Although the airline had reportedly asked the dog owner to leave her canine in a cage under her seat, per airline policy, she decided to take it out to play with it. (I’m sure she felt it needed her.) Which is when it took off.
What all of these incidents suggest to me is that these well-meaning but somewhat misguided animal “guardians” are far more common than anyone thought.
Also, they do not tolerate dissent. These anthropomorphizers believe they have the moral high ground, and that by shouting down anyone who disagrees with them, they can win.
Fortunately, my cat problem had a happy ending. One charitable reader, who also happened to be a neighbor, agreed to look after the cats while we were away. (Take a bow, Joyce!)
My views on pet ownership haven’t changed as the result of this tussle. I love my cats, but I love my kids even more. I remain a proud carnivore (burgers, mmmmm!). I don’t believe cats, dogs or pigs belong on a plane, in a hotel, or a rental car unless maybe you’re moving somewhere, and even then, they should be safely confined to a carrier.
Incidentally, I think this represents the view of the average American.
As for the “pets-are-people-too” argument — I’ll believe that when my cats ask to join us on vacation.