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10 Questions for the Biggest Emotional Support Dog(s) We’ve Ever Seen

You know what wouldn’t immediately strike us as a great, highly-portable service animal? One Rhodesian Ridgeback. So, we were doubly surprised when a FlyerTalker spotted not one but TWO Rhodesian Ridgebacks in premium seats on a recent flight. And, we have a lot of questions:

1. Wait, what?

2. How?

3. Should I assume that many business class seats have had a large dog’s bare bottom on them?

4. Where do they go to the bathroom? I mean, you can take a Shih Tzu into the business class lav and put it on a puppy pad. But, while I’m not an engineer or anything, I’m not sure either of these dogs would fit, even with the door open?

5. Is there no in-cabin weight limit for emotional support pets? I mean, if both of these very large dogs can fly, surely there was room for Viktor.

6. Can they spend the entire flight sharing the seat? Where would they go? In the aisle?

7. Did their owners have to share their meals/champagne? These dogs look like they could eat and drink a lot.

8. What, exactly is going on, configuration-wise, in this photo? Are they in four seats? Is that woman on the floor?

9. Do you think they’re siblings with giants’ names? Like The Mountain and Brienne of Tarth? Or, better yet, do they have small dog names, like Teeny and Tiny?

10. Do you think that, if we were on this flight, we’d get to pet them?

11. This isn’t really a question but, RIP to anyone on this flight with dog allergies or phobias.

Comments are Closed.
anthonyparkersd November 23, 2019

If they are emotional support pet's you'd think they'd be trained to not try to get at human food, but rather sitting and behaving.

November 23, 2019

These are clearly identified as service dogs. Major distinction between service animals and ESA.animals. Service animals fly free and are protected by federal disability laws. Really protects the disabled. Dog doesnt care and he/she/it is working anyway. ESA is now limited to dogs now for airlines I believe. Pre 9-11 I used to fly several of my dogs with me to Jackson Hole when I went on vacation. Prices charged was similar to a extra piece of luggage and they flew in a crate in cargo. Now if I fly my dog as freight, they charge as much or more than my ticket so cannot afford to do that anymore. So $1000 or more vs. $50. So now my dogs dont go with me and the airline gets Zero extra revenue because they have all become too greedy. Sad.

justkj November 22, 2019

I am quite familiar with dog shows and the people and handlers that show the animals. This was my parent hobby as I was growing up and I still run into some of the "characters" socially. It is a well known fact that flying any animal in cargo is horrible. Even if it is climate and pressure controlled, The airlines say they can do this, but most animals are traumatized by it. Many of the dog handlers now get "support animal" harnesses and book flights to move the dogs from their home city to the shows around the nation. The airlines never challenge someone who "needs" their support animal. Sadly I am aware of at least two such animals that were flown several times to shows around the US. My guess is that two Ridgebacks on the same flight is too many coincidences first that two people chose and trained a extremely large breed for this purpose … and … they both happen to be on the same flight. This was more likely to the be a handler and his assistant or spouse taking to dogs to a show. My parent always drove their dogs to the shows...in fact they never flew with me until I was well past the toddler stage and could be controlled on a flight. We always drove. I think the problem starts with pet owners who have a way to game the system to transport their pets in comfort on a plane. Until the government or airlines require a certificate that shows both need (Veterans and others with PTSD and other conditions) and training completion (from a recognized training organization) we will see this abused by the entitled.

jcelio November 20, 2019

I travel mostly international biz or first -live in Europe. Travel with a medical support, specifically trained has a letter to confirm done in an ADI approved school. Get very upset when see people abusing as it just makes those who do need makes us look like villains. Most of the times people do not even notice he is on board and do 10-12 hrs flights. To answer some questions above, he does not eat 24 hours before and no water 12 hours before. Never a problem he knows when he is next to me he is working.

Brian-AAFlyer November 20, 2019

Just wait until you see your first ADA approved miniature horse. Horses are federally approved ADA service animals, and are legally required to be carried