A Quick-Thinking Flight Attendant Saved This Dog’s Life Mid-Flight


It's been a very bad year for dogs on airplanes, to put it lightly. Not to dredge up the depressing details about the multiple fur babies who've either been sent to the wrong country or met their untimely demise mid-flight as of late, but suffice it to say, certain airlines suck at transporting pets.

Fortunately, one carrier gets bonus points for going above and beyond to meet the needs of an onboard animal after its crew recently intervened to treat a passenger's dog that was struggling to breathe, and ended up saving its life. 

During a recent JetBlue flight from Florida to Massachusetts, Michele Burt noticed her French Bulldog, Darcy, was having difficulty breathing. The dog was in such distress that its tongue began to turn blue -- symptoms that suggested it was suffering from acute hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen to the body. 

A crew member spotted Burt tending to Darcy, and stopped to check out what was going on. That's when they realized she was fading fast and had to do something to help her. At first, the crew fetched some ice thinking she was overheating. When that didn't work, they figured they should try to administer oxygen as a last-ditch effort and got the go-ahead from the captain to do so. That's when they placed the oxygen mask on Darcy and she perked right up, looking healthy (and adorable), and began breathing normally again. 

The crew's quick thinking and action likely saved Darcy's life, since French bulldogs' short snouts famously cause them breathing trouble on the ground, let alone in the air under the stress of cabin pressure and oxygen fluctuations. In fact, Frenchies are banned on both Delta and American Airlines because their compact airways can lead to in-flight breathing issues. 

Regardless, the happy ending to this incident is a welcome change from the string of mishaps and tragic dog deaths -- specifically on United Airlines -- that have gone down in the past year and half. And not for nothing, but next time you have to fly with an animal, maybe book on JetBlue?

h/tGizmodo, ABC News

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. Follow him @jwmcgauley.