We're not horsing around: this story will warm your heart.
As people boarded their flights earlier this month, they came across an unexpected passenger: a miniature service horse named Freckle Butt Fred.
"A horse I should say a cute horse was on my flight," Representative Norma Torres tweeted on Feb. 8. "It flew first class!"
The animal, unmissable in a bright blue coverlet and badges that declared him a service horse, belongs to Ronica Froese, who took to social media to recap Fred's first flying experience and express her gratitude to all who helped her along the way to their vacation in Calif.
"Flying with Fred was an incredible experience as a handler," she wrote on Facebook. "6 years ago when I picked out Charlie online you could have told me my future with him, George, and Fred and I would have said NO WAY would we do all we do in such a short amount of time. I definitely didn't know I'd end up sick and diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Me owning minis and having them as my service animals and doing therapy was all apart of God's plan. I believe in my [heart] God knew I needed my boys way before I did."
Froese continued to thank "all 4 pilots, co pilots, and flight attendants on our American Airlines flights. Their excitement to have a legit service horse on board and in first class no less was a breathe of fresh air," she wrote.
"Their kindness and comments about how well behaved Fred was made me the proudest Mommy, handler, and trainer EVER. They were all super respectful and I think if they all commented on the coming changes the DOT is trying to do it could help our very small community of miniature service horse handlers keep our right to fly with our horses."
While she has been made fun of publicly since news of their flight emerged, Froese was positive about the people they encountered during their inaugural flights.
"Thank you to the passengers on our 4 flights for being kind as well," she said. "On our flight home from Ontario to Dallas/Fort Worth the gentleman sitting behind my seat asked to take Fred's picture between the seats. I of course said yes. He then said he has flown a million miles and never with a horse. He then said Fred was the most well behaved animal he has EVER seen on a plane. For me as a handler I had few tears of utter joy and proudness. That truly meant so much to me and I really needed to hear it."