View Full Version : My First Pilots And Paws Mission

11-02-2010, 09:15 PM
I finally got around to signing up for Pilots N Paws last week. Late Thursday night, I got an email about a possible rescue mission for this past weekend. Friday was the only day I could do it, but I thought there wouldn't be enough time to put it all together. 4 phone calls later, it was all set.

The plan was for me to pick the dog, a young Catahoula, up at a local shelter and fly her to Midland, TX (1hr 45min) for foster care. I started Friday morning getting the plane ready for my canine passenger. I removed the passenger seat and seat belt, then covered the seating and baggage area with garbage bags, then pillows, then blankets and towels.

I picked up the dog as planned and she seemed a little nervous, so I walked her for almost 10 minutes in the grass. She showed no interest in going to the bathroom during that time. I put the back seat down in my truck and loaded her in. We weren't even out of the parking lot yet, and she decided to pee. No big deal... I stopped and sopped it all up with an old bath towel. I then spread that towel out in case she decided to do anything else. About 7 minutes later (halfway to hangar), she poops! It all went on the towel, but then, of course, she tracked it everywhere. Then to complete the trifecta, we were about 100 yards from the hangar when she starts throwing up. Did she hit the towel? Of course not! She managed to hang her head over the side of the seat, so the throw-up went between the seat and the door... Ugh...

I tied her off to the truck while I cleaned it in front of the hangar. At least she'll be empty for the airplane, right?

It took a little convincing, but I managed to get her in the airplane. She seemed a little nervous, but she was asleep less than 10 minutes into the flight. She slept all the way to Midland and woke up just as my wheels touched down. I was taxing over to the FBO, looked back to check on her, and I see her heaving like she's going to throw up again. No problem, though, I have everything lined with trash bags and towels. Guess where she threw up??? In the 3 inches I had NOT covered! Are you kidding me? Really? I had a little area right behind me not covered, because that's where I had a few random things sitting on the floor. Unbelievable! Look at the pic 3rd from the bottom to see how she had her head, and you can see in that position, how the throw up got on my baggage carpet.

Even with all the "accidents", it was a very rewarding trip, and I look forward to doing it again! I learned a lot! I'm a dog owner x2, but I still was caught off guard. A little more time to plan would have been nice, but I will definitely be more prepared next time.

I'm not sure who's keeping score (Tanya?), but add one to the 7/7A group! Enjoy the pics!

The "first class" cabin all ready for it's passenger

You're going to make me do what?

I'm going to give you the evil eye until you change your mind about making me get in that tin can!

Get me out of here!

Ummm... I don't think I like this...

How did I end up in this thing with this guy?

Ok... Maybe it's not so bad...

I'm just going to rest my head on this can of carpet cleaner for a while...

Are we there yet?

Turning the dog over to the foster family. Can't wait to do another one!

11-02-2010, 10:11 PM
Good feeling, huh. Nice work!

11-02-2010, 11:29 PM
...they cause your gross-ness tolerance to go way up. I remember having to "help" my dog, Ross (http://www.doggyheaven.com/memorial.php?id=17), out once after he had consumed part of a rope toy and had a "hanger" while doing his biz in the back yard.

As I recall it was snowing, too. And something like 2:00am.

Best friend I ever had, though...definitely worth it.


Good work, Dave! I'm also looking forward to some pilots-n-paws time when the -7A is done.

pierre smith
11-03-2010, 04:59 AM
Seeing the big hearts out there among VAFer's is so rich!!

Good on ya mate,

Jerry Carter
11-03-2010, 06:36 AM
That's a good idea to secure the leash to the seatbelt anchor. I've also just wrapped the strap around the baggage bulkhead - anything to keep the pup from venturing forward into the controls....


11-03-2010, 07:30 AM
Way to go, Dave. That dog has found a good home because of you. Even though there were a few "problems" it sounds like you worked through them.

I don't know if a dog kennel would have worked with this size dog in your baggage area, but it might have helped to control where the up-chuk went. :eek:

You probably already know this but if you contact Debi with PnP she can ship you the kennels you need for future flights. Pet Mate is one of the sponsors of PnP and their kennels are very good.

Good on ya for caring enough for this beautiful dog!


11-03-2010, 07:43 AM
Great job, Dave. Each trip is as much fun as the last. I'll be waiting impatiently for the next write-up.

11-03-2010, 08:39 AM
Thanks Don for the Pet Mate tip. I didn't know that. I have a large metal cage kennel that would have been perfect, but I couldn't fit it in the baggage bay. I could have fit it in the seating area, but then I couldn't get the door open on the kennel to put the dog in. I didn't want to try loading the kennel with the dog already in it, but that might have worked if I had the help. Next time I will definitely use my kennel for the truck transport.

I'm thinking something like this would be perfect for the baggage bay: http://www.petmate.com/Products/Pop-Up-Kennel__21390.aspx

11-03-2010, 08:45 AM
Great job Dave!! I am chomping at the bit to get out of my Phase I to join the fun! Been a member of PnP for several years now...just waiting to get to Phase II!!


11-03-2010, 09:50 AM
My hats off to you for your kindness towards the pooch. With all that pukin, poopin and peeing you perservered with a good attitude and completed the mission. You sir, are a gentleman.

11-03-2010, 09:52 AM
[QUOTE=mcencula;481618]...they cause your gross-ness tolerance to go way up. I remember having to "help" my dog, Ross (http://www.doggyheaven.com/memorial.php?id=17), out once after he had consumed part of a rope toy and had a "hanger" while doing his biz in the back yard.
I couldn't stop laughing visualizing this. My dog has done this a few times and will take off running scared at whatever is still "attached" back there.

11-03-2010, 06:46 PM
ay man, I think I would have lost it. I have 3 dogs myself, and love them to death....as long as they do their biznes outside. I enjoy helping others. I save lives for a living and get a rush every time. Maybe one day I'll join PnP with my -10. I think I'll opt to using a kennel though :D

Ron Lee
11-04-2010, 09:02 PM
Consider getting cheap white towels at WalMart. I bleach them in the washer to kill possible parvo germs.