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Old 01-30-2010, 10:40 PM
petehowell's Avatar
petehowell petehowell is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: MN
Posts: 2,290
Default 3 Dog Week

Disclaimer - heavy dog content and Pete blathering to follow..........

It has been an interesting roller coaster of a week. In the course of 3 days, I have seen a depressing low that brought me to tears, rekindled an old relationship via RV, and made a new best friend.

Things started off bad on Weds when we realized that time had run out for our old Boxer, Boo. For close to 10 years, this character was highlight of our lives, greeting us with a daily wiggle-wag and always quick to climb all 80 pounds onto your lap for a "cuddle". He had lost most of his hind leg function and finally, control of his bowels. We scheduled the vet, and I carried him in to the office on Thursday afternoon crying like a baby. Boo moved to a better place.

Perhaps knowing I needed a distraction, the Boxer Ladies asked me for a favor. Cooper, a Boxer I met on the rescue mission that started it all needed a ride to Minne to have some eye surgery. They had lined up ground transport from Dayton to Indy, and Pilot Mike of Sully Rescue fame agreed to get him to the western Chicago area from KEYE in his Cherokee. How could I say no, I figured it would be good therapy.

The only issue might be the weather. It was clear, but cold, really cold. Forecast said -2 to 2 for a an 8 am takeoff from Anoka. Well, the plane does not know it is cold, but I do, so I donned long johns, flannel jeans, 2 pairs of wool socks, a sweatshirt, and stocking cap. I was stylin'. Would you let your dog fly with this guy?

The WX by Chicago was acting all snowy for us, so I called Pilot Mike and we "audibled" from Aurora to Illinois Valley Regional at Peru where the WX was CAVU. Ya gotta love the Midwest for airport options.

The bank sign on the way to the airport said -4F, not fun, but the sun was up and it could only get warmer - and Cooper needed a ride. I got a briefing and preflighted the -9A. Bernie and Alex showed up to take the SkyPig 1 (Bonanza) for spin. Maybe I was not as crazy as I thought, (or they were as crazy as me). Finally, I opened the door and fired up the lycoming, yep it was cold! The tower guys set me up with flight following to KVYS and I was off. Approach cleared me right up into the Bravo and the sleepy, frozen cities passed below me.

The route to Cooper was right down the Mississippi, so navigation was easy, even for me.

The high layer above provided some interesting light.

I ended up on top for about 20 minutes - very peaceful

2 hrs later I was turning final for the brand new runway 7 at KVYS. I heard Mike and Cooper on unicom landing right before me.

On the ground, we found Cooper and Mike hanging out.

After a quick pit stop, Mike and I loaded Coop up, and we were off. You can see Coop has some eye issues, but I can assure you this in no way slows this big boy down!


Amateur Plane - RV-9A N789PH - 2400+ Hrs
Amateur Radio - KD0CVN
Doggies Delivered - 25+
St. Paul, MN

Last edited by petehowell : 04-06-2010 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:55 PM
petehowell's Avatar
petehowell petehowell is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: MN
Posts: 2,290
Default Part 2

Cooper settled right down and took a nap....

As the frozen farms rolled on below.

Coop found a hole in the blanket to maximize his warmth!

We arrived back at Anoka to sightly warmer temps and some nice people to take Cooper.

Coop safely transferred, I scrambled to get the plane put away and off to coach Ryan's basketball team (we won!)

This Saturday was shaping up pretty good. The plane performed great, the team performed great, but the best was yet to come. About 5pm we got a call that a van was arriving from Kansas, and in it was Molly, a 5 month old boxer pup that needed a home.

Megan and I met the van and they handed us Molly(now named Moxie), a cute little flashy brindle boxer. She cleans up pretty good.....

Not a bad week. One door closes, another opens. Circle of life kinda stuff.

See more Cooper photos here:

More Moxie pics:

Guys, thanks for indulging me.

Amateur Plane - RV-9A N789PH - 2400+ Hrs
Amateur Radio - KD0CVN
Doggies Delivered - 25+
St. Paul, MN
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:06 AM
jbDC9 jbDC9 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 893

Good stuff as usual Pete! The pic of Moxie in the tub reminds me of bringing our first rescue Weimaraner home... ease him into the tub with lotsa warm water, soap, followed with big fluffy towels. He just stood there and fell asleep, standing up, in the tub. I think he liked it...
John Bixby
RV-8 QB sn 82030 - 1800+ hrs
Houston, TX
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:14 AM
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Doug Lewis Doug Lewis is offline
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: MN
Posts: 195

So sorry about Boo Pete. He was sweet and was certainly content joining you at the hangar. Moxie's adorable!

Great pictures. You need to build a 10 so I can tag along on your adventures.
RV-8 Wings almost done
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Show Planes Fastback ordered
N238L Reserved
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:15 AM
DeltaRomeo DeltaRomeo is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Highland Village, TX
Posts: 4,186

Pete Howell makes the world a better place....and I'm not kidding.

Pete, grateful to call you friend, and sorry about Boo.
Doug Reeves (your host)
  • Full time: since '07 (started it in '96).
  • Typed in the EMB-505 (Phenom 300). Available for contract work. (flying resume).
  • Part time: Supporting Crew Member CAE EMB-505 Level D Sim @ KDFW.
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Old 02-01-2010, 07:16 AM
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PRIME PRIME is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: NJ
Posts: 72

Pete, I can't think of better therapy... I'm sorry about Boo. Moxie found a great home!
-Travis Prime
Preview Plans, RV8. Saving $$, Planning, Dreaming.
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Old 02-01-2010, 08:00 AM
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bsacks05 bsacks05 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Warner Robins, GA
Posts: 1,187

Another great post and pictures Pete! I think it may be time to come up with a custom made RV dog carrier to make it easier to get them in and out. I saw a custom cage built into the back seat of an SR22. Lots of room.

Now, if only we could get DR to provide a VAF dog flight section and a link to PNP! Oh, and Doug, I made my donation this weekend with Paypal. Nudge, nudge.
Bruce Sacks
RV-9 N659DB - Flying since 7/1/06
Hatz CB-1 - Fabric covering with Polyfiber.
Warner Robins, GA

Last edited by bsacks05 : 02-01-2010 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:29 AM
blandess blandess is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 50
Default Cold weather flying and Boxers!

First of all, allow me to say I am empathetic for you having to take Boo to the vet. We have had to put down two of my Boxers. The first, Howie, was truly a gentle animal and well loved by my whole family. He was about 13 or 14. The second, Tess, had a litter of pups that had to be C-sectioned out and the surgery was hard on her. She made the trip about a year ago.

On a more educational/brighter note, I am moving back to Ohio from AZ in June of this year. Obviously we don't get snow here and nowhere near the 0 degrees you fly in. My question is what procedures should I follow to fly in such cold weather. The idea of icing scares the daylights out of me. I am interested in this for two reasons. (1) I am moving to cincinnati and my family lives near Pennsylvania, and (2) even though my RV is not even started yet, I am interested in helping fly pets to new homes as well. I have found inspiration in your stories. Also, I have seen the Animal Planet shows about neglected pets and it makes my blood boil to know what these people do to their companions. It would make me feel better to know I am removing them to a better place.

Thanks for all the advice and Moxie is a gem!
Bo Landess

Preview plans for a -7...for now.

You can have things done 3 ways...
1. Cheap
2. Fast
3. Right
...Pick two.
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:20 PM
petehowell's Avatar
petehowell petehowell is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: MN
Posts: 2,290
Default Thanks Everyone....

I really appreciate the kind words.

Bo - as far as cold weather flying goes. Ice is not a worry if you stay out of the clouds. The bigger concern is engine temps. I have an oil sump heater and cylinder bands, so the engine is 70-80 degrees before start. The other challenge is keeping the oil and cylinders hot enough in cruise. I was able to get 150 on the oil temp and 290 on the cylinders at my typical cruise. Ironically it was warmer at 8500 feet than it was on the ground in Minne.

As soon as I pull in, the engine is bundled up and he heaters go back on (with a thermostat to keep the engine compartment at 80 deg or so.

Dress warm in case you need to walk out of a landing.

Others will chime in with other tips I am sure.

Amateur Plane - RV-9A N789PH - 2400+ Hrs
Amateur Radio - KD0CVN
Doggies Delivered - 25+
St. Paul, MN
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Old 02-01-2010, 03:42 PM
Rupester Rupester is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Mahomet, Illinois
Posts: 2,195
Default Thanks ...

...for sharing so much that great post, Pete. Your posts are the perfect antidote for the dismal/abysmal news and media reports we all hear, day in - day out.
Terry Ruprecht
RV-9A Tip-up; IO-320 D2A
S. James cowl/plenum
(Dues paid thru Nov '18)
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