We all heard the news this week. A dog died on a United Airlines flight after a flight attendant forced the family of the puppy to put him in an overhead bin for three hours. Despite the family’s pleas, and later, the flight attendant’s denial that she knew a dog was in the carrier, this happened. This. Really. Happened.
After reading the story and watching the news, of course I was mad like everyone else. But what was the first thought that I had? Where were the other passengers on that flight? Not one passenger out of over a hundred spoke up? Spoke out? Said anything?
In the day of instant news, social media updates, and instant gratification, we have an instant means of complaining. We have a way of commenting on posts, speaking our grievances, and making our points. Oh, it is so easy to type away in the comfort of our own homes and with our phones in hand. But passengers? Where were you March 13, 2018? Were you sitting on that flight? Were you more concerned about your beverage selection than speaking up? Were you afraid that you would have to get off of the plane? Did you think that someone else would speak up instead? What. Happened.
It seems to me that our realities in life are being confused and so are our priorities. I wonder how many passengers saw what was going on in that plane and imagined the status updates that they would type later about it, instead of actually speaking up and standing up for what was right. In my opinion, many people failed that innocent dog that day. Not just one. And we have to learn from this.
We can’t just get mad after something happens. We can’t all of a sudden decide that we will stand up for someone or something that we believe in after we see something go wrong, or worse, someone die. This dog needed someone then! He is gone now.
To be an advocate for animals, we have to not only help those in need, but prevent other animals from being in need. We have to apply that line of thinking to our every day life as well. Don’t make doing what is right be an after thought. Do what is right when you need to do what is right. And that is now! We cannot assume that someone else will help. We cannot assume that someone else will step up. That someone is you.
-Rachael Johnson, Owner and Girl Person of 2 Traveling Dogs