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A Crappy Trip: Service Dog Answers Call of Nature, Forces Emergency Landing

Posted June 05, 2014 in A Pet's Life

Top 6 Hard-to-believe Headlines of 2014

At Pet Health Network, we see all sorts of animal stories every year. This year, there have been six headlines that we found especially entertaining. See what you may have missed in 2014!

3. A Crappy Trip

When planes make emergency landings, it’s usually for good reason. 

In February, for example, a United Airlines flight traveling from Des Moines to Denver was diverted to Omaha because the first officer had a heart attack in the cockpit, reported CNN.Dog on a plane Thanks to heroics from the co-pilot and an Air Force pilot who happened to be a passenger on board (Mark Gongol), the plane was landed without incident.

Sometimes, however, emergency landings happen for more unusual reasons. Consider the case of Philadelphia-bound US Airways Flight 598, which made an unexpected stop in Kansas City a few hours after its departure from Los Angeles.

“About an hour into the flight, I started smelling this terrible smell,” passenger Steven McCall told Inside Edition’s Diane McInerney.

As it turns out, a service dog named Bowser couldn’t hold it and did his business right in the middle of the aisle. Perhaps it had something to do with a two-hour tarmac delay in Los Angeles.

It got worse. After the mess was cleaned up, Bowser pooped again. At this point, the crew had run out of paper towels and cleaning supplies and the pilots decided to make an emergency landing in Kansas City.  

While it might seem silly for a plane to make an emergency landing for something as simple as a dog pooping on the floor, the smell was reportedly too much for people to handle. “A couple of people started dry-heaving, a couple of people were throwing up,” McCall recounted.

As one might expect, Bowser’s guardian felt terrible.

According to McCall, she took down addresses from all the passengers so she could send them Starbucks gift cards to apologize.

In the end, what was to be a 7-hour trip to Philadelphia ultimately took twice as long. It’s hard to fault Bowser, though – 14 hours is a long time to hold it!

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.



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Matt has more than 3 years of experience in the pet health industry and is a lifestyle contributor to IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.

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The opinions and views expressed in this post are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the beliefs, policies or positions of all veterinarians, Pet Health Network, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. or its affiliates and partner companies.