you need to produce papers to get an animal on an airplane. the "not allowed to ask" rule only seems to apply in restaurants, stores, etc... and in my experience (with my small, hypoallergenic therapy dog), people don't always follow that.
Posted by Shena Lee http://www.shenalee.com on March 15, 2010 at 7:09 PM · Report this
85
Wow -- just landed. Dogs are, like, Slog's third rail.

I'm thinking that, if I had asked to be moved (in a big gay huff!), that the same people would be yelling at me for that.

The FAs offered to move me but I declined because it was a short hop and once the lady went to sleep so did the dog -- on my feet! -- and whatever damage had been done by the dander was done already and I didn't wanna make a scene. And I found my inhaler in my bag. So...

Glad to see all you dog owners have a sense of humor.

Didja know that I own a dog? I've taken him on airplanes. But he fits in my computer bag, so no one knew.
Posted by Dan Savage on March 15, 2010 at 7:35 PM · Report this
Dingo 86
Wait... now YOU have a dog? I know he melted your two-sizes-too-small dog-hating-heart just a little and all, but aren't you always going on about how he's definitely NOT your dog?
Posted by Dingo on March 15, 2010 at 7:38 PM · Report this
87
Dan, have you looked into breathing exercises for asthma? There was a good article in the NYT about it in the last two months or so. The thrust was that asthma is often a result of the body trying to maintain a proper level of carbon dioxide in the blood. Asthmatics often exhale and inhale very forcefully, and through the mouth, which allows a lot of carbon dioxide to escape the lungs all at once. Apparently CO2 is important to regulate the PH balance of the blood, so when it starts to get too low as a result of forceful breathing, the lungs spasm as a way to protect the CO2 the body still has.

The article said symptoms can be controlled and reduced overall by consciously breathing through the nose at all times, and by consciously practicing shallow breathing during times of crisis because that allows the body to hold on to its CO2 and makes it so the lungs don't have to freak out.

Anyway, that is my layman's remembrance of an article for laymen. Look it up, it may have an impact on your quality of life.
Posted by Learned Hand on March 15, 2010 at 7:42 PM · Report this
Dingo 88
87: I believe it's called the Buteyko method
Posted by Dingo on March 15, 2010 at 7:47 PM · Report this
89
Thanks for demeaning disabled people and service dogs, Dan. You're a class act. Guess what, I have a service dog *and* am allergic to dogs - severely so. If I board a plane with my dog, he is expected to a) have ID from an actual service dog organization proving that I have a valid need for him to be there, and b) behave himself. Behaving means staying out of the way and leaving other passengers the hell alone. Licking other passengers shoes, which he might try to do, would earn *quite* a firm word from me... he'd only try that business once when he was on the job, I assure you.

It's my responsibility as an owner to make sure the dog isn't in the way or bothering anyone, including those with allergies. If I *know* someone has allergies, either I'll move (provided the person isn't too damn impatient to let me move, since as a crip, that takes me a few minutes), or I'll make sure they can be moved so they're comfortable. Usually, that means I actually, you know, ask people if they're okay with the dog and if they're allergic. If I forget to ask, I'm happy to be informed.

Be pissed at this woman for not traveling with ID (the ID should be in plain sight). Be pissed at the airline for not checking her ID (they should). Be pissed at her for being inconsiderate. And most of all, be pissed at her for not controlling her dog, and/or doing an end-run around legitimate organizations and "self-certifying" her dog without having an independent agency confirm that the dog can and will behave.

But for Christ's sake, stop being a passive-aggressive ablist asshole about service dogs as a whole.
Posted by seanchai on March 15, 2010 at 7:50 PM · Report this
Timmytee 90
The pic's fuckin' GOLD, Dan! The SLOG needs to run a caption contest for it.
Posted by Timmytee on March 15, 2010 at 7:55 PM · Report this
SecretBYUBottomBoy 91
i'm sorry, but dogs have NO PLACE in an airplane cabin. It's already a small enclosed hell.

This lady sounds like she doesn't give a shit about anyone else but herself.
Posted by SecretBYUBottomBoy on March 15, 2010 at 8:08 PM · Report this
92
@81, the airline is allowed to challenge it. As a matter of fact, they're *supposed* to check for a valid service animal ID. I've been barred from planes before because the airline didn't think my ID was valid and wouldn't let me on with the dog until they had called the number of my service dog org (on the ID, which must be visible on the animal) and confirmed that he was a trained service dog, belonged to me, and was certified.

The problem is that people who *don't* really need service animals, or who think training is "too long"/"too intensive," have been doing an end run around service dog orgs, 'training' their own, and then getting "certified" by fly-by-night places on the net who will "certify" you, sight unseen, for $25-30... and the airlines are scared to challenge *those* people, because those people get all indignant about their "rights." Airlines haven't yet figured out that those of us who have valid service animals are also trained in how to deal with a confrontation - stay calm, refer them to the ID, show them the number on the back of the ID and encourage them to call it and check up on you, takes 5 minutes. Anyone throwing a shitfit is throwing a shitfit because they *don't* have a valid dog and they *know* that.

And lest anyone think that cost is an object regarding getting a valid service animal, it's not. You may be asked to help fundraise for your org, or you may be asked to help cover the cost *if you are able*, but if you go through a valid service animal organization that's not on the take, you are *not* required to pay a dime to get a dog if you have a valid medical diagnosis. You *are*, however, required to go to "boot camp," which can range from six weeks to several months, to *learn how to work with the dog.* The people who want to skip the valid orgs are trying to skip them because they're too lazy to invest the time, not because they can't afford it.
More...
Posted by seanchai on March 15, 2010 at 8:09 PM · Report this
93
She's not crazy cos she has the dog, she's crazy cos she's late, has too many bags (two is the limit, baby) and doesn't have the capacity to apologize to her seat mate for causing a fuss.

I don't go through my life assuming people who irritate me have some sort of disability. Oh, the guy who sneezed goober into his hand, and then touched the doorknob leaving a trail of snot might have some sort of mental problem. Oh, bitch who cut me off might have some sort of anger management psychosis disorder, and I should feel bad for HER not my busted bumper. You ALL do the same thing in your life, so quit yer bitchin. I think these personal stories are funny!
Posted by Caralain on March 15, 2010 at 8:25 PM · Report this
COMTE 95
Clearly, most of the commenters here who've suggested Dan should have just asked to change seats haven't spent very much time flying the past few years. I don't fly all that often, but the three or four times a year I do get on a plane, I haven't been on a single one that wasn't oversold, let alone have empty seats - and in first class? Fahgedaboudit.

And @6, since none of the 88 previous comments addressed your confusion: imagine the headline is a thought balloon hovering over the dog's head.
Posted by COMTE on March 15, 2010 at 8:54 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 96
@ 95, what are you talking about? People trade seats on flights all the time. You just ask another passenger, and unless they're a complete prick (or have a good reason, like they're traveling with someone) they'll do it. Try it next time you fly.
Posted by Matt from Denver on March 15, 2010 at 9:04 PM · Report this
Vampireseal 98
@65 I get you about the reptile thing. If people just need a service animal for emotional calming--for autistic children for example--we should welcome people with reptiles instead of dogs or cats. I don't get why people people tolerate dogs and cats, but throw a shit fit over reptiles that won't cause allergies. I guess phobias trump asthma in our society.

Maybe, service dogs should only be hairless breeds? Like the Peruvian Incan Orchid? Has anyone considered that? No dog breed is truly completely hypoallergenic, but hairless breeds are as close as you can get to it.

And hells yeah, I'd take a well-mannered dog over a screaming whiny brat any day of the week. People may bitch over dog people, but I have yet to see anyone take an unruly dog on a bus. Unruly kids seem to get free passes, however. You know, just because your kid is genetically closer to you than your dog, that doesn't mean you kid gets to act like an asshole and we all have to put up with it.
Posted by Vampireseal on March 15, 2010 at 9:11 PM · Report this
99
You have issues don't you?
Posted by Weekilter on March 15, 2010 at 9:23 PM · Report this
NumberOne 100
Holy shit, my bad for the crazy multiple posts. Slog wouldn't load for me after I tried to post so I went back a few times and tried again. I guess it worked after all!
@ 95. Usually the attendant will ask if someone is willing to switch seats in first class. Another option was someone could have down graded to coach (Dan or the woman) if the allergies were really that serious. However, my beef is not with Dan's bitching over the dog on the plane. I understand not wanted to fly seated next to a dog, a lot of people are allergic, are scared, or just don't like dogs.. My issue is that someone who is "crazy" should not have a service animal. Animals can calm and comfort many people and trained dogs can be shown to predict panic attacks, changes in a person's mood, and seizures, among other duties. A person's well being can drastically improve with a service animal, that is if they are able to take care of a pet. Anyway, I totally agree with 89 "stop being a passive-aggressive ablist asshole about service dogs as a whole".
Posted by NumberOne on March 15, 2010 at 9:26 PM · Report this
101
one time a morbidly obese person asked me to move over in my seat so half his thigh could sit there. seriously. but that is not as bad as an asthma attack. sucks dude.
Posted by ecpdx on March 15, 2010 at 9:28 PM · Report this
102
@98 re: breeds, most service dogs orgs I'm familiar with are starting to experiment with training and placing hypoallergenic and hairless breeds where appropriate. The problem is, both the breed and the dog have to be suitable for life as a service animal... that is, they must be calm, eager to please, quick to learn, able to form a strong bond with *one* person (so that they're not distracted by the presence of other people while they're working), and physically able to perform the tasks the disabled person requires. For people in wheelchairs, that list of requirements often means limiting the breeds to goldens, labs and newfoundland retrievers. I'd love a hypoallergenic dog, but most of those just don't come *big* enough to be able to do what I need, and the ones that do are often high strung. I do know of some cases where a dog of a different breed was rescued by the service dog org and successfully trained as a service dog, but in general, focusing on a few specific, reliable breeds and then breeding their own dogs is a safer way for the org to know that the bigger dogs they're placing aren't being overbred.

Speaking of rescue dogs, most *hearing* dogs (for the Deaf/deaf) are rescued dogs, because those dogs are more easily found and temperament screened, since they don't have to do as much physical work.

Other types of service animal (for diabetes, epilepsy, autism etc) can be either the larger breeds or a smaller rescue dog depending on need.

Service dog orgs try to rescue larger dogs to train where feasible, too. My first service dog was a rescue dog and was the best dog I've ever known... my current service dog is glaring at me as I type this, but it's true.
Posted by seanchai on March 15, 2010 at 9:48 PM · Report this
igub 103
1. Frankly, the airline should require that everybody take a Xanax when boarding the flight. It would calm everybody down making for a much better flying experience.

2. I was glad to see in the pic that Dan was wearing his shoes. I'm always amazed at the folks who will take their shoes off and then walk around the aircraft - especially to the lavatory. Can you imagine what the hell lives on the floor of an airplane lavatory? Dear God. No way in hell my bare feet would touch the floor of the lavatory. Besides if you have to evacuate the plane, do you really want to be running around burning airplane wreckage without your shoes? (Remember what happened in the movie Die Hard when Bruce took off his shoes...)

3. I'd be more worried about the skill of the cockpit crew than I would about a dog. NTSB employee in the immediate family so I read published NTSB accident reports all the time. With some accidents, I swear that the dog on board the plane might be smarter than the folks flying the plane. (Recent case in point - It's called a stick PUSHER for a reason. Push the nose down - not pull the nose up and make everything worse.)

4. Why the fuck do parents of children under the age of 2 not understand that the airplane is traveling at around 150 - 180 mph at take off and landing and about 550 mph during cruise? These parents wouldn't dream of driving their precious baby in a car at any speed (even 10 mph) without strapping the baby into a car seat. But, get on an airplane and they're too damn cheap to buy an extra seat for the baby and strap it into its carseat. Lap children (those under the age of 2 in which the parent opts to hold the child during flight) are killed in airplane crashes all the time because their parents couldn't hold on to them. (In many crashes it's physically impossible to hold on to them.) See Sioux City crash. See Denver crash. Parents survived because they were belted. Children died because they weren't strapped in.
More...
Posted by igub on March 15, 2010 at 9:50 PM · Report this
balderdash 104
@46

I'm really not trying to be snide or glib when I suggest you read up on the Hygiene Hypothesis. It's fast becoming accepted medical science, and it's hells of fascinating even if you take it with a grain of salt.

The short version is that exposure to pathogens and antigens - especially in childhood - trains the immune system and gives it something to do, and that lack of that exposure leads to increased rates of allergic and autoimmune disorders.

I admit that my statement was a little glib and oversimplified. There was substance behind it all the same.
Posted by balderdash http://introverse.blogspot.com on March 15, 2010 at 10:01 PM · Report this
106
stuff like this is the reason i prefer private compartments on a train. no one has to deal with me and my allergies, and i don't have to be exposed to people and their perfumes, pets, service animals, children, issues, insanity, banality, loud music, snoring, or anything else that makes my life in public a living hell. costs more, takes more time - but so worth it. i'm one dead synapse away from a plastic bubble.
Posted by stella on March 15, 2010 at 10:15 PM · Report this
107
Ok, one more time: Don't fly. Once you pass the security at an airport you've already checked every dignity you own curbside. Everything else from that point forward is predicted. This is another indignity which could easily be predicted by the very act of flying. Drive - take a train. Do things virtually or via satellite. Have webcons. Plus, you won't be throwing a bunch of carbon into the atmosphere at the altitude where it does the most damage. Then, then you could be righteous.
Posted by Chas Redmond on March 15, 2010 at 10:22 PM · Report this
108
@105, you're totally right. How 'bout you come over and help me get dressed in the morning? Oh, that's right - my service dog can do that. How 'bout you follow me around and pick things up for me when I drop them, since I can't reach from my chair? Oh, that's right... my service dog can do that, too. How 'bout you push me everywhere I need to go, since my insurance won't pay for a power chair and I can't push my manual anymore? Oh, that's right, my service dog can pull my chair so I don't have to depend on someone else to help me get from A to B. How 'bout you pick me up off the floor if I fall? Oh, that's right... my service dog does that. And more.

Do I think this *particular* woman was a responsible service dog owner? No, I do not - and as someone who has owned a service dog for 24 years (two different ones), I'm pretty good at judging whether someone is a responsible service dog owner. A responsible owner of a service dog would *not* let their dog bother other passengers, period. Does she really need one? Maybe. Is that dog *validly* certified? I seriously doubt it (no vest, no other form of ID, which any validly certified and trained dog has and is required to display in public).

But that doesn't mean service dogs are only for the blind.
Posted by seanchai on March 15, 2010 at 10:24 PM · Report this
110
My point in 108, btw, is that on a *plane*, I don't "look" disabled... I'm ambulatory(ish), and my chair gets left in the jetway to be put in cargo. Unless someone watches me walk onto the plane, they would have no clue I was disabled... and if they did watch, but didn't see me physically leave my chair, they'd probably just wonder why I was walking fairly slowly. That doesn't negate my need for a dog.
Posted by seanchai on March 15, 2010 at 10:36 PM · Report this
Oh Suzanna 111
I love dogs, but as an allergy sufferer (mostly to cats, birds, PERFUMES), I agree with Dan 100%. People who do not have allergies rarely understand how much even relatively mild allergy attacks decrease your quality of life, or how the closed up space of an airplane means that just sitting further away won't solve the problem.

If someone with the flu sits next to you on the plane, you would expect them to keep their sneezes and coughs well covered, and not spray their germs everywhere. Even if it is a flu that has been going around, and it is reasonable to expect that many people are already immune, there may be several other people who contract it if the sick person is really inconsiderate. That same consideration should be expected of people who use products/animals that large portions of the general population are allergic to, including service animals. They should endeavor to keep their allergens contained and avoid inflicting harm on anyone nearby because the "medical device" they use can be especially hazardous to those around them.

Flying with a service animal is a rare enough occurrence that it is not Dan's responsibility to inform the airline ahead of time (unless his allergies are likely to be life-threatening). If he paid for a first class ticket, he should not have to get downgraded to coach because someone else brought on an animal that threatens his health, as some have suggested here. I am pleased to hear that the FAs did offer to help Dan change seats, however.

If she needs her service animal, she needs her service animal. She should, however, have been way more considerate in keeping the animal from interacting with the other people, and in checking that those nearby were not allergic. Also, bathing and thoroughly combing the dog before coming to the airport would have reduced the allergens released when she petted it. Dog allergies are very common, so she should take these precautions whenever she intends to have the animal closed in with other people for extended periods of time.
More...
Posted by Oh Suzanna on March 15, 2010 at 10:59 PM · Report this
Greg 112
Don't blame the dog. He didn't do anything.

Shoot the owner.
Posted by Greg on March 15, 2010 at 10:59 PM · Report this
Oh Suzanna 113
Dan has every right to gripe about this sucky situation. It sounds massively frustrating, especially when combined with how, despite her obvious lack of common consideration, everyone else had to "drop everything" to help her sort her bags out since she was too late for them to fit. It makes sense that he would want to blow off steam about this.
Posted by Oh Suzanna on March 15, 2010 at 11:02 PM · Report this
LisaLisa 114
Isn't it pretty common knowledge these days that it isn't the fur that causes allergic reactions, but rather a certain protein in the saliva?

Only saliva-free animals on flights!
Posted by LisaLisa on March 15, 2010 at 11:03 PM · Report this
115
@111, as a service dog owner who has a severe dog allergy and severe asthma, I agree with you - you're absolutely right that owning a service dog does not supersede others' right to breathe. Which is why service dog owners who have validly certified dogs and who have thus been through training (which is as much about training the *person* as the dog) are taught to take every single one of the measures you list if we're planning on being in an enclosed space with the dog. Being considerate and having the dog under control (not bothering other passengers) is considered *mandatory,* asking about allergies/respecting others' allergies is also considered *mandatory*, and bathing and brushing the dog immediately before the trip is, while not mandatory, considered highly, highly recommended if at *all* possible. Anyone who goes through service/leader/hearing dog "boot camp" has these things absolutely *drilled* into them as a matter of course, because rude, clueless, inconsiderate, or otherwise entitled behavior on the part of the service dog owner is considered to reflect badly not only on the person, but also on the organization (which should be printed in large letters on the ID vest), *and* on service dog owners as a whole. And the latter is why irresponsible owners piss me off, because they're why people see me coming with a service dog and think "oh great, another uppity crip who wants special treatment."

Moral of the story: If you can't see an ID, be suspicious. If you can, assume we're reasonable people who aren't out to make your lives miserable, unless proven otherwise. And please, please, please don't pet the dog. Not even as you're walking by. I can tell when you do that, even when I don't see it, because the dog tenses and gets distracted. He's *working*. He gets pets and love and played with when he's *not working*. I know he's pretty and smiling and cute, but please leave him alone and let him do his job.

(Not saying Dan encouraged the dog in any way - this dog was just poorly controlled. Just in general - do not pet, talk to, or otherwise distract my dog, and then bitch that he's looking at you and not me. You're making both his job and mine a lot harder when you do that.)
More...
Posted by seanchai on March 15, 2010 at 11:21 PM · Report this
tinuviel 116
Geez people, Dan is making a joke at the expense of his own fastidious anti-dog image! I thought that whole entry was comedy gold, because I could visualize it stage by stage - hilarious!
I doubt he really thought he'd get much sympathy from Sloggers, but I think you're taking him too seriously this time.
Posted by tinuviel on March 15, 2010 at 11:34 PM · Report this
117
Dan this has a simple response, drop your pants and shit on the woman while she is sleeping, then blame it on the dog.
Posted by econoline on March 15, 2010 at 11:47 PM · Report this
118
i love you dan, but you are a colossal prick when it comes to animals (esp. dogs)...
Posted by mysterywhiteboy on March 16, 2010 at 1:47 AM · Report this
Frau Blucher 119
Frankly, I'll take animals over people, for the most part.
Posted by Frau Blucher on March 16, 2010 at 5:04 AM · Report this
robwolf 120
@103 - Totally with you on the Xanax. As a 6'4" somewhat claustrophobic frequent flyer, I have embraced better living through chemistry. I take one before leaving for the airport and another when I get past security. Long lines at the understaffed check-in counter? No worries! Security goons confiscate my toothpaste? Not a problem! I don't really like that brand anyway. Stuck in a center seat between a mom with screaming infant and an obese guy spilling into my seat? How cozy! The guy in front of me crushes my knees when he immediately reclines his seat after takeoff? I am pleased to experience nonstop pain for the entire flight so that he may enjoy just a little bit more comfort! Going through customs immediately after the flight from Bogota arrives? I'll just chill out while they instigate body cavity searches for everyone in line.

It would be great if Xanax was available to all airline passengers. Perhaps the airlines could add that to their 'fee-based revenue model'. Win/win for all concerned!
Posted by robwolf on March 16, 2010 at 5:35 AM · Report this
FreudianShrimp 121
Just be relieved Crazy Lady didn't have a chimpanzee as a service animal, Dan.

Wow, one hundred & twenty comments. Do I bother reading them or should I just go back to bed? I choose the latter. Nitey nite, I mean morney morn.
Posted by FreudianShrimp on March 16, 2010 at 5:59 AM · Report this
122
@95, I don't think anyone was suggesting that there was an empty seat for Dan to move to, but rather, a person who would switch seats with him. If a flight attendant asked me NICELY if I would swap seats with the guy with allergies next to the dog, and he gave me an apologetic, watery-eyed shrug/smile, I'd do it if I was traveling alone. Assuming he wasn't sitting next to someone who needed the service animal to help pull her rascal because the motor wasn't strong enough, if you know what I mean, and I think you do.

That said, I've had LOTS of flights in the last 6 months or so with empty seats. It's the flights the airlines put on "sale" to destinations they know they can get some cheapskate to decide to go to last minute that are overbooked. Or poorly served areas. But certain routes just ARE less crowded for some reason. Maybe because no one wants to go to Milwaukee in January?
Posted by Ms. D on March 16, 2010 at 6:53 AM · Report this
Baconcat 123
Caniphobia.
Posted by Baconcat on March 16, 2010 at 7:16 AM · Report this
124
What a whiny hiny.
Posted by Sikes on March 16, 2010 at 7:25 AM · Report this
libraboy 125
@60 I ride the bus a lot, so I can't say that the whole learning to talk thing and stop drooling thing is a guarantee.
Posted by libraboy on March 16, 2010 at 8:14 AM · Report this
starsandgarters 126
Holy christ, Dan. I'm asthmatic and allergic to dander, and this is why I'm a RESPONSIBLE ADULT and carry my medicine with me at all times. It's your own stupid ass fault if you don't, and makes you even more of a moron if you proceed to whine about it instead of asking to be moved to a different seat.
Posted by starsandgarters on March 16, 2010 at 8:19 AM · Report this
warreno 127
"It all went downhill after they started letting children on planes," says FA #2.

Word. Any day now I expect to get on a plane and find someone carrying chickens.

I favor jettisoning these people at 35K feet.
Posted by warreno http://www.nightwares.com on March 16, 2010 at 9:33 AM · Report this
128
That sucks. They should not let animals on planes unless they are certified seeing-eye dogs.
Posted by MichelleZB on March 16, 2010 at 10:04 AM · Report this
Dingo 129
They should not let animals on planes unless they are certified seeing-eye dogs.

Absolutely. No hearing dogs, wheelchair assistance dogs, seizure dogs....
Posted by Dingo on March 16, 2010 at 10:14 AM · Report this
vegangirl_Wisco 130
One, I am not an animal lover. I have loved a few individual animals and babies but I'm absolutely not the type to get all lovey over babies or dogs or pictures of them. And I kind of really hate those rabid (pun intended) dog lovers. (I've flown with cats before, though it was part of helping an ex move)

But...I work with kids who have autism and I know one kid's mom was looking into getting a dog for the kid, who has some pretty severe behavioral problems and I could absolutely see a dog helping him with that. So though I'd rather not sit next to a dog or a child (or a republican or my mother or someone who smells or spills over the seat or grunts or burps or crunches his food too loud or snores....) on a plane, I'm sure most of you who don't have personal experience with people with disabilities would not be comfortable sitting next to a kid or teenager with severe behavioral problems (including aggression) on a flight. So I say: whatever. Flying isn't comfortable or fun, it's functional. Want privacy and space? Take a train or don't travel.
Posted by vegangirl_Wisco on March 16, 2010 at 10:46 AM · Report this
Dougsf 131
@105 - Ferrets are illegal in California and Hawaii—but legal in the other 48—making them specifically not "left coast nonsense."
Posted by Dougsf on March 16, 2010 at 1:37 PM · Report this
mrbombit 132
I love it. Dan is all about gay rights, but the rights of people with disabilities....nah who cares. What a fucking bigot. Practice what you preach jerk.
Posted by mrbombit on March 16, 2010 at 2:02 PM · Report this
134
I am a bad, bad man.
Posted by Dan Savage on March 16, 2010 at 3:22 PM · Report this
Dingo 136
Girl, please. A mild allergy to dogs is not a disability.
Posted by Dingo on March 16, 2010 at 4:03 PM · Report this
Geni 137
Flying in general pretty much bites the bag these days. If it's not the person next to you wheezing and snorking with superflu snot, or the kid in the seat behind you monotonously kicking your seat over and over and over while his idiot mommy whines, "don't do that, Britney/Jason honey" or the giantess next to you sharing her thigh sweat and excessive perfume and continually getting up and down so she can root in her carryons, then it's someone with a nonhuman companion. I actually love flying with nonhumans; they don't talk the whole goddam flight.

Remember when flying used to be fun? (Actually, I don't - I could never afford to fly until after deregulation, and it's been pretty much straight downhill since that.) One has to accept the horrid discomforts and irritants in order to save the days it would take to get from point A to point B via another method.

I deal with flying by taking a Xanax, plugging in my iPod, and putting on an eyemask. If I can manage to doze for most of the flight, I can deal with most of the indignities and annoyances. Not being able to breathe is sucky (I'm asthmatic too), but I'm sure if you specified to the airlines that you're unable to breathe on a flight with furry companions, they could rebook you on another flight sans critters. An antihistamine as soon as you spot the offending animal might prevent problems later, plus help you sleep through the flight.
Posted by Geni on March 16, 2010 at 4:13 PM · Report this

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