What if your emotional support animal is a blow-up doll?

August 23, 2019

Wendy Parker


This just in: You can take a miniature pony on an airplane, but you can’t carry a nekkid blow-up doll across the 12th Street bridge in Kansas City, Mo, during Wednesday morning traffic.

I’m not sure if that’s a law or just a guidance. The nekkid blow-up doll part. The miniature pony thing was decided by a final guidance issued earlier this month by the Department of Transportation.

After 4,500 comments were posted by the public regarding exactly what the term “service animal” meant to respondents, the DOT issued a 28-page guidance on the subject of which animals would be permitted to safely travel in public spaces. According to the document, “the most commonly recognized service animals (i.e., dogs, cats, and miniature horses) are accepted for transport.”

Raise your hand if you’re surprised miniature horses were on the list? Keep that hand up if you can’t believe someone had to write a 28-page dissertation on “animals allowed to fly in business class”? Doesn’t it seem like a weird jump from dogs and cats to miniature horses? I have a lot of questions about this guidance. It seems oddly specific.

I don’t know about you, but I think flying in coach with a real horse sitting beside me is a bit too much irony to handle. The guidance strongly suggested each request beyond the “norm” be taken on a case-by-case basis under the travel provider’s authority. They did, however, explicitly restrict ferrets, rodents, snakes, reptiles and spiders from flying-with-passenger status.

Well, thank goodness.

Now about the nekkid blow-up doll.

Reports started coming in to KCPD last Wednesday morning after a man was spotted dragging what people thought was an unconscious woman around the 12th Street bridge.

Thank heavens for the good Samaritans. I mean that. It’s not always easy to make an uncomfortable call to the law. I’ve been there when George called in a woman sitting on the bumper of her mini-van in the break-down lane of I-30 in Texas. Ol’ girl had an unleashed dog running around her feet about 2 inches from traffic in the granny lane and what appeared to be not a stitch of clothing on her body. He wasn’t sure anything was actually wrong, but it really was odd enough to make a call.

(We don’t know what happened to that particular highway nekkid person. We’ve seen several who usually make the news, but this one didn’t. It’s the nature of trucking. We were long gone before local Channel 12 or the law got there. I often wonder about her and her dog.)

Thankfully, the guy in KC just had a blow-up doll he told the law he’d found in a dumpster. Witnesses report hearing him call her “Savior” and trying to dress deflated-ness. If that doesn’t scream “emotional support doll,” nothing does.

Which is probably why KCPD didn’t arrest him and sent him back into the woods with a firm admonishment to not drag his very quiet but disturbing friend around in public anymore.

Sometimes, we all need a little support.