I was saddened to learn that my cousin Scott’s step daughter Maggie lost her beloved two year old Golden Retriever, Bea. Bea was lost due to heatstroke when traveling recently via United Airlines. Per Maggie there was no rational explanation for Bea’s death other than negligence on the part of the airline. Unfortunately, in addition to the airline’s negligence employees behaved badly in the handling of the matter. Apparently the airline’s PetSafe program is not all that safe; and, as evidenced by Maggie’s experience, it certainly lacks the ability to evidence compassion for the loss of a beloved family member.
Maggie with Bea as a puppy (from Bea Makes Three)
The experience devastated Maggie who was given Bea as a wedding present by my cousin Scott and his longtime partner (my cousin-in-law) Seann. Bea’s story is best told by Maggie. Maggie’s blog Bea Makes Three details the tragedy and the heartbreak of Bea’s loss. If you are a lover of creatures you will be able to identify with Maggie’s grief and her anger and frustration with United Airlines.
Bea with Maggie (photo from Bea Makes Three)
People magazine and E! Online have already picked up Maggie’s story and United Airlines has publicly denied any wrongdoing. I am gratified that the story of Bea’s death is being picked up and shared by folks. Bea was a beloved family member – not just a piece of property – her loss runs deep.
Airlines who transport animals better take note. You can bang up our luggage, delay our flights, and continue to raise airfare prices, but you damn well better treat our family as they should be treated. Bea shouldn’t have died and when she did United Airlines should have treated her loss with the the level of respect and reverence it deserved.
Rest in peace beautiful Bea.
Day one thousand one hundred and seventy-three of the new forty – obla di obla da