Portland airport pet toilet and internet jerks

I love the internet, because you get to find out fascinating things. For instance, Portland Airport (that’s in the USA) has installed an indoor toilet area for service animals.

Oregon Guide Dogs for the Blind trainers LaCrisha Kaufman and “Jiminy” (left) and LaniJo Bachmann and “Veron” check out the new PDX Pet Relief Area. [Photo credit: Port of Portland]
Oregon Guide Dogs for the Blind trainers LaCrisha Kaufman and “Jiminy” (left) and LaniJo Bachmann and “Veron” check out the new PDX Pet Relief Area. [Photo credit: Port of Portland]

Naww, isn’t that cute?

In the interest of journalistic integrity I conscientiously googled Portland airport pet toilet thinking I would find countless adorable stories about this lovely initiative. Under US federal law, airports are now required to have indoor toilet areas for service animals – guide dogs for the blind and people with other disabilities – mostly to stop them having to go through security when transiting. It’s a smart move. People with service animals currently have to take their animals outside, adding unnecessary complications and time to people who are already – let’s face it – a bit vulnerable.

As you can see from the picture, it’s basically just a big urinal with some fake grass (hopefully porous) and a cute little fire hydrant. Nothing spectacular.

But never let that get in the way of a good trolling, my friends!!

“Disgusting” – said one type of comment. “Dogs should be treated as dogs, not as little humans. Keep them in cages.”

Portland Airport website does point out that non-service dogs, i.e. pets, should be kept in pet carriers at all times when in the airport. But – and I know this may come as a shock to many people – dogs in cages still need to wee. I know! Shocking!

“What even is a service animal??” asked another type of comment. “Are we just letting any old animal into airports now?”

Well, no. Service animals are animals that have been specially trained to serve a particular purpose. For example, helping a person with vision impairment to negotiate a rather tricky large area, like an airport.

“Ha! Well, anyone can say their pet is a service animal. You’re not allowed to ask people, are you? Political correctness gone made. Did you know that a horse can be a service animal??”

But by far my favourite comment was the kind of this sort:

“But what about trans-pets? Which toilet do they use?”

Or:

“What if you are a dog, but you identify as a cat? Which toilet do you use?”

Or:

“My pet is transgender and thinks it’s a human. Does that mean it can use the human toilet?”

Haww, haww, haww, haww haww. You see what they did there? They’re conflating transgender issues with pet issues to point out how silly the whole transgender toilet thing is! Oh my gosh. They’re so funny.

This whole silly thing is just about toilets! Haw, haw, haw, haw, haw! Gods, I’m laughing so hard I need to go injure myself on a sharp stick.

Anyway, this isn’t some touchy feely PC shit. This is about a person with a disability not having to go through fucking security again and again just so they can get around an airport. An animal shouldn’t have to go through countless security checks just to relieve itself. And you know what? A human also shouldn’t have to prove their gender just to go to the gods damn toilet.

It’s not PC bullshit. It’s about being nice to people. And the animals that help them through life.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.

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