Another flight to Israel, and a shaggy dog tale or two

Just a quick post to let you know I’m alive and well, sort of, having spent all of last night on a 747 from New York to Tel Aviv with a brace of bawling brats howling at ear-shattering decibel levels while simultaneously kicking the back of my seat.  I did not put them out of my misery.

In order to board said flying torture chamber, I had to proceed down the gangplank with thousands of other mooing widgets, moving at a snail’s pace of course.  I had Noga with me as always (the paperwork alone makes me feel faint thinking about it) and she was all decked out in her bright pink PTSD DOG cape.  Along comes a big shot with a bomb dog, coming up the plank.  He must have been the cork in the bottleneck.  He has a really beautiful sable German Shepherd.  I have worked with working dogs–protection, tracking, competitive obedience, search and rescue, cadaver recovery–for at least twenty years.  I was admiring the relaxed, quiet demeanor of the dog.

Not so the handler.

“Put up your dog!  NOW!  Put it in its case!”  Blah, blah, blah.  I looked at the guy.  I looked at his dog.  His dog was ignoring him, which was a good thing.  Obviously not trained by him, which was also a good thing.  His dog was ignoring my dog.  My dog (the 12 pound one) was ignoring both of them.  She can’t stand bad behavior.

“Look,” says I, our dogs are ignoring each other.  Why don’t we just keep walking, in opposite directions just like we’re doing, and then we’ll be by each other?  Simple, right?”

Mr. Macho spluttered long enough to cause a disturbance in the boarding plank line.  I tossed my 12 pound menace up on my shoulder and walked past him, with him screaming all the while “At your own risk, at your own risk!”  Sheesh.

That’s the second time that’s happened to me with a service dog.  The one before was my beloved Ivan of blessed memory, who, besides being my Psychiatric Service Dog, was my Search and Rescue and Schutzhund  partner (that’s a dog sport that combines obedience, tracking, and protection).  I was heading through Baggage Claim with Ivan when some Mucho Macho (where do they GET these guys?) with a drug dog starts yelling at me out of thin air to get my dog out of there.  I of course reminded him that he was breaking a great big federal law, since the ADA protects disabled people who needs service dogs, and that law trumps almost anything.  He started in yammering that my dog was out of control (what? he was helping me pull the luggage cart) and all kinds of shit, so I took a step back and yelled PLATZ!!!!!  so loud you could have heard it down two football fields.  That’s “lie down” in German.  Both my dog AND HIS hit the ground so hard there was a dog-shaped hole when they got up, but only after I yelled SITZZZZ!!!!!!!!  And they both sat like good doggies.  I took my cue and left while his mouth was still sagging open.

Leave a comment


  1. i liked this not so much because i am liking what you and your service dogs experienced, but the fact that you stood up for yourself to them.

    • Thank you, Kat. I have never been able to put up with random shit from complete strangers, especially when they have nice doggies.

  2. Natalya

     /  July 30, 2013

    I love how you stood up for yourself the way you did!!!

  3. You are just so awesome!

  4. Howisbradley

     /  July 30, 2013

    I know it wasn’t funny at the time, but thank you for making me laugh today.

    • You’re welcome. The dog handler jerk cracked me up (I’ve known so many like him, have my own private theory about this, won’t trot it out here). The wailing brats were 100% torture. I have never had such a case of jet lag in all my years of commuting across the globe.

  5. Only you would have a dog encounter on your flight! Hope Noga faired well. Um, how did she do her business on the long flight? And what does Noga stand for?

    • Noga means “glowing” in Hebrew. I brought her potty pads (kind of like blue pads) but since she refused to eat or drink the whole flight, no output except between flights at JFK. She never does go on planes. I got worried cause her mouth was sticking together and poured some water down her gullet a couple of times, though. It helped her, silly little thing.

  6. I’m with Kat. I totally understand the need for security, but they need to psych test these mucho macho idiots a bit better at interactions with people. 99% of us aren’t even thinking of blowing up the place…. Until dealing with one of these butts. =) Intimidation doesn’t work if you’re not intimidated. Glad you made one of them a bitmore humble! Would have pissed myself laughing had I been there!

    • Thanks! The thing is, the guy had no idea what his dog was thinking. I don’t even know how they pick these goons that they get on the K-9 squads. I myself have been training big bad wolves and horses for so many years it takes a lot to intimidate me. And little Noga was not even interested in the whole sorry-ass scene! Wise little Lhasa Apso.

  7. Love this post. It came to life beautifully and I;m so glad you got the guy to shut up, even if his mouth was open 🙂 I’m so glad I found your blog.

  8. bpshielsy

     /  August 2, 2013

    Cheers laura. I love your doggy tales 🙂

  9. That’s the best tale of tails I’ve read or heard about in a very long time. Hilarious.


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