You've probably heard about emotional support animals at this point — animal companions who help people coping with anxiety and or depression because just the presence of an animal can do a world of good. Usually, we see people with support dogs, or even support cats, but one man recently had the pleasure of riding an airplane with a support duck.
This Emotional Support Duck Is Flying His Way To Stardom
Yes, you read correctly: A support duck. We have author Mark Essig to thank for bringing this glorious truth to our attention. As BuzzFeed reports, he was on a short flight from Charlotte, North Carolina to Asheville when he spotted a literal, waddling-around, webbed-footed, quacking duck on his airplane.
Turns out, the duck's name was Daniel and he was a genuine emotional support animal. Oh, and he was also ADORABLE. Daniel is four years old and met his owner in a pretty unlikely place: a yard sale. But they say you find true love when you're really not looking, so we guess that makes sense.
Daniel the Duck wore a Captain America diaper on the flight (because even on a short flight, Daniel might need a bathroom break). Why a Captain America diaper, you ask? Because Captain America is Daniel's favorite superhero, because he's a well-rounded being with opinions on things, thankyouverymuch. He also wore the cutest red booties and the face of a pond-dwelling angel.
"His human said he had several diapers, but always indicated (how I'm not sure) that he preferred to wear the Captain America one," Essig told BuzzFeed.
Daniel and his owner really took care of each other during the flight. Daniel's owner kissed him on the beak several times, according to Essig, and even held his beak gently when he started to get antsy and quack a little.
Mostly, though, Daniel just enjoyed the flight and looked out of the window, rather pensively in fact.
Was Daniel thinking about taking flight himself? Probably not — at least not from any of his own memories. Daniel can't fly.
"His owner told me he couldn't fly, and Wikipedia tells me that Indian Runner ducks can't fly," Essig told BuzzFeed. "But does his tiny brain contain some pre-domestication ancestral memory of flight?"
Daniel might not be able to fly in the traditional bird sense, but here's hoping he flies commercial airlines for the rest of his life and that he goes viral for it every time.