Emotional Support Duck Brought on Airplane Trip

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Last week, Daniel the Duck boarded a plan alongside his owner Carla Fitzgerald to travel from Charlotte to Asheville. Author Mark Essig posted pictures of the dapper duck to his Twitter account. He couldn’t help but admire Daniel’s little red shoes, Captain America diaper, and calm disposition that helped Fitzgerald alleviate stress during the flight. Daniel the Duck was a hit on the plane and across the internet.

The Citizen-Times reports that the 4-year-old duck has a special connection with Fitzgerald. After the 37-year-old from Milwaukee was involved in an awful car accident, she had to endure a lot of pain physically and emotionally. She told the news, “First of all, he’s got a calming effect. Second of all, if I start heading toward the PTSD, he senses it right away and he’s able to calm me down. If I’m standing he’ll try to climb on my legs, and if I’m sitting he will face me. He’ll climb my chest, and that’s my cue for me to lie down. And then he sits on my chest until it passes. Then once it passes, we go about our day.”

Daniel acts like a normal duck in many ways – he quietly quacks, waddles and enjoys the water, but he’s taken on Fitzgerald as one of his own. He wants to help and protect her, like any service animal would. The duck genuinely enjoys people, and it’s heartwarming to see that he and Fitzgerald have bonded in such a deep way.