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Wed, Nov. 20

Around the Bluhmin' Town: Leave those bad-behaving pets behind when you fly

A peacock pictured on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at the zoo in Dortmund, Germany. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

A peacock pictured on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at the zoo in Dortmund, Germany. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Do peacocks fly?

Perhaps they do. However, I have noticed that they seem to prefer to strut around and show off their tail feathers. If they do fly, it will not be on Delta Airlines because Delta has banned peacocks — along with a many other so-called “comfort” or “assist pets” that are also, finally, being banned from boarding planes.

It’s about time!

When Delta came out with its new policy, requiring a doctor’s written note that a “pet” is a legitimate service animal, they also posted the list of critters that passengers have been bringing along for the ride. Spiders, toads, birds, possums, pigs, goats, lizards, hamsters, mice, cats, dogs, ducks, chickens, snakes and peacocks are on the list. Get on the internet and pay $50 for a certificate that states you require a “service animal for emotional support or physical assistance.” And let the games begin.

There are plenty of people who require service dogs. Visually impaired, physically disabled, post-traumatic stress disorder victims are a few. But when the onslaught of farmyard animals, along with an array of bad-behaving domestic pets, started traveling on the airlines, things began getting out of control. Doggies were running up and down the aisle; cats wandered around, and ducks even were loose in the cabin. On some occasions, there were squealing pigs wrapped in blankets! Yikes, and sitting next to a tarantula for four hours cannot be fun!

One woman said she “had enough” when she was forced to sit next to a woman with a “loud-talking parrot who liked to swear and never shut-up.”

Children and adults have been bitten by dogs while flying. Oh, and sometimes these animals are “peeing and pooping” on the airline seats, blankets and in the aisles.

One man said he “freaked out” when a lady in the seat next to him pulled a huge snake out of a cage and set it on her lap because it “calms” her. Well, that’s nice lady. What about the poor bloke sitting next to you who is terrified? What the heck?

I sat on a flight to Ohio next to a woman who had a toy poodle in a carrier under the seat in front of her. She said his name was “Pookie” and he provided her with emotional support because she was afraid of flying. Yes, without Pookie, the lady said, she would have a panic attack. Okay, but that little dog barked, yapped and whined for four hours! Hey, that “emotional support” was awfully loud and very annoying.

Maybe it was the pig in the blanket that made Delta (and other airlines) draw the line in the sand. Or possibly the peacock who was going through security sitting on its owner’s shoulders. For me, a snake and a spider are a “bridge too far.” And let’s not forget that a doggie defecating on an airline seat (sorry for the next passenger) is pretty messed up. It stinks!

Want to fly with your goose, duck, skunk, snake or spider? Game over.

Dear Readers, if air travel is in your near future, there is good news. You will never have to encounter a pig … unless it sprouts wings and flies.

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor. Have a comment or a story? Email Judy at

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