The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : After a Brush With Fame, Dexter, the Pet Peacock Who Was Refused a Seat on United, Has Moved On The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : After a Brush With Fame, Dexter, the Pet Peacock Who Was Refused a Seat on United, Has Moved On

Thursday, August 16, 2018

After a Brush With Fame, Dexter, the Pet Peacock Who Was Refused a Seat on United, Has Moved On

When the artist Ventiko and I walked downstairs in the spacious Venice home she was visiting, Dexter was perched on a wraparound sofa that had been covered with pee pads. His long tail feathers cascaded gracefully to the floor.

Dexter's claws were painted a vibrant — you might say peacock — shade of blue. Ventiko's toenails, as it happened, were the same color. "Matchy, matchy," she said with a smile.

She stood in front of the bird, cooing. He raised his face to her. She gently cupped her hands around his face and began rubbing them together, the way you do when you're trying to get warm.

"He loves when I do this," said Ventiko, a single-monikered conceptual artist and photographer whose thwarted flight from Newark to Los Angeles last month made headlines after United Airlines refused to let her bring Dexter aboard as a support animal, even after she purchased him a seat.

Their story set off a debate about emotional support animals: Where is the line? Who gets to draw it?

I believe all pets provide emotional comfort and support, be they feathered or four-footed. I can understand an airline not wanting a passenger to bring aboard a 15-pound peacock with a yard-long feather train. And I can understand not wanting to check a beloved pet like a piece of luggage.

To read more on this story, click here: After a Brush With Fame, Dexter, the Pet Peacock Who Was Refused a Seat on United, Has Moved On


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