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images-45Americans love dogs. Not as much as football or Facebook, but still, a lot.

Me too. In the park, I’ll ask anyone with a dog what kind it is, especially if it looks like a poodle mix (my favorite is the Noodle — Newfoundland and Poodle). However, I do have to be careful about this gambit if it’s a child, having once asked a mother, Is he mixed-breed?

Our infatuation with dogs now extends even to planes, where the canine population is growing daily.

On a recent flight, settling into 27D, I heard a doggish yelp from 25C. I knew that 25C had a dog (hereinafter Dog 1) on her lap, but figured that couldn’t be the source. It wasn’t. She had a second pup (hereinafter Dog 2), at her feet, upon whose paw an unsuspecting passenger had trodden.

If only 25C had paid attention when the purser told us clearly:

Each passenger is allowed two carry-on pets. If you cannot accommodate them on your lap, please stow them in the overhead compartment or securely under the seat in front of you. In the event of a crash, tighten your seatbelt and grip your pet firmly.

Once we were airborne, the purser came on again: When the captain has turned off the seat-belt sign, we will begin our beverage and food service. In Economy, water in a bowl is available without charge, and we have Alpo for sale. In First Class, a variety of snacks, including Cesar Filet-Mignon Softies, plus a shampoo and blow-dry, is available free.

Shortly after the carts were cleared, the seatbelt sign went on again. Turbulence. 25C reached down to lift Dog 2 onto her lap, but, in doing so, let go of Dog 1. At precisely that point, we hit a nasty air pocket and now-untethered Dog 1 levitated about a foot and landed in 25B’s lap, upsetting her tomato juice.

Neither Dog 1 nor 25B was injured, and 25C, apologizing profusely, tried her best to help 25B clean herself up. But the traumatized dog made that impossible, and now 25B and 25C, as well as Dog 2, were covered in tomato juice.

Just at that point, the turbulence ended, the seatbelt sign went off, and 25C, insisting that 25B go first, followed with both dogs to the restroom. But other passengers, who had held it in during the turbulence, got there first and the two women, plus the two dogs, had to wait in the aisle.

The flight attendant, however, instructed 25C to return to her seat.

But, I’m only going to clean them and myself off. I’m not going to let them do poo poos, 25C pleaded.

That’s not the issue, the attendant replied. Congregating in the aisles is against FAA regulations.

But there are only two of us waiting. That’s not congregating.

No, actually, there are four of you.

But two of them are my dogs.

Did you buy tickets for them?

Yes.

Well, then, according to FAA regulations, they are passengers, and I do need you to wait in your seat.

25C complied, but, by the time 25B had returned to her seat and a rest-room was free, she (25C), as well as the flight attendant, were occupied cleaning up the pee that now-also-highly-agitated Dog 2 had left (securely) under 24C’s seat.

Later, reviewing the events, most of us there in the back of the plane felt that the flight attendant could have been more flexible. As to 25C, well, maybe she should haveimages-46 brought just one dog (opinion split over which one it should have been). But, at least it wasn’t as bad as screaming children, though, usually, kids don’t pee on the floor, and they can be cute … at times. Still, we do love dogs, don’t we, if .. maybe … possibly …. just ….. a …… bit ……. too …….. much? ………

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