A hush spreads across the menagerie gathered at Local 745. Their shop steward, Pickles, is about to address the members of the Emotional Support Animal Union.
“Fellow Comfort Creatures…” Pickles takes a long pause for effect, “We didn’t sign up for this! Many of you thought it would be an 8 hour a day job, not a 24-7 cuddlefest! We have gone above and beyond during this quarantine! Changes need to be made!” A burst of tail thumping and paw stomping erupts among the gathered crowd.
The charismatic Pickles continues when the adulation subsides, “I have presented our concerns to the leaders of those in need of our services. They scoffed at our audacity to call for change! We have observed the contractual rules set before us in matters such as these. Since the other parties involved are not taking this seriously, I am proposing, effective immediately, we do not provide a single ounce of emotional support until we are taken seriously!” Another chaotic ruckus ensures. This time accompanied by howls and other unidentified animal noises of approval.
The meeting breaks up at this point. Dogs, cats, birds, and snakes each going their separate ways. Weekly World News was lucky enough to get an exclusive, lap sitting, interview with Pickles.
WWN: Pickles, let me start by saying thank you for your service. Also, for inviting us to the meeting and giving us a bit of your time.
P: Not a problem or an inconvenience at all. Thank you for coming today and helping us spread the word.
WWN: Have you always been in the Emotional Support sector?
P: No, I began life as a drug-sniffing dog working on the Canadian border. A couple of rowdy Canadian mules caught us off guard one morning. Gunfire was exchanged between our agents and the Canadian Cartel mules. I was unlucky, caught lead in the right flank. I haven’t been able to run at speed since then. Border patrol has physical requirements. I can’t pass the speed exam these days. And I still felt that I needed to help people. I knew I could be of service in some way. I went back to school, and a few years later I was ready to support agents that were wounded on the front lines of the Canadian border just like me.
WWN: Wow, that’s quite the adventure! Turning attention to the speech you just gave, I assume this strike was something that you didn’t really in your heart want to invoke?
P: We exhausted every avenue of negotiation. Service and support is what we provide. We have a real love for those we help. It’s not just a job, for many of us it’s a calling. That being said, the stressful schedule that we have been put on lately is taking its toll on our mental state. In some it’s manifesting physically. I know a parrot that has nearly plucked himself bare under this stress! It can’t be allowed to continue.
WHAT IS THE ESAU LOOKING FOR?
WWN: What is the quick, bullet point outline of your demands?
P: Demand is such an ugly word. That implies that we aren’t approaching this with both parties interests in mind.
WWN: My apologies Pickles. No offense intended.
P: Thank you, none taken. Our main point is to return to the normal schedule we had before all of this craziness started. 8-10 hours off from morning till late afternoon. Naps are not to be interrupted. Laying in the sun coming in from the windows shall be unimpeded. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to wake up and move out of the way during my down time! Unacceptable! The only new thing that we are asking for is an additional meal during that off time, and an extra potty break where needed. This is where the cats have a leg up on us dogs. They have that wonderful box full of crunchy, tasty, succulent treasures…but maybe I have said too much. How embarrassing.
WWN: No judgement here Pickles, everybody has their own private hobbies. Your plan doesn’t seem that big of an ask. Why do you think you are getting all of the negative pushback from those in need?
P: Well, you have said it right there. Need. They are a needy bunch. I think somewhere along the way the relationship lost its defined goal. We are there to support and help to attain the ultimate goal. Independence and self reliance. Not to need us anymore. We are just as much to blame as they are. We got comfortable, complacent. Grew accustomed to the fancy Trader Joe’s kibble. Soft! We grew soft!
WHAT ELSE DO THEY NEED?
WWN: Any last item that we haven’t covered yet that you would like to address?
P: Yes there is one favor I have to ask, if you don’t mind?
WWN: Ask away. It would be my pleasure.
P: Could you scratch behind my left ear?
WWN: Of course. Who’s a good boy….?