I’ve been an animal lover all my life. Over the years, I’ve had birds, cats, chickens, cows, dogs, ducks, goats, horses (full size and miniature), pigs, and rabbits as part of my extended family.

Food, housing, love, and poop clean up were all provided by me  in an effort to give them a good home.

After working years in Human Resources, I also understand the meaning behind the Americans with Disabilities Act.

I stand and applaud the many organizations and their volunteers who work with service animals which are defined as dogs who are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for individuals with physical or mental disabilities.

On the other hand, I do not understand a phenomenon currently widespread in our society – the flood of  support animals.

It seems I can’t go anywhere where I don’t see a support animal riding in a child seat or a baby carriage, sitting at the next table in a restaurant, riding in the driver’s seat of a car as it speeds down the highway, or being carried around like a baby.

Maybe it is just me, but I like my restaurant food and groceries without dog hair and other things left behind by a pet that was intended to walk on its own four feet, hunt for food, clean itself, and live at home. I also don’t want to sit down on a plane and find out that my seat mate is a boa constrictor.

When did we become so traumatized by daily life that we have to take our pets with us as we go about our errands? I don’t know the answer, but it certainly concerns me. I think it may be a bigger issue for society than we think.

By the way, if you are planning a trip and just can’t leave your miniature horse at home, check out American and Jet Blue.

Enjoy your pets, and I’ll do the same.

However, you won’t see Zinnia and I out and about at the post office, bank or library.

Nor will I be boarding a plane with her, although I know you’d like to make her acquaintance because she is a sweetie.

Happy 4th of July week – have fun, stay safe, and if you’re in this part of the country, stay cool.  😎

About Judy @ NewEnglandGardenAndThread

Master Gardener who enjoys gardening, quilting, photography, and traveling.
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52 Responses to Animals

  1. Dan Antion says:

    I was on two flights this year with people across the aisle who had “service” animals. One dog kept getting up and walking across the woman and her traveling companion, and occasionally the poor guy in the next seat. I love dogs, but I don’t want to fly with yours. True service dogs are trained to be quiet and relatively still. Many of the animals flying today are companions to people who don’t want to pay or don’t trust the airline to properly care for them in the cargo hold. I understand, United did a terrible job flying Maddie to us from Ohio, but there has to be a limit. I know the airlines are working on it, but they aren’t making much progress IMO.

    Sorry for the mini-rant, but you touched a nerve.

    Stay cool, Judy. BTW, Zinnia is a cutie.

    Liked by 2 people

    • No problem with a mini rant. In the past, I’ve paid to transport pets in the cargo hold and then I paid with the pet’s emotional trauma. I get it. But today, there is a line where your right to have your animal of choice climbing all over you on a flight or in a restaurant and my right to not seems to be blurred. It’s certainly interesting, and I’d say right now the folks hauling the animals everywhere are definitely winning the battle. Zinnia is a cutie, and you try to stay cool yourself. Maddie with all her beautiful red hair is probably enjoy AC this week. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Unfortunately these “support” animals are mostly not legit. People are taking advantage of it in order to just take their animals anywhere they please and when they get confronted cry, “It’s my support animal!” Which makes everything even harder for actual service animals to be taken seriously. I saw a guy recently walking through a grocery store with his dog not even on a leash. It was following him about 10 feet back. As a responsible pet owner and citizen my brain could only scream, “Potential bite situation!” Even if you trust your animal to behave, you cannot trust that some little kid isn’t going to run up and grab onto your dog’s face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly – it’s not safe for the pet either. Did you ever in your wildest imagination think you’d see dogs walking freely in a grocery store where you were shopping for your food? It’s getting pretty bizarre.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The most recent one I saw was a maltese in a diaper in the kid seat portion of the cart. We also had someone bring their ESA dog to one of our recent parties. We have two dogs but we were supportive. Turns out their dog was pretty dog aggressive. It was really tempting to be like, “I think your ESA dog needs it’s own ESA animal.”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nancy says:

    The problem is that “most” of these support dogs are not legal. If they are truly a support or service pet then that fine. But people are abusing it to the tenth degree.

    On Southwest if you are flying with your pet… the pet is not allowed out of their carrier. But I have heard some horrible stories where dogs are climbing all over the place on other airlines.

    If people would just follow the laws and be responsible… it would be good.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Joyce says:

    OMG where to begin? I agree with Dan – I would never trust any airline to handle my pet in cargo! But that would be the exception. Where did all these emotional unstable people come from all of a sudden? Boarding (or trying to, I guess!) peacocks, even! I guess gone-are-the-days when it was a delight to encounter a well trained and behaved service dog in the company of a truly disabled person. Now the kooks out there with their damn grocery store goats (Zinnia an exception, of course!) have us wondering how much is being faked.
    But back to Zinnia! How much I would love to pet her and snuggle her cute little face while telling her how lucky she is to be left back home, safe and secure, instead of riding the TSA belt when mom and dad decide it’s time for another European jaunt!

    Liked by 1 person

    • A service dog usually conducts him/herself with dignity and purpose. I always stop to watch and admire them working. I was at a Tractor Supply Store a couple of weeks ago behind a woman my age with a dog. The dog stopped, lifted his leg, and relieved himself on a display of dog food. She watched and kept going. Really? So, then someone comes along and picks up a bag covered with urine. Yuck. You and your grands would like Zinnia. 🙂


  5. Joanne Sisco says:

    I haven’t encountered this yet, and I hope I don’t. This is a case of where we’ve gone stupid in one direction ‘trying to be sensitive to the needs of others’, yet fail spectacularly in other areas – like providing basics to those in need.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. joyroses13 says:

    Zinnia is adorable and so is the little bunny. Is that your bunny?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Norm 2.0 says:

    I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let some airline or railway tell me my I can’t travel with my support Llama Pedro!
    Kidding aside, though I haven’t experienced it yet either, it does seem like there are a number of folks out there pushing this just a bit too far.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Murphy's Law says:

    Absolutely agree, people are taking advantage with these “support” animals who are as glued to them as their phones are. It’s ridiculous. Honest-to-God service dogs are thoroughly trained and remain quiet by their owners side. But these support animals actually need a service dog themselves! Most of them must be traumatized being hauled around from store to store, out in traffic, and dozens of strangers rushing up to pet them.

    But Zinnia is too cute for words. And I’m sure quite happy to stay home where she’s loved and well-taken care of. Gee, maybe that’s because her owners aren’t nuts!!
    🔹 Ginger 🔹


    • I guess hauling pets around everywhere you go is kind of like shopping in your pajamas – some folks just don’t care. Zinnia is a cutie. She was actually born here. She and her mom, Violet, love raspberry bushes. We have a lot of wild ones along the border, so I pull them up roots and all for them. I can’t imagine it, but I guess that’s why some places hire goat herds to clear brush from hillsides that humans can’t maneuver. 🙂


  9. I don’t understand the need to take ones dog everywhere. I see a lot of restaurants market themselves as “Dog Friendly!” I usually say to myself, “thanks for the warning” and avoid those places at all costs. I haven’t experienced bad animal behavior on a plane (plenty of bad human behavior, though) but I agree with you… if they can’t fit in a carrier under the seat (and who would subject their animal to that?), then just nope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also avoid hotels that are ‘dog friendly’ because there is nothing like paying for a hotel room, being tired, and opening the door to the smell of disinfectant used to clean up the last four-legged occupant. I get those that want to travel with pets, but I always boarded mine at a good place so that we could all have a vacation. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Eliza Waters says:

    What a brutal week ahead, eh? I’ve had to keep my forays outside short as I slowly turn into a puddle. I don’t know how Southerners stand this every day for months. It is like winter when trips outside are short.
    I agree with you that society has gone a bit over the top with support animals. I think animals would be happier at home in a stable environment. Your Zinnia is adorable, btw!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Laurie Graves says:

    Zinnia looks like a sweetie. I had no idea you had had experience with so many animals. I, too, am an animal lover, but if I ever found myself seated next to a boa…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. joey says:

    Animal lover, here, too.
    My dog is anxious and I am anxious and we have rescued one another. She is absolutely a support dog, and I feel safer and have less vertigo when she accompanies me on walks. I love her so much. My therapist made the right call there.
    However, she is not a service or support animal in any legal way and I do not take her everywhere, even though she’s a VERY good girl, much better behaved than many dogs I encounter in dog-friendly areas.
    Like you, I’m all for service dogs. Frankly I am amazed at what a dog can be trained to do. Like you, I call BS on the vast majority of support animals. Gettin a bit carried away with that, me thinks.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. germac4 says:

    We have read about service animals…and, apart from guide dogs etc…this is just plain crazy! it hasn’t hit Australia, but I think (have read) airlines in the US are getting tougher now…the first airline to ban them will be inundated with customers!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. There was a “support animal” a poor dog that lived in my oldest’s college dorms this past year. It cried all day when its owner left it to go to classes. Just wrong in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oddment says:

    Amen, amen! I love the comments and I applaud your post. Although I vigorously agree that some pets are better behaved than humans, and I am awed by true service dogs, I cannot be enthusiastic about all kinds of animals in all kinds of places. I find it hard to coo over some barrel-chested mastiff curled under a table at a restaurant, but I swear that’s what I’m expected to do. Herbert Menninger and Zinnia are lovely specimens — and they look so comfy and healthy in their own worlds! Though I have to say that I think Zinnia would love the library. I believe your heat is even worse than ours — ugh! Do be careful!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Excellent post and once again, Judy….spot on!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I always thought a “support animal” was like a dog belonging to a deaf person who could alert them that the phone or doorbell was ringing, or press an alert button if they fell. In other words, a trained animal who actually provides support rather than a pet you don’t want to leave at home.

    Liked by 2 people

    • A service animal certainly could perform that task and provide a real service to the individual, but the support animal is one they just want to lug around and to leave at home. Think you have a purse big enough to haul one of your handsome guys around with you as you head out to do errands? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  18. KerryCan says:

    I can’t help but think that a sub-set of humans simply have a high need for attention and toting an animal around gets them attention. I often feel really bad for the animals–I mean, real service dogs are trained to deal with the stress of travel and daily life but many animals that get dragged around as “support” animals are just pets who would probably rather be asleep on the porch!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Annie says:

    It’s a HOT debate in our neighborhood. Our association rules state “one dog” but when it’s enforced, the owners suddenly have papers declaring their dogs as Emotional Support Dogs. Three large dogs that moved in across the street from me begin to bark at windows from 6 a.m. on, are unfriendly and have already bitten another dog. They are leashed but the extendable leases so they lunge and snarl and scare the heck outta me before the leash can be retracted with force against the pressure of of a dog on his hind legs pulling against it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • If you look on line, it is quite interesting how you go about getting the papers declaring the pet as emotional support. I think someone found a way to earn money and appeal to those pet owners who wanted to push the envelope. It sure would make it easier on all of us, if there was some consideration given to where their rights and ours begin and end.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Annie says:

        Yes, I’m trying to figure that out. Some residents carry mace. I have an automatic sprinkler that comes on if anyone gets too close. I might soak a resident or two though. 🤣

        Liked by 2 people

  20. Oh no! I’m not an animal person at the best of times and I would really not enjoy a flight where I had to endure someone else’s pet. Yuk!

    Liked by 2 people

  21. She really is a sweetie 💕but not on a plane thanks😂

    Liked by 2 people

  22. debrapugh says:

    Oh my goodness put Zinnia on a flight / car ride / anywhere with me !! 🙂 Come visit and she can play with the dogs while we do quilting stuff ! She’s adorable

    Liked by 2 people

  23. JEN Garrett says:

    Well, I’m personally grateful you don’t take Zinnia to the post office, although I imagine there would be a lot less junkmail, lol!
    I’m with you – Service animals are a wonderful asset, but Support animals seem like a sorry phenomenon.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Mary says:

    I’m not a fan of these times – what if the paying passenger has allergies to dog/cat (whatever) dander? I like your post Judy ~

    Liked by 2 people

    • To me, that is the issue. One passenger’s desire to have a pet on their lap while the passenger in the paying seat next to them does not share that same desire or as you say, they have a ‘real’ physical negative response to the issue. If you need a pet to travel with, my suggestion would be drive your own car. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  25. Karen says:

    So well said, I totally agree with you Judy. Oh and I can’t believe the hot weather you are having…it is cooler in Florida than in New Hampshire.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. odehappy24 says:

    Hi I am a big animal lover myself and wanted to say zinnia is so adorable. I also admire how much you love animals.

    Liked by 2 people

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