Steven and Michelle Burt's journey with their beloved Darcy the French bulldog could have ended tragically, if not for the two quick-thinking flight crew members of their JetBlue flight.
The couple from Orlando, Florida was traveling with their 3-year-old fur baby from Orlando, Florida to Worcester, Massachusetts on July 5 when they noticed that their dog was in distress.
According to the open letter written by Michele that was posted at The Everyday Jumpseater Facebook page, she and her husband were on their way to her home in Massachusetts with Darcy and two other small dogs through their JetBlue flight. They have been traveling by air for 12 years without any problems. But during the particular flight, they noticed that Darcy began pushing her head against her carrier.
She recalled that Steven instructed Darcy to lay down, but she did not obey. It was unusual for Darcy to not follow their instructions, so they felt that something must be wrong with her. Michele thought that Darcy was just feeling warm, so she loosened the zipper on her carrier so she can poke her face out. That is when she noticed that the French bulldog's tongue was blue, which was a clear sign of insufficient oxygen.
An attendant reportedly approached her to remind her that the standard regulation was to keep the pet remained under the seat inside a carrier, but she explained Darcy's situation. Good thing the flight crew let her take care of the distressed pup.
"We all are affected by cabin pressure and oxygen fluctuations, human, canine and feline, etc., but the fact that the Attendants were responsive and attentive to the situation may have saved Darcy's life," Michele said in her letter.
Michele also mentioned that the two flight crew members named Renaud Spencer (Fenster) and Diane Asher are why Darcy is alive today. She recalled that the two gave her ice in bags when Darcy was still breathing faster than usual.
Then, Renaud, who also told her that he also had a French bulldog named Penelope, gave her a small oxygen tank with an attached mask. He told her that it could help Darcy breathe. A few minutes after placing the mask over the dog's face, Darcy started to become alert and calmer.
Speaking with Good Morning America on Monday, Fenster said that he never saw anything like that in his 15-year career as a flight crew. That is why he decided to seek permission from the captain to use some oxygen for the animal.
JetBlue also released a statement through ABC News because of the incident.
"We all want to make sure everyone has a safe and comfortable fight, including those with four legs," the airline company stated. "We're thankful for our crew's quick thinking and glad everyone involved was breathing easier when the plane landed in Worcester," their statement went on to say.