ISSUE: Faithful Fido Flies
Mickey Writes:
    
Airlines have never regarded dogs highly in their passenger policy, a fact
that most of us dogs accepted as a "given" for many years as we froze or sweltered in baggage compartments on planes. However, I'm wondering if the presence of specially-trained attack dogs on passenger flights might make possible a safer environment for travelers and might also elevate the general status of dogdom in the world. Just as dogs have been trained to sniff out drugs, to locate lost children in wooded areas, and to uncover bodies, so there are dogs who could learn to sniff out bad people on airplanes, keep an eye on them during flights, and attack them if they made a move to hurt other passengers.

     If Charles Schutz were still alive, I'll bet, since 9/11, he and Red Baron Snoopy would have led a "FREQUENT FLIER FIDO" campaign by whisking Snoopy from the cockpit to the passenger section and activating his detective nose.  How about it think tankers?  Let's get our thoughts together. Please email your thoughts to me.  If our case is strong enough, we'll take it to AKC and CKC with the intent of petitioning the airline industry for consideration.

Thanks,
Mickey

RESPONSES FROM THE BOARD
Mayu, Kiri
Hi Mickey,
     We think this is a great idea. Our Mom said she would rather fly with a trained dog on board than a marshal with a gun. We trust dogs more.  They could sniff out explosives better and would probably deter someone from even trying to do something. They wouldn't need to be attack dogs, most search and rescue dogs are not attack dogs. Even we Basenji's have been trained as search dogs. We have great noses and we can leap across seats like a cat and stop someone if we needed to.
Yooooooo from your country cousins,
Mayu & Kiri  

Lucas
Dear Mickey:
     You never cease to amaze me!  How do you come up with so many creative ideas? This last one is interesting, but I don't quite understand it. Do you mean that we could all be especially trained (somehow?) in order to be allowed to travel in the cabin, or would it be only for professional dogs? If so, how would that help us little guys? Just between you and I, I don't think I have what it takes to be an attack dog, even if I was a little bigger. I have heard in the news that there is a huge shortage of trained dogs to work in the airports checking the baggage... so who could do this job? I tell you, I would sure like to be able to travel in the cabin with my dad. He has invited me several times to go with him to Guanaja, and the thought of being alone in the baggage compartment is the only thing that's keeping me from going.
     By the way, did you hear about the 187 silent heroes who are hard at work in Afghanistan, detecting the thousand of hidden mines there? The courage of our brothers (and sisters) and the need for their services seems to be endless.  What an inspiration they are!

As are you. Keep us the good work! Proud to be your friend,
Lucas

Jamie
Dear Mickey,
     Your "Flying With Fido" topic is very well chosen. There is much to read on the internet regarding this subject but little of a specific nature on rules and regulations of various airlines. The fates forbid that I should ever have to fly. People with ears much smaller than my beautiful Basset Hound biggies have painful experiences even in the pressurized cabins and I blanch at the thought of what it must be like in cargo. On a flight from L.A. to Baltimore my cousin Rhett howled from the moment the plane began its descent until landing...so loud in fact he could be heard all over the cabin. This story gives me the "high stripes" and is one of particular interest to me. My interest in investigating puppy mills also remains in my thoughts and I hope it can be pursued in the future.
Slurps, Jamie

Winston
     I think your new think tank topic is wonderful! Absolutely genius!! I have never flown, myself, but Zoe arrived from South Carolina to Buffalo via air. Luckily, since she was so wee (only 3 lbs) she was able to flyer "counter to counter" or some such term, which meant she was in the cabin of the plane. But when Mom has to put rescues on planes to their new homes I know she always cries and worries sick about them. Why not have a trained attack dog on the plane? They are certainly better than an armed person, since I would worry that the criminal would be able to wrestle the gun away from them, and then we would have an armed criminal!!!! I wish I knew of a brave dog trained in such work we could interview. Perhaps if I can find the time I will try and search the web. Or, with your canine connections, do you know of such an animal?

Winston 

Newest Member Vita
    
I believe that planes accept service dogs in the cabin even now, whether for security purposes or for the handicapped. It is the poor " run of the mill " canines that have to travel as cargo, in a special heated and pressurized cargo hole just under the cockpit, and I am told, accessible from the cockpit. ( Geeky, my younger brother, flew  as a pup en route from England, and he says it was fine and certainly came out smiling. But Geeky is a happy fellow, and was very little at the time. And memory is not his strong point. )
     Certainly a canine officer would be a good early warning system:  indeed, canines would be totally undeterred by box cutters and the like, and would take prompt action. And maybe people have now learned as well. But how would it work: the fasten seat belt sign is almost always on; then the aisles barely accommodate the trolley, and for  most of the flight passengers can hardly get out, climbing first across several other passengers and then fighting to get past the trolley in order to use the facilities which are already occupied. How could a canine patrol in such circumstances?  And canines are discriminated against where people food is being handled?  Would there be a health issue?  Surely canines would enhance safety, but there would be a few issues to be resolved. 

I remain yours,  devotedly,  Vita Whittome

Baby
Hi Mickey,
Your Think Tank topic "Faithful Fido Flies" is very thought provoking. I agree with Vita about the difficulty of an attack dog being able to get up and down narrow aisles due to food carts, people, etc. Also, in an attempted hi-jacking if the passengers began to fight back and the handler is hurt, how would Fido know the good guys from the bad. I'm sure all that could be worked out. Perhaps a dog cross trained in multiple areas might be used at the boarding point to sniff out shoe-bombs, weapons, and  keep an eye on any troublemaker. Anyway, I think just having a ferocious dog like a Chow riding shot-gun in her assigned first-class seats would be a deterrent to any would be hi-jacker.
Love to all, Babe

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