In the NYT this morning, there's a piece about people who are using the ADA to assert a legal right to bring a dog, or a monkey, or a duck where other animals are forbidden, contending they need the animal's emotional support just as some blind people need the assistance of a trained service dog. On the one hand, this strikes me as cheapening the ADA. On the other hand, I think in this country we're way too uptight about keeping animals out of public spaces. I remember being in a little restaurant in a small town in France and seeing a family on the other side of the dining room sneaking bits of food to a spaniel lazing under the table and thinking how nice it was. And if a person is crazy enough that he feels a need to travel with a duck on his lap, for God's sake, give him the duck. Snip:
These days people rely on a veritable Noah's Ark of support animals. Tami McLallen, a spokeswoman for American Airlines, said that although dogs are the most common service animals taken onto planes, the airline has had to accommodate monkeys, miniature horses, cats and even an emotional support duck. 'Its owner dressed it up in clothes,' she recalled.