I like dogs. I like cats. And while I have no desire to get close and personal with most of the rest of Mother Nature’s critters, such as snakes and spiders, I still find them interesting. With such, my general attitude is let’s just go our separate ways.
I do not know of any heroic acts by cats, but the positive actions by dogs are legion. In my family, our Chow dog was a firm babysitter that kept an eye on Mom’s four kids as she did the laundry. And my Uncle Bud’s dog, Whizbang, waited by the front gate of my grandparents’ farm every day for two years until Uncle Bud came back from the War.
As for me, my dog Dandy, was sometimes the only friend I had when I committed some sin such as failing to complete a chore Mom or Dad had assigned to me. Dandy was not judgmental. He kept wagging his tail at me even when the rest of the cruel world wagged its finger.
And when it comes to depression, it hit home to Peg and me to have to say goodbye to our Schnauzer, Haley, after sixteen good years. We have not been able to try to replace her yet.
I bring up these points to show you, Gentle Reader, I am sympathetic to people who rely on their pets for emotional and even physical support. Seeing-eye dogs and large dogs and small horses that help disabled persons to have independence by aiding peoples’ movement are truly a blessing.
And, when it comes to Emotional Support Animals, I am fully supportive of allowing people in need to rely on a loving, loyal and well-trained, safe animal even in public. Now, as to sharing my seat on an airplane, bus or train with someone else’s overly protective or not quite potty-trained ESA animal, my position is the owner can probably make it through the trip alone as well as I can. Hey, we all have emotional problems dealing with public transportation.
Anyway, a trend that appears to be coming an epidemic is the proliferation and diversification of the number and type of animals people claim are essential to their emotional health. Of course, these people and even those in charge of public transportation seem to have no concerns for the rest of the world who must accommodate the ESA folks. Also, what veterinary college or medical school did the doctors who certify some of these ESAers go to?
For example, sixty-five-year-old (you might think he’d know better) Joie Henney of Pennsylvania and Joie’s medical doctor (go figure) have declared Joie needs the love and affection of an alligator for his ESA animal. Wally is what Joie named the five-foot-long gator with razor sharp teeth and a powerful tail. Joie takes Wally to public parks and Walmart on a leash. He also enjoys wrestling with Wally and getting whacked by his tail.
Apparently, Wally has his own emotional troubles because Joie now has added a smaller, younger gator for his own and Wally’s depressed moments. Wally may grow up to sixteen feet long and 1,000 pounds. Joie pets Wally and even sleeps with him. And believe it or not, Joie has a real girlfriend and seventeen grandchildren. Well, he has them for now.
Joie says the gators make him feel better. Maybe so. But I suggest that a pet rock or a Chia Pet plant may work out better over time.