Finally, some good news about pets on an airline!
You probably remember the tragic story of a French Bulldog who died on a United flight when his owner was instructed to keep him in the overhead compartment back in March. (You may also know that brachycephalic, or short-nosed breeds, are also especially prone to breathing and overheating problems.) But for a Frenchie named Darcy, the exact opposite happened: two cabin crew members may have very well saved her life!
On a recent jetBlue flight, a passenger, her husband, and her three small dogs were flying from Florida to Massachusetts when one of her pups began acting out of character. Darcy, their 3-year-old French Bulldog, began refusing to settle. Since this behavior was unusual for the seasoned canine traveler, her mom began to suspect that something was wrong.
“On the flight back, our three-year-old French Bulldog Darcy started pushing her head against the mesh part of her carrier and my husband had said to [lie] down, she is very obedient and normally would just lay her head down upon reassurance. But she continued, so I thought perhaps she was warm and loosened the zipper on her carry-on so she could poke her face out.”
That’s when the passenger realized that Darcy was in grave danger.
“I noticed that her tongue was blue and I am aware that is a sign of insufficient oxygen (Hypoxia) so I pulled her out from under the seat and placed her on my lap to cool down and help her relax as she was panicking and breathing frantically. “
When a flight attendant came by to “politely” tell the passenger the pooch was supposed to be under the seat, the dog mom explained the situation — and the crew jumped into action.
“Two crew members (Renaud and Diane) brought ice in bags and she was still breathing fast,” the passenger wrote. “She continued to pant heavily. Renaud, who explained that he also had a French Bulldog ‘Penelope,’ brought a small oxygen tank with a mask attached and offered it, saying ‘maybe this will help.’ I placed the mask over her face, and within a few minutes she became alert, and after a short time, she didn’t want the mask.”
The thankful pup parent credits the two flight attendants for rescuing her pooch from a potentially life-threatening condition.
“I believe Renaud and Diane saved a life,” she wrote, adding, “some may reduce the value of the life because Darcy is a canine, I do not.”
Even better, the young family sitting behind them not only offered to help, their little boy witnessed adults working together to help a pet in need. In the letter, the Darcy’s human recalled:
“The family seated behind us offered help and baby wipes and the little boy in the seat watched as the flight attendants helped an animal in distress, and said as he deplaned ‘I am glad they helped her get better.'”
It’s amazing what a little kindness can do! We’re so glad that the safety of all two- and four-legged passengers was considered on this jetBlue flight. The grateful dog mom added in the letter:
“Fred Rogers said, ‘My mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.’”