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.