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Shipping Children vs Shipping Dogs


With 2022 technology you can air-ship a puppy to a new owner or fly with a dog in-cabin but this first-hand account is how it was not so long ago…


May 30, 2022

Fred Lanting, All-Breed Judge, Sieger/Schutzhund, SAAB


When I was a child, kids were sometimes sent “unaccompanied” on a train as if they were mail. With an address label affixed to a buttonhole or in some other way attached to their clothing, children were helped by the conductors. One earlier newspaper reported it cost an outrageous 53 cents for parents to mail their daughter to her grandparents for a family visit.



I was “mailed” on a train to relatives a few states away when I was 4 or 5 years old. Conductors were expected to make sure children were not allowed to get off in-route but they were kind and children behaved back then.


I should stipulate that neither of these old photos was of myself (either nobody was around when I was shipped, or it was so long ago that cameras hadn't been invented yet!)


As news stories and photos popped up around the country, it didn’t take long to get a law on the books making it illegal to send children through the mail. Even so, it was not until 1913 that the U.S. Post Office introduced a Parcel Post service for the handling of mail too heavy for normal letter post.


The point is that in the 1930s and probably any time before WW-2, attitudes in the USA were quite different from today when we have school shootings, perverts and crazies roaming the streets and much less evidence of people helping each other in a widespread cross-cultural manner.


As to shipping dogs, I believe the "so-what?" attitude exists there, too. Although the sending of packages has long since become a facet of everyday life, there is an attitude of "Not mine, so why should I care?" Given that deterioration of ethos and ethics, it is necessary to increase protective watchfulness. In all things, not just dogs in the temporary care of strangers.


Shipping dogs might be a wee bit more "routine" now but having often shipped internationally I know it is far more complicated. It has however opened opportunity to import top dogs and bloodlines.


I think “things have changed” but mostly for the good. What would you do without your cell phone? A sign of the times is this month (May 2022) they are taking down the last “pay phones” that used to be on city streets.



I also think of the time when you booked your dog’s flight, drove to the airport, right to the freight loading dock. You knew the “Senior Freight Agent” because there was one… You knew he would take the pup into the heated/cooled freight office until time to load.


And you didn’t worry as much as we do now. I’ve imported many Schutzhund dogs and can vouch that shipping dogs is easier today than in the past. EST 2002 © May 2022



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