Boarding a cross-country flight, Gabriel Bogner surprised fellow passengers as he brought along his enormous support dog, Darwin the Great Dane.
To ensure sufficient space, Bogner had to secure three seats – one for himself and two for his incredibly adorable canine companion.
Reflecting on the reactions, Bogner mentioned, “People were absolutely gobsmacked and shocked but everyone was so excited to see her.”
@gibbon1215 Who says Great Danes aren’t airplane dogs. Shoutout to @American Airlines for making our move to Brooklyn a piece of cake though! (Yes I bought 3 seats for us on the plane) #greatdane #dog #gay #fyp #tiktok #newyork #brooklyn #doggo ♬ Funny Background – Stefani
“I’ve never seen so many smiling at an airport.”
Marking Darwin’s inaugural plane journey, Bogner noted that the experience was remarkably smooth and hassle-free, thanks to the tremendous support provided by the flight crew.
“They did joke that she got an upgrade and I didn’t but it was a very smooth trip,” he said.
At five years old, Darwin, the Great Dane, serves as a support dog for Bogner, who grapples with Crohn’s disease – an inflammatory bowel disorder.
Detailing the challenges posed by Crohn’s disease, Bogner elaborated on TikTok, “Crohn’s disease involves a lot of time and a lot of pain and a lot of time in the bathroom.” He further shared, “I took it upon myself to train her in some of these tasks like accompanying me to the bathroom, of which at one point in my life I was going 40 times a day.”
A TikTok video showcasing Darwin’s exploits on the plane has gone viral, amassing over 17.9 million views and 2.9 million likes.
One commentator, an empathetic flight attendant, expressed, “As a flight attendant, I would do anything for that dog.”
Another chimed in, “My entire flight would be about me petting the dog or watching the dog or going to the bathroom just to walk past the dog.”
A third individual commented humorously, “I would 1000% gladly sit next to your buddy than some of these humans who remove their damn shoes!”
Embarking on their journey from Los Angeles to New York, the duo, comprised of Bogner and his invaluable companion Darwin, sought various transportation alternatives before settling on air travel.
Describing his efforts, Bogner shared in a subsequent TikTok post, “I looked at a lot of options to figure out how I could possibly get her here.” He continued, “I looked into driving her myself, I looked into chartering a plane. But just none of those options seemed really viable.”
Upon investigating the possibility of transporting Darwin in a crate beneath the plane, Bogner encountered an unexpected hurdle – she was too large for even the most expansive crate available.
He recounted the experience, stating, “It was definitely a shocker for people walking through the airport to see a literal horse coming towards them.”