The Pet Relief Area

I hadn’t travelled to the US for quite a number of years, so perhaps that is the reason for my never previously having encountered the concept of the pet relief area before.

400 pet relief area

Picture the scene: JFK Airport, NY.  I am early for my flight––I always am––several hours to kill.  I sit and read for a while; I watch my fellow passengers for a while; I decide to go and explore what other entertainments the terminal has to offer.  A few shops, although not as many as I would have suspected; similarly, restaurants, although I am not hungry.  There is some building work going on, which means some of the concourse is temporarily out of bounds.

A sign for the toilets points me towards the building work; a second sign says that there is another toilet back the way I have just come.  I find myself going around in circles, no toilet in sight.  That is when I spot the door to the pet relief area.  At first, I am not sure if my initial assumption about the purpose of the room is correct, but an expressive symbol makes the meaning only too clear.

400 pet relief area 2

Now, I don’t have a pet.  Certainly don’t have a pet, which is in need of any relief.  Nevertheless, I am intrigued to know what it is like on the other side of the door to the pet relief room.  No one is watching.  I step inside.

What awaits me is a palatial relief area; far cleaner and more roomy than any of the toilets at my place of work.  There are even some thoughtfully artistic touches, like the doggy footprint motif on the wall-tiles.  I am impressed.

Not so impressed to make use of the facility, I hasten to add.  For that I have to content myself with the rather more mundane human relief area, which I eventually find on the way to the departure gates.

© Simon Turner-Tree


Simon Turner-Tree is a great believer in the expression “any port in a storm”.



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