Dog Busts Loose

December 3, 2007

in Animal Stories

Twelve years ago, I was on a Varig Airlines flight from Manaus (Amazon) to Rio de Janeiro. I had been living for one year in the Amazon, working as manager of a jungle lodge, and had brought my cocker spaniel with me from Rio. So, to move back to Rio, I bought a very expensive, pit-bull proof flight cage for my little cocker spaniel.
Justly “doped” for the flight, my dog was sent into the baggage hold area of the aircraft. All OK I thought, except that it must be rather cold down there.

Upon approaching Brasilia (a stopover on the way to Rio), the captain made the following announcement: “Will the passenger who embarked a LIVE animal please present themselves to a flight attendant.” My first thought was “live, as opposed to what?” I KNEW the captain was speaking about MY dog, and I thought the worst. I immediately questioned a flight attendant and they told me that my little cocker spaniel had “broken out” of his cage and was found running around the bagged hold when they went to take the baggage out.

The thought of a cocker spaniel bouncing up and down upon landing made me want to laugh, but this was MY dog, and for sure he could not have survived this torture…..!! He was alive, and they brought him to me in his quite broken cage; he was a bit shook up (understandably). At first the captain (I got the whole crew involved in this) agreed to let me take my dog on my lap, then no, then yes, then no; by this time, the plane was ready to take off again for Rio, and the final word from the captain was that I would have to buy another cage (at 11:00 pm) and embark my dog the next day. I said this was impossible, and that my 12 year old son was waiting for our dog in Rio and that neither I nor my dog would get off the plane. (I couldn’t believe I was causing such a scandal, not like me at all, but it worked!!!) We finally took off, after I improvised a make shift cage out of a cardboard box….such much for pit-bull proof cages for cocker spaniels.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

jaymoney April 3, 2009 at 6:12 am

Eh maybe the dog needs to stay on the ground? Planes are for P-E-O-P-L-E


Anonymous April 3, 2009 at 9:22 am

Truly an insensitive and asinine comment, Jay.

I personally can't see how a Cocker Spaniel could "break out" of a Pit Bull-proof cage. I would sue the manufacturers of the cage, because it clearly was defective.


Anonymous April 15, 2009 at 8:12 am

I don't understand how a make-shift cardboard kennel held up when a commercially made kennel could not.


Amber May 20, 2016 at 11:29 am

My guess it was some other cargo that actually broke the cage, either that or the cage itself was completely faulty.


College Kid November 4, 2010 at 6:01 am

cocker spaniels are whiley. It was probably made for a larger dog, hence PIT BULL proof, not spaniel proof.


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