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In which i met a “comfort” dog

After my exciting day of being completely ignored by J Lo, I didn’t think my life could get any better.  Boy was I wrong.  First, I woke up before my wakeup call and therefore knew that my day was destined to be above par.  After all, who does that?  This was all confirmed when I started my drive down to LAX and had the unique opportunity to idle for an hour and a half in traffic with thousands of other similar minded people.  What a joy to finally fit in out there. 

 

Unfortunately and way too soon, I pulled into the Hertz parking lot and they required that I return my vehicle and remove all my shit from the car.  Having no recourse and nothing better to do, I took the little bus over to the terminals and once again hit the jackpot.  There were 7 stops and I was number one; I could tell this was going to be a stellar day.  Once again, using 85,000 dividend miles paid off when I got to proceed immediately to the First Class line to check in.  I was then fast tracked directly into the slow track where I still had to remove my sneakers because everyone knows that ASICS are just very dangerous sneakers and obviously unsuitable for the first class traveler.

 

I’ll skip over the USAir club because it was just completely boring and my disappointment at not meeting anyone truly interesting was overwhelming.  I didn’t arrive at my gate early enough to pre-board with the elite so I decided to board last as I didn’t have any overhead luggage anyways.  Here’s where it gets really good:

 

So I’m sitting in my seat with a sweet young lady next to me (I’m on the aisle) and across the aisle is a couple, probably in their fifties.  I think they’re speaking French but I’m not positive but at any rate, they have a large case on the arm rest in between them.  First, the guy pulls out a book to read and I see its stamped “Northridge Elementary School” on the inside cover.  I think that’s strange but apparently the guy doesn’t because he starts reading it.  What can I say?  I loved books when I was in third grade too!  Of course I was 8 years old but whatever, it’s a free world right?  So, that’s the setup.

 

The stewardess locks the cabin door (I’m not complaining…I think it’s safer too) and walks to the couple and the following conversation takes place:

 

Stewardess:    “Sir, you need to put he case under the seat in front of you.”

 

Man reading third grade book: “No!”

 

Stewardess:    (slightly taken aback) “Well then sir, you need to put the case in the overhead bin.”

 

Man reading third grade book: “No!”

 

(now I’m thinking what the fuck right? Who is this clown and what the hell is his problem right?)

 

So the stewardess goes to the front of the cabin and places a call, possibly to the pilot to tell him to stop the plane, and the woman tells the man something in French and he stands up and grabs her purse from the overhead bin.  Now, I’m getting all excited because I figure that something big is going down.  Finally, some excitement! 

 

Then a different steward comes up and tells the guy he needs to put the case either above in the overhead compartment or beneath the seat. Again he refuses and the original stewardess comes back and this is what happened:

 

Stewardess:  “Sir, I checked and the case needs to be below the seat or above in the overhead bin.”

 

Man who is no longer reading third grade book: “I have this permit that says I don’t have to do that.” (and he flashes some license or something)

 

Stewardess: “You still have to put it below or above for landing and takeoff; this is not an international flight.”  (she’s getting ticked and I’m dying of curiosity about just WHAT is in the case!)

 

Man who clearly needs to be reading a kindergarten book: “… but this is a comfort dog!”

 

What?? WHAT??? A comfort dog? This is all about a dog?  And what the hell is a comfort dog anyways?  Yep, sure enough they pull out this little tiny dog and it sits on the woman’s lap and the man stuffs the case under the seat and lo and behold, we can now continue attempting to leave Los Angeles…land of plastic people and comfort dogs.

 

I seriously don’t even know how to sum up this story except if anybody know what a comfort dog is, please let me know.

 

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20 Comments

  1. Queen Mahin
    March 18, 2011

    No idea what a comfort dog is, but I think I want one. Wouldn’t gridlocked traffic and irritations of airline travel be much improved with a cute little dog on your lap? Also, btw, I’m feeling chagrined because I love third grade books. Was totally feeling your reference to Series of Unfortunate Events yesterday. Just saying.
    Queen Mahin recently posted..Thank Goodness Youre Open!My Profile

    • Lynn
      March 18, 2011

      I have to say, the dog was adorable and literally laid on a pillow and slept the entire flight. It was just so funny.

  2. Name *
    March 18, 2011

    I’ve run across comfort dogs (not literally of course) at the Ikea, where I work. People often bring little dogs into the store, which violates health codes because we have 2 restaurants. We have to ask customers to take the dogs outside. Obviously when someone brings in a service dog like a seeing eye dog we don’t say anything. But we’ve had some folks get very upset and say their dogs are “comfort dogs” because they have anxiety disorders.

    • Lynn
      March 18, 2011

      Really? So there’s actually a medical read on for it? That’s hilarious…and I’ve never been in an Ikea!

  3. Pamela D. Hart
    March 18, 2011

    I’ve heard of Companion Dogs, but not Comfort Dogs. My dog, a Boxer, could be a Comfort Dog (very snuggley)…although certainly NOT a lap dog, even though SHE thinks she is, wonder if I’d have to buy her a separate plane ticket?

    • Lynn
      March 18, 2011

      I never heard of a Comfort Dog and i’ve also never flown with a dog nearby before but he (or she i suppose) was actually very well behaved. Better than most kids in fact.

  4. Name *
    March 18, 2011

    I found this: “Now another type of specially trained working dog has emerged in recent years. Comfort dogs come to the emotional rescue of people who are suffering in the aftermath of disasters or battling the difficulties of daily life. … Their job is deceptively simple: to get people to open up and talk about what happened.

    Amy Rideout, president of HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response, a national organization with more than 100 certified dog-handler teams, said engaging in a discussion about an experience is healing and helps a person to overcome a traumatic event.

    There are other health benefits the pooches provide. Research has shown the simple act of petting a dog helps to lower blood pressure, lift spirits and reduce stress.” Medicine.Net.com

    Go figure! :)

    • Lynn
      March 18, 2011

      hahaha…that’s awesome…I cannot believe that these people in “first class” need a comfort dog but what do i know. I thought it was hilarious though.

    • Carla E. Knight
      March 18, 2011

      I’m confused. Do the dog owners talk to the dog about their disasters, trauma, difficulties in daily life? I agree petting dogs is therapeutic, and I cannot imagine my life without my wonderful furry children (none of whom could sit in my lap, by the way). And, I occasionally talk to my dogs, but seldom are our discussions two-sided or emotionally wrenching.

      • Lynn
        March 18, 2011

        can’t help you there…i only know he had a license to bring this “comfort” dog aboard the plane. The dog flew with the couple on their laps or sitting on a pillow between them. It was a pretty cute dog though.

  5. Carri
    March 19, 2011

    I’m sorry that all of my fellow LA peeps are total morons. That’s what you get when you fly in and out of LAX… a bunch of entitled nimrods.
    Hope you enjoyed your stay! LOL

    • Lynn
      March 19, 2011

      No apologies necessary. It was all quite amusing

  6. Harriet
    March 20, 2011

    A comfort dog? What on earth? What is it a dog trained to comfort people?

    That really is crazy. I might start taking my cat with me everywhere and claiming that I need him because he’s a ‘comfort cat’ ;)
    Harriet recently posted..25 More Debt Written Off By BanksMy Profile

    • Lynn
      March 20, 2011

      I know right? But apparently there is a special license to bring them on the plane. It’s rather ridiculous but the dog was really quite well behaved.

  7. The Blogtessa
    March 21, 2011

    I agree with Queen Mahin up there. It would be pretty sweet and comforting to have a little cutie on my lap in traffic. At least, until I get in a car wreck and the airbag deploys. :( Poor puppy.

    • Lynn
      March 21, 2011

      Yeah…the puppy was living like a King on this flight…hanging on a pillow and sleeping!

  8. Melissa
    March 21, 2011

    Unfortunately I know this stuff all too well. I even have to go to special “reasonable accommodation” training classes in order to learn how to handle situations like this in order to avoid fair housing law suits. The ADA usually describes these animals as service companion animals. I wish I was joking. :/

    • Lynn
      March 21, 2011

      To me a service dog is a dog that helps blind people…not a tiny little lap dog that flies first class. Hahahaha though

  9. Name *
    July 3, 2011

    Too funny! At Costco a woman had her adorable doggie wearing a “Comfort” jacket in the basket. I was of course immediately envious. Next visit a woman had a doggie in her basket with no jacket. Today a woman had a small “Pom” with a jacket labeled “security blanket” (or something to that effect). She had lost her hubby a few months back so her doctor wrote a prescription for her to take her dog everywhere to comfort her. The woman had her attorney handle the rest. I’m going to call my doctor tomorrow and ask for one of those prescriptions LOL!

    • Lynn
      July 3, 2011

      Hahaha…never heard of it until this plane trip. WTF?

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