Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gone to the Dogs

Imagine that your dog Rover wants to go see friends in Seattle. What do you do? Do you let him venture off like a stray, navigating his own way through the concrete jungles, relying on his internal compass and instinctual methods for finding food, shelter, etc.? Do you arrange for the dog friend in Seattle to meet Rover halfway? Do you take him yourself, then sit by awkwardly as the third wheel in this dog reunion? Do you just put him on a plane by himself and say, "Arf voir."

Wouldn't it be great if, assuming Rover can save up the airfare, you COULD just put him on a plane to his desired destination? Perhaps you can do that now. But what if Rover didn't have to fly in cargo, but rather was treated like a regular fair-paying passenger, getting those tiny pillows and pack of peanuts?

I can see it now. You take Rover to the terminal, then had over his leash to a "Pet Porter," who introduces him to Fido, Fifi, and Ferdinand. As you leave your beloved pet, you have the comfort of knowing that Rover is in good hands, and that his safety is all but guaranteed as all dogs are subjected to metal detectors and stool samples. As Rover and his new friends await to board their own private 19-passenger Beechcraft, they are walked, watered, and combed.

As it comes time to board, they are individually walked down the red-carpet gate where they enter the plane, greeted with a friendly "Bark, Bark!" and a quick sniff from their Captain and his St. Bernard co-pilot. They are taken to their window seat, where they enter their own private pet carrier, that is safely fastened to the floor. As the plane departs, a "Pet Attendant" walks up and down the isles, assuring the safety and comfort of all the animals, making sure none make any noise while the "No Bark" sign remains lit. All through the flight, the animals relax in comfort in a pressurized, climate controlled environment with fresh air constantly circulating. "Paw"sengers, as they would be called, have their choice of the in-flight movie: "Beethoven," "Beethoven's 2nd," "Beethoven's 3rd," "Beethoven's 4th," "Beethoven's 5th," or "Beethoven's Big Break." In the event that Rover needs to use the lavatory, an attendant escorts him to the back of the plane, where yesterday's newspaper covers the floor. Thank goodness for that circulating fresh air!

Upon landing, Rover and the other pawsengers are given the local time, weather conditions, and locations of historic fire hydrants. Once they remove their carry-on bag containing their squeeky toys and Milk Bones from the overhead compartments, they are individually escorted to the terminal, where they are greeted by their pet friend and their pet freind's family. For dogs without a host family, rental cars are available for them to chase to their desired location.

Wouldn't it be great if such a service for pets existed? It would be nice, but probably not realistic, since, well you know, a flight service just for dogs and cats? It's doubtful if there is a large enough market for such an exclusive service. That's just a ficticious scenario right out of "Beethoven's 10th," right?

Actually, it describes, for the most part, the real service soon to be provided by a new company called "Pet Airways." For $149 for a one-way ticket, owners can book individual flights for either their dog or cat. Currently there is no option for first-class, but cats and dogs shall be separated within the aircraft, for obvious unknown reasons.

Now before you think that this service is "for the birds," be forewarned that the airline currently does NOT accomodate our feather friends, standing behind their current policy of "Birds Can't Fly, silly!" (Note, that is not actually the company's slogan). As of right now, birds are only allowed to follow outside the plane. The company, though, is NOT against expanding their "pawsenger" line to animals that don't have paws, they just have to find a cute and clever name to call them first.

Let's help them out. What type of animals would YOU allow on your plane, and what would you call them. I'll get you started:

Allow Gerbils on board. Call them "passengerbils."

I'd still be a Pawsenger, idiot!


LC said...

What a cute blog today. "pawsengers" -- FUNNY

Anonymous said...

You'll find that there is a wide variety of pet carriers available such as airline approved pet carriers, designer pet carriers and much more.