Everyone in the news business knows that people love stories about animals. Is it the opportunity to gaze at photos of furry faces? A sign of the ultimate decline of American civilization? Probably a little of both. Larry the Italian Greyhound was flying from San Francisco to a new home in Canada when a well-meaning worker let the dog out for a walk. He ran away, and was last seen in a parking lot.
Larry’s owner had died, and a friend promised to find good homes for all of her pets. The friend took necessary precautions while sending the dog by plane, zip-tying his crate closed and warning airline personnel not to open the container, since dogs in transit tend to be skittish, and greyhounds are very fast.
The airline released a statement that they had a team searching for the dog, but a local CBS affiliate wanted more information. They wrote to the airline asking what went wrong specifically in this case, and how the airline would prevent the same thing happening to other pets.
That’s when an Air Canada spokesman made the mistake that we’ve all made at least once: he hit “reply” instead of “forward” and sent this message to the CBS station:
I think I would just ignore, it is local news doing a story on a lost dog. Their entire government is shut down and about to default and this is how the US media spends its time.
“I guess I’m the poster child now for Be Careful With Email,” the spokesman told the Toronto Star after this story blew up.
Think of it this way: our entire government is shut down and our economy remains crappy, but a lost dog at an airport is a problem that we have some chance of solving. Heck, one of Air Canada’s own employees found a cat that a different airline lost in the Vancouver airport.
Larry the dog remains lost. There’s currently a rumor that he may have been hit by a car near the airport, and the driver picked him up and drove off. Was he killed? Stunned? Adopted? Taken to a vet? We’ll update you when we find out. There’s currently a $2,500 reward for the greyhound.
Update: Larry escaped the airport and was hit by a car. Some nice people rushed him to a vet, but his injuries were severe, and he was euthanized.