Oh but how I want to get involved in this. Mostly what I want is an excuse to get a turkey as a pet because I think it would just be great.
The sheer enjoyment I have out of imagining my life with a turkey-sidekick should be illegal. My daydreams are becoming increasingly elaborate and the turkey and I – who is sometimes called Hazel – wander around a crumbling and ancient Europe, taking in the sights, me eating rice, she eating melon, oblivious to the stares and whispers that greet us.
This is also thankfully one of those things that will most likely remain in my imagination because I think the reality is going to be less fun than imagining it. I recently read an article where a woman took her Service Turkey with her on a flight and there was a picture of the turkey looking out the window. I can’t imagine how weird that must be for a turkey. Flying. But inside a thing. Not, you know, au naturel as one might imagine a turkey would dream of travelling.
Though that does bring up another point of curiosity: what do the animals actually think of all this? I get that dogs are loving it, but they are ridiculously easy to please. Even The Pig who can be fussy about certain things loves a good ride in the car. Elvis, our dearly departed hound, liked the car so much sometimes you couldn’t get him out of it. (True story: I once had to drive him around the block a few times and then take him for an ice cream before he’d get out.).
So, dogs and cars, it kind of makes sense or at least it’s been a thing for long enough now to not be so strange. But imagine rocking up to your flight (and this is the sort of thing that really only happens in America – I mean, over here if you’re flying Emirates to Dubai you can bring your bird of prey in the cabin but they draw the line after that), but imagine rocking up to your flight and finding that you’re sat next to a turkey. Or worse yet, that the turkey has the window seat and has no intention of trading with you because it’s a turkey and how often is it going to do NYC to SFO?
I suppose it’s a bit odd to consider what might be going through a turkey’s mind at any given point in the day, but I do wonder if the whole process might actually be more stressful for the emotional support animal than is strictly necessary. I mean, my experience with live turkeys is quite limited but I’d have thought that an airport – what with all those screaming children, lost passengers, angry Dads, distraught mothers, harried workers – would not be an ideal locale for a turkey as they’re used to, you know, the outside. Though they may quite enjoy a $10 beer and a terribly meagre overpriced limp salad.
And I know The Mom has rightly said about how this is sort of crying wolf sometimes and that the folk who actually need help are getting a bad name because every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to bring his turkey, alpaca, tiger on the flight, but there’s something about the whole thing that I admire. I like a person who admits, willingly, freely, loudly that they can’t cope without say, a hedgehog in tow, or a meercat, or I don’t know, a pygmy owl in their pocket. I’ve long felt we’re regressing as a species, that we’ve all merrily run towards a moment where we can be children with bank accounts and passports. And this is surely the next step.
All I need now is to find a turkey to accompany me whenever I cross the Atlantic. I feel such excitement would be lost on The Pig, and anyway she’d insist upon flying in First and there’s no way I can pay for that, or her displeasure which will surely be demonstrated as she pees all over all of the carpeting.