It’s dangerous to take your pet on an airplane. This is a lesson that Michelle Burt learned the hard way. On a recent JetBlue flight from Florida to Massachusetts, her French bulldog started to appear uncomfortable while the plane was in the air. Soon, the poor pup’s tongue was blue, and Burt knew there was a problem. But believe it or not, the flight attendants saved the damn day.
Darcy the Frenchie’s blue tongue was an apparent symptom of hypoxia, a condition caused by lack of oxygen to the body. Due to their short snouts, French bulldogs can be more susceptible to breathing problems, so it was quite likely that the dog would have suffocated if not of the quick response from JetBlue flight attendants Renaud Fenster and Diane Asher. Being a Frenchie owner himself, Fenster recognized the symptom and gave Darcy an oxygen mask that, somehow, looks incredibly cute when given to a puppy.
After a few minutes of gulping oxygen from a tank, Darcy returned to normal and survived the flight. One of Burt’s friends, who is apparently a flight attendant as well, shared Burt’s story to Facebook. Inspiring and uplifting as it is, the whole thing sort of sound like a JetBlue ad at times:
But I wanted to say thank you Jetblue and thank you to Renaud and Diane for doing their job and also being great humans. My husband travels frequently and we are grateful for Jetblue and the ease and comfort of the extra -legroom, tv service and general decency among staff that we observed over the years but now we have another reason to be grateful. Thank you.
Extra legroom, TV service, and dog-saving resources, wow!
In all seriousness, it’s good to see that JetBlue managed to save a dog’s life instead of taking one. This has been a bad year for canines on planes, especially planes bearing the logo of United Airlines. You might remember that United was the scene of a French bulldog’s tragic death this past March, after a flight attendant ordered a passenger to put their dog in the overhead bin. The Frenchie ended up suffocating there. The same week, United flew a dog to Japan instead of Kansas where it was supposed to go. A few days after that, United rerouted a flight because a dog was on a plane that it wasn’t supposed to be on. This string of mishaps on United flights doesn’t appear to be a fluke, either. Of the 24 animals that died on flights last year, a stunning 18 of those deaths were on United flights.
So even if the curious case of the dog in the oxygen mask is some elaborate guerrilla marketing campaign for JetBlue, it’s at least an inspirational one. It’s also a hell of a dig at United, the airline where dogs seem to go to die.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified the flight attendant who gave the dog an oxygen mask as “Renaud Spencer,” as he was identified in the original Facebook post. Renaud’s surname is, in fact, Fenster. We regret the error.