Despite the work of House aide and GeorgiaPol.com contributor Will Kremer’s valiant efforts, the Georgia General Assembly went home again without taking action on a bill that would approve pagonas – a type of lizard more commonly known as Bearded Dragons – to be used as service assistance animals.
“Buddy” first became a member of Will’s family just over three years ago, but the two hit it off instantly. The two do lots of things together. Kremer says Buddy is a huge basketball fan – and is a bit of a homer for the Hawks. He’s enthusiastic about getting rid of that ancient Philips Arena and hopes to see a game in a newly built taxpayer funded arena that is just like the Omni that was once torn down for no apparent reason other than to make us miss it.
He’s well known to the employees and even other regular customers of the Cumming Home Depot. Buddy is a huge fan of the power tools department. He’s disappointed that Home Depot doesn’t carry safety goggles in his size.
And, of course, Buddy also likes to play games. His two favorite X Box games are, of course, Dragon Age: Inquisition and NBA 2K16.
Buddy and Will have been through a lot together. About a year ago Buddy developed a nasty case of gangrene that required will to apply topical ointment three times a day for a month.
Buddy, meanwhile, has been an ever present force of calm in Will’s crazy world. He was there the day that Will once saw something written in chalk that he didn’t agree with on campus. He was there when the drive thru at Taco Bell left the cinnamon twists out of his order. He’s been at Will’s side throughout Donald. Freaking. Trump.
And that’s what makes Buddy the consummate service assistance animal. He listens to Will talk about all of his troubles, but he doesn’t judge. Just like Will doesn’t judge him when he mistakes the family’s cheese grater for his late companion. They’ve got each others’ back that way.
But the state legislature does not. For the second year in a row, legislation to require shops, restaurants, and airlines to recognize Buddy as an official assistance animal stopped short.
Bill Sponsor Trey Kelley would only say he was “greatly disappointed” that the bill again failed to clear the Senate, but others on background blamed “petty politics”.
The Buddy’s a Buddy bill appeared to be ready to hit the Senate floor when someone apparently got the idea that the bill might help Georgia clear a backlog of evidence needed for rape investigations. That put a dead stop to that path.
The bill was then attached to one of the religious freedom bills in what the RFRA bill’s original sponsor thought was a concession to the LGBT community. “Seriously? Bearded Dragon? Buddy’s a Buddy? I don’t hang out at Blake’s, but I thought I knew enough to know that this was a gay thing”. LGBT activists have added that quote to their growing list of grievances.
The final straw was when the Buddy’s a Buddy bill came when it was attempted to be added to this year’s Medical Marijuana bill. Bill sponsor Allen Peake was heard to be screaming through three closed doors “JEMINY CHRISTMAS, PEOPLE SEE DRAGONS IN THIS BILL AND THEY’RE GOING TO THINK WE ADDED HALLUCINOGENIC DRUGS IN HERE TOO!”
And with that, Buddy’s struggle to fly in the cramped confines of Delta’s Economy cabin were once again dashed.
Maybe next year you can fly Buddy. Maybe.