My Emotional Support Animal Is A Gummy Bear

From the cinematic masterpiece Snakes on a Plane

From the cinematic masterpiece Snakes on a Plane

This post is going to make some people mad, but I’m going to write it anyway. Last week I had to travel by plane for work. As I sat in the terminal waiting for my plane to board I heard a meow. I look over and the woman sitting next to me had a cat in a small carrier. That’s fine. I like cats and it was in a carrier. But you know what, if that cat was going to be in the seat next to me meowing for the entire flight I might not be OK with that. Or how about this scenario:

According to an article from USA Today, Dr. Romie Mushtaq, who grew up amid farms in Danville, Ill., had already seen her share of pigs before one ambled into the Delta Air Lines gate area at Boston’s Logan airport. She recorded the scene like others who enjoyed seeing the pig snuffling oats off the floor — until the flight of business travelers headed to New York began boarding.

“All of a sudden, it wasn’t entertainment anymore,” she said. “Every other passenger on the flight, you could see jaws tensing up, people straightening their backs, especially people with an empty seat, thinking, ‘Oh, my goodness, am I going to be sitting next to this pig on a leash for the entire flight?’”

Mushtaq, a doctor based in Orlando, has prescribed dogs with training to anticipate seizures for epileptic patients. But after the pig encounter, she found no justification in peer-reviewed medical publications to justify other animals for emotional support.

Here is an actual list of animals that have been allowed on planes: dogs, cats, pigs, turkey, a miniature horse, a kangaroo, a boa constrictor, turtle and monkey. A turtle? Seriously? Who derives emotional comfort from a turtle?!!? It’s basically a painted rock. Look, I’m all in support of people being comforted by their pets, but a plane isn’t fecking Noah’s Ark. When I’m on a plane, I can barely tolerate the other people who act and smell badly enough already. Now you’re telling me that I have to tolerate the sounds and smells of a barnyard? I don’t think so.


If I’m in the cabin of a plane and any kind of animal poops on the floor, I want my money back. I’m not opposed to people having trained support animals, but an enclosed aluminum tube 30,000 feet in the air isn’t the place for them. And what if a fellow flier has an allergy to certain animals or kinds of fur? Does anyone ask that?

Most of these people are anxious flyers and petting their soft cuddly animal comforts them. Aww, that’s sweet. Your anxiety is relieved. What about your freaking animal who has no idea what the hell is going on? You think they’re anxious? That’s just what we need, a monkey having it’s own anxiety attack on a plane. You know what my emotional support animal is? An Ambien and a glass of wine! Go see your doctor like a normal person and get a sleeping pill or a Valium, knock yourself out for the flight and your anxiety will go way down.


Fortunately, this week the Federal Aviation Administration met to revise rules about service animals on flights. The results aren’t in, but here’s hoping that the new rule allows only stuffed animals on flights.

Have a great Saturday, and feel free to attack me in the comments section here! ~Phil

12 responses to “My Emotional Support Animal Is A Gummy Bear

  1. I don’t know what to say, Phil. I’ve never encountered anything like this in my travels and I hope I never do. As you said, other people are bad enough.

  2. I can understand the need for a service dog for someone who is blind or disabled, but a turkey and a pony?? I’d demand my money back!!

  3. Seizure dogs, seeing eye dogs, that’s the extent of what I would allow if anyone asked me. Which they won’t 😜

  4. Cheah! Lol. Very funny post. I never considered a turtle a painted rock. You have turned my entire world, upside down. Really. Also, that bit about Ambien and a glass of wine…too funny. Also…I mean, I like cats too, like a lot-but I wouldn’t want to sit next to one on a flight. Well, hope your flight was relatively animal-free. 😉

  5. I tried to convince the airline that my wife was my support animal and should fly for free. The are still laughing.

  6. Too funny about the monkey with the anxiety attack! I had to read that aloud to my son!

    I don’t even like to see a dog
    Inside of a store
    I’m always afraid that it will drool
    Or worse, poop on the floor.

  7. My other half unfortunately has allergies to everything furry but I want a pet. I had been doing a good job of mentally telling myself a turtle was not just a painted rock until you brought it up… 😉

  8. Well I don’t feel attack-y, but I do get it to a certain degree. I know lotsa PTSD soldiers with dogs, got some friends with seizure dogs…
    I suppose the animals would need to be well-behaved, which to my understanding, is certified.

    But if one person’s comfort animal causes anxiety in others…well…that doesn’t seem right.

  9. So I can’t take more than 100ml of an essential medication, but I can take a turkey?!?! Who was drinking what when they wrote the rules? And where can I get some?

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