Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Emotional support animals are out of control!

OK, so this emotional support animal business is getting ridiculous. I recently read a story about an emotional support horse on a flight from Chicago to Omaha. Yeah, it was a miniature horse, but a horse nonetheless. The horse is not nearly the nuttiest of emotional support animals.

A woman in Wisconsin was asked to leave a McDonald’s after entering with Jimmy, the emotional support kangaroo. There’s a teen who overcomes anxiety with a bearded dragon. Pigs seem to be very popular. A woman was tossed from a flight in 2014 because of her 80-pound emotional support pig. And we thought Arnold the Pig in the TV show Green Acres was for laughs.

Turkeys are also a popular emotional support animal. Several have been booted off flights in recent years. How about this one? An emotional support marmoset. One got loose at the Las Vegas airport. Probably won him in a card game.

Snakes, peacocks, ducks, chickens, and squirrels have all been passed off as emotional support animals. Even a goldfish. Is this a sign of the times? I’m afraid so, but it’s not the animals that tell the story. It’s their pathetic owners.

Don’t get me wrong. I get the whole emotional malady thing. We have depression and anxiety in our family. What we don’t have is someone with an emotional support goat. Ever heard the expression the inmates are running the asylum? That’s exactly what we have here. The nuttiest among us are demanding that the rest of us act like there’s nothing wrong with taking an animal with you everywhere you go.

Yes, I know there are truly those who need an animal at their side. Blind people need a seeing-eye dog. People who’ve lost limbs sometimes need animals to help them get around. Some soldiers with PTSD sometimes need an animal to keep them calm when they travel. For the rest of us there’s a stiff drink or a sleeping pill if we have trouble flying.

And there’s really never a reason to take your animal to the home improvement store. Contrary to what some polite customers may tell you, nobody wants to see your dog. They really don’t. Leave him at home. Or at least in the car. On second thought, someone will probably call the cops if they see your pooch in the car. I saw this first hand. A woman left her dog in the car long enough to come in and buy a cup of coffee. That was too long for the manager on duty. She followed the woman back to her car and read her the riot act. Yeah, I understand if you leave a dog in a hot car for an hour while you shop, although my mother did that to us and nobody thought twice about it. She didn’t even leave us a bowl of water.

We’ve turned into a society of pitiful little weenies. You think we could storm Normandy with this crowd? Probably have half the guys with a salt water allergies. At least all of this pandering used to be considered weird. Now you can’t say anything for fear of offending people. I’m sorry, it’s just weird. There. I’ve said it. And I don’t feel bad.

If you can’t leave the house without your pet sugar glider (that’s a tiny possum, by the way) then you probably don’t need to be leaving the house. If you do try to board a flight with a donkey then, for the love of all that’s holy, don’t expect the rest of us to think it’s completely normal.

Phil Valentine is the host of the award-winning talk radio show, 
The Phil Valentine Show on SuperTalk 99.7WTN in Nashville. He's also co-host of The PodGOATs podcast.

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