Monday, February 22, 2010

Flying With Dogs

I continue to be puzzled and even upset with people that fly their pets as cargo. I also continue to hear people say "I flew my dog to.... and it all went well!" Well, let me describe to you the dog that was flying from St. Louis today.
When I boarded my flight, I could see the United aircraft next to us, loading cargo and preparing for takeoff. From the time I looked over, there was a crate sitting on the apron in the rain, wind, and spitting snow. I don't know how long it had already been sitting there when I saw it, but it continued to sit there for the next 25 minutes while workers tossed luggage around it and used it for a table, setting other items on top of the crate. Our aircraft started and other aircraft moved around, with the ground crew donning sound-blocking headphones, yet the poor dog continued to sit in his crate in the noise and the cold. Just as our plane was backing up, I saw the ground crew load the crate onto the conveyer belt to load into the plane. First, when they picked it up, it tilted way to one side to load the opposite end onto the belt. Then, riding the belt up at a 45 degree angle, the dog had clearly slid to the back and was struggling to right himself as the crate was rocking. If there had been any water in there, it surely spilled during this rough ride.
A non-dog lover may not have seen anything wrong with this, because the crate was treated much like any other piece of luggage, except that it was left out in the rain while all of the other luggage was loaded. But it just underlined for me my belief that I would NEVER put my dog in cargo unless our lives depended on it!


  1. I would never fly my dog in cargo either. Too scary-for me and the dog!

  2. Man I wouldn't be able to handle watching that.