Quick-Thinking Crew Members Save Frenchie When Mom Sees Tongue Turning Blue


Flying is one of the most convenient ways to get from here to there. When we are on a flight, we enjoy all of the benefits that it provides. Included in those benefits are flight attendants, who do their part to help keep us safe and to provide us with comfort and convenience. They are also there to help other passengers that we may not consider, including those that have four legs.


When Michele and Stephen Burt were flying from Orlando to Worchester, they had their three dogs along with them. One of the dogs began having a health issue. It was a three-year-old French bulldog, Darcy, and she was leaning her head against the edge of the carrier. Darcy was panting so Michele opened the carrier to give him some extra air. That is when she saw that his tongue had turned blue.

Fortunately, they knew the reason why he was having such a problem. When a dog has a blue tongue, it likely means that they are being deprived of oxygen. They popped the top off of the cover and pulled Darcy onto their laps. They wanted to keep their French bulldog cold and to lower her body temperature.

Renaud Fenster and Diane Asher were there to offer assistance. Since French Bulldogs and other short-nosed dog breeds are more likely to experience problems when there is a change in the air, such as air pressure, temperature or quality, there was no time to waste.

As it turns out, Renaud also owns a French bulldog so he knows that they tend to have breathing problems at times.

The first thing that Renaud and Diane did was to apply ice to lower Darcy’s body temperature. Unfortunately, it didn’t work so they contacted the pilot to get permission for using supplemental oxygen. Darcy continued to go downhill and unless someone intervened quickly, it was unlikely that she would survive.

Suddenly, Renaud appeared with an oxygen mask. It only took a moment for the supplemental oxygen to kick in and Darcy began breathing normally.

Michele described the situation: “I placed the mask over her face, and within a few minutes she became alert and after a short time she didn’t want the mask.”

As you can imagine, Michele was overjoyed with the efforts of the JetBlue crew. Rather than just considering it to be a minor issue, they stepped forward and gave it the attention it deserved. Michele said, “I believe Renaud and Diane saved a life, some may reduce the value of the life because Darcy is a canine. I do not.”

By the time the plane landed in Worchester, Darcy was back to her old self again. The Burts were so happy with what the crew did that day they went on Facebook and shared the entire experience with their friends and family.

“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.”

JetBlue was also very proud of their crewmembers.

“We all want to make sure everyone has a safe and comfortable fight, including those with four legs. We’re thankful for our crew’s quick thinking and glad everyone involved was breathing easier when the plane landed in Worcester.”

This is a story with a very happy ending. Since Darcy has gone home, she is back to being a happy dog that loves to chase squirrels. Michele words, “She’s doing great.”



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