Emotional Support and Why You Need a Peacock

I  just read an article that United Airlines denied a seat to an emotional support peacock that was attempting to fly today from Newark to Los Angeles. With this announcement coming on the heels of the recent Delta announcement, people are understandably debating both sides of the emotional support animal issue. Who are airlines to decide what a person needs psychologically?  Who are these crazy people trying to cheat the system to fly with their potentially dangerous pets? How do we protect true service animals?

There are some important issues these debates are overlooking, though.

  1. First, I think it is impressive that a peacock that has been forced to live–presumably for years–in Newark, New Jersey, is even *capable* of being an emotional support animal. I know that if I lived in Newark, I would need an emotional support menagerie and I would not be able to help anyone out at all.  I would be an substance abuse peacock who cut people off in traffic and drank too much coffee and never smiled. Eff you all, humans. I am not supporting nobody. But that bird, apparently named Dexter, was totally chill.  I need to be more like that majestic bird.
  2. Second, that peacock was shockingly well behaved by the look of things. It might not have “service animal” level training or full immunizations, and that’s important, but did you see the pictures of it perched on the baggage cart, patiently waiting for people to sort out the issues so it could fly for five hours to LA?

    emotional support peacock

    I have never traveled with a peacock, but I have traveled with children, and I can tell you, we have never once even come close to keep our shit so well together during air travel.  We’ve spilled beverages. We’ve left bags. We’ve laid on the floor and cried (even the children). We once had a flight where *both* children peed in their seats.  Once my oldest child vomited in my hands during landing and the second child looked over to see what happened and emotional-support vomited on herself in response (people sure got off the plane fast that time).  I have completely untrained, emotionally non-supportive children on flights every time.  If people just stopped to think about *that*, well, maybe we want the peacock.

  3. Third, maybe this is a greedy, cheap way to get your animal across the country for free, doing a disservice to the people who truly need service animals. (Though probably not Dexter. He seems lovely.) But, guys, there are people out there living exotic, imaginative lives where they travel about sitting next to peacocks. Don’t trash them for being weird. Figure out how to get a peacock in your life.


    I spent this morning washing syrup off of so many things, folding so much laundry, and fretting about how this weekend it might snow and then they might cancel school again (oh man, if they cancel school again, I need all the support animals. Do some cook?  Do some take over yelling about chores so you can lie down?) I need to think peacock.  I need to get creative and get some more beautiful, exotic creativity up in this day. I need to roll with Dexter and wing it a bit.

I urge you: think bold and be inspired by today’s story of Dexter.

Have the peacock.

Be the peacock.

Go get the peacock.

Thank you, Alex from PetSmart. You’re a hero.

Thank you, Alex from PetSmart,

You clipped my dog Maisie’s nails this morning, and it was absolutely the highlight of my day (my days are sometimes lame, it is true, but this is meaningful because it is the first day of kids back in school after Christmas break!!). I wanted to make sure you knew what a good job you did, since it probably seemed like a disaster as it was happening. That was actually the best it’s ever gone. I had started to think it couldn’t be accomplished at all. Alex the Hero!

I suspect you thought it was all ridiculous: how it took nearly 15 minutes and you had to soothe her and restrain her and hold her onto the table while holding her paw while also using the file, while she cried and tried to jump. All the while I simultaneously cooed at her what a good girl she was (I realize that seemed like a total lie; I appreciate your not saying anything) and showed her the treat she would earn–one per paw at your clever suggestion–and promised to buy her a nice bone when it was all finished. You treated us both with dignity and patience when, frankly, we deserved neither.

I wish I could say that Maisie learned her lesson after your patient attention, but I doubt it. In addition to the reward bone, I also bought her a discounted Christmas stuffed animal that is almost as big as she is. I meant it to reinforce the rewards that await those who get their nails clipped. But she is proudly carrying it around the house with a decided air of victory over the dremel and I fear she is making plans for future resistance.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed the $3 tip. We’re coming to you again next time.  Happy New Year!