This one couldn't go unnoticed. If you're a long-time Shrink Rap reader, you know we enjoy emotional support animals -- ducks in particular -- so I must send you over to The New Yorker to read "Pets Allowed" by Patricia Marx.
Marx starts by letting us know how she likes her animals: medium rare. She talks about Emotional Support Animals versus Service Animals and what about the rights of those without a disability, citing a plane that had to make an emergency landing on a cross-country flight when an emotional support dog repeatedly relieved himself in the aisle and people were getting sick. Like a scare for Ebola virus, this required a hazmat team.
So Marx on a journalism endeavor that I would have loved to have done: she goes around town -- New York City to be precise -- with 5 different Emotional Support Animals. She starts at the Frick Collection with a turtle, and later in the day gets the critter a manicure in anticipation of its attendance at a Bar Mitzvah. (Really, is that necessary? I'm guessing the turtle didn't get to pick out the color.)
Marx then takes a snake around town. Let me quote:
Here’s what happened at the Chanel boutique: “Hello. I’m looking for a pocketbook that will match my snake,” I said to a salesman. “Maybe something in reptile.” I shuffled Augustus from one hand to the other as though he were a Slinky.
“I’m sorry, Ma’am, I have a thing against snakes, so let me get someone else to assist you,” he said, as if he were telling the host at a dinner party, “No dessert for me, thank you.”
A colleague appeared. “Wow,” he said, leading me to a display case. “We do have snakeskin bags back here. Is he nice? Does he bite?” The salesman handed me a smart, yellow python bag marked $9,000. “I think this would work the best. It’s one of our classics. I think yellow. Red makes the snake look too dull.”
Marx proceeded to take a 26 pound turkey named Henry on a bus ride and out to lunch at a deli, then there was the very cute alpaca (pictured above) who accompanied her to CVS, and then on a train ride from Hudson to Niagra Falls where they went to an art exhibit. Finally, Marx flew to Boston with a one-year-old pig named Daphne, where they went to The Four Seasons for tea.
All I could think was that I want a job where I could be paid to drink tea with a pet pig and write about it.