Flight #22 - From Kerville, TX to Long Beach, CA. "The Good, Bad and the Ugly" Flight for Laska
This was NOT a good passenger. If you only want to read happy animal saving stories, I would recommend not reading further and skipping to the animal pictures. I took on this flight as i once had a Husky who actually was part Wolf (BTW:ALL dogs actually come from Wolves), and he was the most loyal, one of the best dogs I have ever had. This animal was slated to be put down as she was labeled part wolf. I saw this need, and made an inquiry. I did not get information about temperament, other than I heard she was shy. A crate with sizing instructions and video was given to rescuers and brought, but it was far too wide to fit in the airplane, even one half of the crate. At the time of the delivery , I heard she was spayed/neutered probably within the last 2 days, had not gone to the bathroom, and did not pass my temperament test on a short walk. This should have prompted me to say "No" to having her on board the flight without a crate, but with weather coming, there was no time to get a different crate, so I reluctantly agreed.
Flight out of Kerville was 40 minutes hard IMC (for non pilots is where you essentially cant see out of the windows) and fortunately Laska was calm during this part, as if she became unruly during this part, this may have been an entirely different story written by someone else. About 1.5 hours into flight, Laska became very agitated and kept trying to get into the cargo area. I tried to calm her down, and she then proceeded to hit me very hard with her paw on the back of my head. I immediately expressed this was NOT appropriate, she moved back and started chewing through the seatbelt that was holding her in the seat. Putting the plane on autopilot, I turned my attention to handling laska and was preparing to do an emergency ascent which should knock her out so I may control the situation. She then went to the cargo area, and defecated. As there was nothing I could do about that at the time, I just watched her and eventually she came back to the seat and layed down fortunately and I didnt hear anything from her for the rest of the trip.
Landing in Deming after being in the same air as fresh dog manure for over an hour was a relief. Found a hose and hosed some of this off. laska was not interested in coming out, so i re secured her, got fuel and we were off again.
Flight from New Mexico to Long Beach was fine, no issues, pickup team was there waiting with open arms.
This flight will change my allowance for dogs on the airplane for everyone's safety (including me) and airplane damage reasons, and will very likely exclude transporting animals that cannot be crated, or large dogs that will not fit into a crate due to the unknowns of transporting these type of animals. The warning signs that I should have heeded were: 1) Recent Spay/Neuter, 2) Large dog with many questions about crate size despite dog measuring instructions and video 3) Failed temperament test 4) Animal did not go to the bathroom for 24 hours (likely too scared, or recovering from recent spay neuter)
All said and done, my airplane is getting cleaned and repaired from the trip, damaged seatbelt being replaced, and Laska got her freedom flight, another dog rescued.
Flight #21 - Flight to Livermore 4-5-2014
Another fun rescue! Ok this one started off with having 8 animals, then 5, then 6, then 3, then 2 animals due to lots of changes in how animals got rescued and cancellations, frankly I didnt know who was showing up, but these two cuties did! Big thanks to Anna Boucher for organizing this! Plan was to fly them to Livermore. First was a 3 month old Terrier puppy, and the other is a 1 year old Aust Shepard. We were scheduled to leave at around 9:45, but the Shepard, aka " had other plans! He didn't want to be touched or put in a crate, and when we tried, he howled like we were killing him getting everyone's attention from 1/2 mile away! This was a problem, but thanks to Palas, who came to the rescue and got him in the crate after an hour or so, and Norcal Rescue volunteer Julie who was able to get him from being drama dog into a cute little puppy, to get into Anna's car. Little did ANY of us know, that this dog was spayed a few days before and didn't want anyone touching her likely because of pain! Need the info guys! Amazing. Pics Below!! ALSO.. this flight hooked up with THREE other P&P flights who were all delivering animals to Livermore. What a great coincidence, truly an awesome team effort to get all these animals delivered!
Flight #20 - Long Beach to Livermore -"Fiddy and Rusty Rescue"
This was a very fun flight on a very nice day for flying. For Fiddy, a poodle who was abandoned (didnt get his whole story) and Rusty, a dog who was a stray in Colorado. He showed up on someones doorstep and the people started feeding him, he kept coming back, wanting to go inside likely and they instead tied him in the backyard for over 3 years, apparently with no shelter in Colorado! He then went to another home who also tied him outside (with a doghouse this time), then they got tired of him and called for a rescue or they were going to take him out. Poor sweet dog, he just wanted to be with people. So he was sent on a flight from Colorado to Barstow, where the amazing Amy drove hundreds of miles to get him and foster him, then bring him to todays flight. Amy also helped and was a great co-pilot for this flight. Big thanks to Michelle for arranging this one, Julie for bringing Fiddy, and Andrea and Paul for picking the pups up on the other end! And I hear Fiddy has already been adopted!! Very nice!!
Flight #19 - Long Beach to Livermore - 3/8/14 - "Plethora of Poodles Run"
Ok this was a very fun flight. It followed a horrific weekend that was filled with icing that limited all flights, but these 6 dogs, were all ready to go to their rescues. including Holmes, who is the BIGGEST poodle I have EVER seen.. sweet dog, a blind poodle, and a deaf poodle! The deaf poodle was quite a barker and serenaded us all through the flight! The blind one had a great story (see picture album) Great fun flight, perfect weather!
Flight #18 - Flight to Camarillo and Paso Robles- 2-16-14 - "Tag Team Poodle Run"
This was an interesting flight! On the board there were dogs than needed to go from many points south to North. 4 poodles met me in Long Beach. There was a cattle dog I offered to pick up in Camarillo as he also needed to go North. Met up with fellow relatively new P&P Pilot Ken Chan, who offered to fly the bunch to Livermore. Fun flight! Big thanks to Lady Flyer who coordinated and Michelle who brought a spare crate (which was absolutely needed) to get the cattle dog on board! Takeoff with 4 poodles, quick stop in Camaroillo to pick up a Cattle dog. 5 furballs delivered today!
Flight #17 - Long Beach To Livermore " Weather Window Flight"
This was an amazing effort by a lot of awesome people to make happen and truly exemplifies what Pilots & Paws is all about. Ok, there were several dogs that needed to go North, with a planned trip 1 month prior. All was great except for a frontal weather that moved in to Norcal that made it impossible. So there were LOTS of dogs now removed from shelters, and weather cancelled their flights. So many of the volunteers that were just going to pull the dogs ended up fostering them. And the weather, kept getting worse as the days went by! Then it looked like there may be a break on Wednesday with storms coming back in on Thursday (which they did) and would last the next weekend through. I could help with part of it in the late afternoon and another pilot offered to do the next leg which would have worked, but he got too sick to fly, and with all of my meetings I couldn't leave to go to Livermore and back that late. So that flight got cancelled as well. I woke up that morning, looked up and saw, that the weather actually looked decent for flying and I checked and it was! So I asked some of my colleagues if they could attend an afternoon meeting for me so I could help save some animals. They agreed, and did a great job and was able to leave earlier, and take these 4 cute furballs to Livermore, and retrieve my stepladder! :) (another story below!) Awesome flight, one of my most rewarding, and I was thankful for the window of weather on Wednesday that allowed me to do it!
Flight #16 - Long Beach to Phoenix 1-31-14 - "Furball to Phoenix Flight"
This flight was for Ginger, a 5 year old Chow who was given up by his owner and on the euthanasia list. She was "a mess" when she was first rescued, hair mangled and filthy, was cleaned up by P&P volunteers and a nice grooming. This makes the SECOND dog ive transported with a "Lion Cut" but this one wins, she really did look like a lion! Fun flight, was a bouncy day flying due to turbulence, she didnt seem to mind. Fun flight!
Flight #15 - Flight to San Luis Obispo 1-12-14
Today's flight was for three dogs, a Husky, a sheltie and a yorkie-poo and just realized, with this, marks my 50th animal rescued so far. Great flight, I was doing the first leg to San Luis Obispo, and Chis with his brand new plane was doing the second leg to SF. Munkey, the husky, had a groomer visit and was the first time I ever saw a lion hairdo! But it looks good on him. Pallas drove over 2 hours to rescue an addon little yorkie-poo to bring him to the flight. This was Anna's first coordination of a rescue (I think) WTG P&P Team!! Another successful save!!
Flight #14 - Flight to Livermore 12-22-13
Today's just before Christmas flight was for a bunch of chihuahuas that needed to get to Utah. Overbred, these dogs had tribbles of puppies and we got them! They are around 3-4 weeks old. There was one addon dog, Astro, a 4 month old Great Dane who obviously had some abuse as noted by his distrust of men and timidness. I thought I was not going to be able to take him he was so nervous, but the amazing Michelle Alyward offered to be a copilot and help keep astro nice and calm through the flight!
Flight #13- Long Beach to Salinas
Today was a cool flight for 4 lucky dogs going to Muttville for their adoptions! Angel the poodle, was dancing and singing before the trip, and Scarlet was very interested in looking outside of the windows. All did great, 4 paws! Handoff to Kim in Salinas to fly then the rest of the way to Livermore. Fun flight!
Flight #12 - Long Beach to Paso Robles 12-8-13
Today's flight was for two very cute Pomeranians that were about to be Euthanized as their owner had died. Thanks to the awesome efforts of the Magnificent Michelle, and a whole crew of volunteers, these two get a chance at living their lives in full! On their way to Muttville rescue via Bruce, the second leg pilot who took these two from Paso Robles to Livermore to get a chance at their forever home! I took these guys along with my Co-pilot Debbie to Paso Robles, on a gorgeous day for flight. Since Debbie was with me, there's a lot more pictures, so I hope you are strapped into your flight appreciation chairs as there's quite a few pictures! Great dogs.
Flight #11 - Long Beach to Napa
This really cute 1 year old terrier neede a lift North. Found as a stray. This dog Loves people. And this rescue was a big team effort, big thanks to Michelle Debbie, Andrea x2, Vikki. There's many more pics as Debbie was able to do them as I was doing airplane things. Gorgeous flight up the coast of CA past San Francisco on a clear day that our dog got to view first hand as he was staring out of the window!
Flight #10 - Long Beach to Livermore 10/25/13. Big Dog Flight
Todays flight was for "Clark", who is a 7 year old big 80 pound Malamute who I beleive was found as a stray. Don't have too much of his background history, but a big sweet furball he is. Our flight was great, through the morning marine layer, he did well in the back seat, and was curious looking out of the window throughout the flight. Big thanks to his Long Beach driver, who at the last minute, was able to drop her plans and get him to Long beach all the way from Apple Valley for the flight!
Flight #9 - Long Beach to San Jose 10/16/13, Bear's Flight home!
Today was amazing. I got the honor of flying Bear, who is truly an amazing animal. After spending a few minutes with Bear, you just love him, he has this effect on everyone Ive seen him meet. For part 1 pictures, please see previous flight from Palomar for Bear. So after being fixed up by Jen at the Vet's office in Irvine, he was then taken in by Amy, his foster who continued to nourish him and let him be a happy dog (see the video on the site), today's flight was for Bear to go to his new HOME! Today is adoption day and Bear gets to share his love with a family! Huge thanks to Barbara for coordinating all of the efforts to rescue this guy, get him back to health and then get him adopted!
Flight #8 - Palomar to Long Beach 8-17-13
This is Bear's flight. a Rhodesian Ridgeback that was found as an abandoned stray, totally emaciated. Was rescued from a shelter today to be taken to Stonecreek Vet Hospital in Irvine by vet worker and P&P volunteer Jen to begin to fatten him up for adoption. Big thanks to Barbara and Terri, who helped make this hyperfast transport happen in record time. This is a GREAT dog, one of those dogs when you meet him, you just love him. I'm happy IU was able to help this great animal get a second chance! And the family that adopts him will be one lucky family! Great passenger, perfect back seat manners.. 5/5 paws!!
Flight #7 - Long Beach to Salinas 8/3/13
Great flight and this one really exemplifies the strengths of the entire P&P organization! This was to take Kody, a dog with two back broken legs to a vet in Salinas urgently. He could only be released from his So cal vet on Saturday. There was another dog, Riley who's volunteer wasn't in town till Sunday for pickup. After many calls by the awesome coordinators Patti and Dorothy and contacts to other P&P pilots to see if anyone could do the other day, and the rescue team, an offer was made by first time volunteer Amy to keep Riley as well until her foster got back in town! Yeah WTG Amy! Thank you sooo much as I would have not liked to have left one dog behind that could have been saved! Heroes of this flight were all of the volunteers who made it happen! I just flew.
Flight #6 - Long Beach to Livermore 7/14/13
Great fun flight. This flight was for Sparky and Boo boo, two older dogs that were given up by their owners because they could no longer take care of them. Because of their older age, they were not going to be adopted before they were euthanised. But thanks to Pilots and paws Volunteers, Sonya their foster mom, Julie for organizing the transports, Michelle at Muttsville, I was able to take them to a new chance on life! They did great on the flight. 5/5 paw rating!
Flight #5 - Long Beach to Paso Robles 6/22/13
This day's flight was for a kitty, who's owner had passed away, and was about to be euthanized. Ok before the flight, I heard that there was a Black Panther that needed to be delivered.. I thought.. uuuhh... I didn't sign up for transporting Panthers! But found out, it was this cute cat named Cartman. Did great during the flight, with the occasional meow to let me know hes still around. Fun and simple flight.. and cool cat!
Flight #4 Long Beach to Watsonville Airport 6/8/13
This flight was for a very cool dog named Jasper, who was being rescued to take to his new foster for adoption. Jasper was a hunting dog in Utah who was left to starve after the hunting season was over, and some awesome volunteers fed him, brought him to Long Bech for this trip toward his forever home! I liked this dog right away.. what a sweetie. Flight was very nice, and allowed me to use my instrument rating in good use. I would really like to see what happens next with Jasper!
Flight#3 Long Beach to Livermore & Palomar 5/11/13
Fun flight! 14.. thats right Fourteen animals rescued on this flight! First leg was to livermore, where we loaded 12 animals (#1-terrier, #2-bunny, #3-beagle, #4-lab mix mom, #5-12 her 8 puppies). Loaded 4 puppies in a separate crate from mom, the other puppies didnt want to come out of the crate with their mom preflight so thats where they stayed. Midway into the flight, i smelt an aroma that didnt go away and realized that somebody pooped! Im thankful it wasnt my copilot. At the end, there were 4 fresh puppies and 4 poopy puppies. (I was wondering why they were making noise mid flight). After the dropoff, picked up 2 French bulldogs on their way to palomar Airport. Pictures below, please feel free to comment, download as you wish.
Flight #2 - Long Beach to San Luis Obispo 4/25/13
Another great flight. This time took two dogs that were about to be euthanized to their new homes! Parker, the beagle and Bixby, the poodle were great passengers. Dogs delivered to Charlotte at Meade Rescue so they can spend time at her doggie haven ranch!
Flight #1 - Long Beach to Livermore Airport 4/20/13
Great Flight. The weather cooperated nicely. Loading took a while as there were 5 dogs to load! 3 going to the Bay Area, and Two going to Oregon. Big thanks to Michelle, Patty and Lauren who brought the dogs safely and helped figure out a way to get everyone aboard! Go here to see the pics! http://johnspilotspawsflights.shutterfly.com/pictures/8
Next leg of the trip for 2 of the dogs was happily flown by John to help them on their way to Oregon for adoption.