There are lots of ways to get a dog from one side of the country to the other. None of them quick, easy or inexpensive. Sometimes getting your time, energy and finances to mesh together with a transporter’s schedule can be frustrating.
Mitzi Fawley tried every avenue when trying to get their dog, Blue, across the country to her son. Driving the smart and sweet 3-year-old Australian Cattle Dog there wasn’t an option.
Mitzi just wasn’t up to a road trip of thousands of miles from Springfield, Tennessee, to Spokane, Washington. Even though she knew Blue was usually up for almost anything.
Next best would be the fastest way, flying, but that proved to not be an option either after realizing that he would have to fly in the cargo hold, which wasn’t really cheap either. Mitzi also figured that if it was comfortable in there they would put seats and rent them to humans.
Blue was too special to both of them to risk putting her in the belly of a plane. And the only other way to fly her was on a commercial flight which was priced at thousands of dollars.
If her son Andrew could have flown home and taken Blue back with him it would have much easier. But that was absolutely not an option.
See, Mitzi had been caring for Blue for almost a year because Andrew, a Senior Airman with the U.S. Air Force, was away on deployment in Qatar. As soon as she found out Andrew was coming home, her thoughts were focused on a reunion between him and the dog that he loved.
“When he knew he was gonna be deployed, he said ‘ya’ll are gonna be grandparents to Blue for a while,” Mitzi told News Channel 5.
It’s tough being the family of someone whose career is in the Armed Forces. It makes no difference whether you have two feet or four. It’s hard.
Having a “grandma” that loves you and is willing to care for you while your dad couldn’t be there is a wonderful thing, but, both Blue and Mitzi were ready for Blue and Andrew to be reunited.
Someone told Mitzi about a local dog rescue group that had contacts to get rescues taken to new homes around the country. Surely if they could do it for a rescue they would be able to help a mom get the dog her soldier son loved back into his arms.
She contacted Keely’s Friends Dog Rescue. And sure enough, they were thrilled to be able to do a good deed to benefit someone who had given so much for his country.
You will never guess who Keely’s Friends contacted. Before long Blue would be getting her wings as she flew into the wild blue yonder!
Keely’s Friends contacted the national organization Pilots N Paws, a network of volunteer pilots who regularly fly shelter dogs around the country to their new adoptive homes. They said they would be honored to work with them to get Blue safely across the country to his owner.
Pilot Tripp Costas was honored to be able to fly Blue on one of the legs to Spokane. He has flown hundreds of dogs, but he had never reunited a dog with a soldier before, so he really looked forward to this one. The organization had to find three different pilots to get Blue first from Tennessee to Illinois, then from Illinois to Nebraska and finally on to Spokane.
After all the plans were made, Blue had an amazing journey ahead of her. Even though she wasn’t a bird dog, she would get a lot of experience flying before she reached her destination.
She, of course, had no idea what was waiting for her at the end of the journey. But, she knew that everyone else was excited and happy, so she relaxed and enjoyed every minute of the journey, making new friends all along the way.
Her grandma cried a bit watching the little plane take off with Blue’s face in the window. “At least I know where she’s going,” she said with a sniffle.
The trip stretched more than 1,700 nautical miles and took up most of a day. But as soon as Blue stepped off a private jet in Spokane, Washington, she quickly realized she was home. She could hear her dad’s voice!
“Come here Blue,” her owner Andrew could be heard calling from the tarmac.
The picture above is a little fuzzy. But that’s ok. It matched the warm fuzzies everyone got as they watched the reunion.
As Blue sprinted as fast as she could run toward her Andrew, everyone on the tarmac got something in their eye. An emotional Andrew wanted to thank everyone involved. But he could only get out these words, “I’m really happy having my best friend back.”
He pitched a party in honor of Blue when they got back home. They cooked out with a bunch of Andrew’s military buddies. He said Blue had a great time, but, after being with grandma for 9 months she is going to have to go on a diet.
We are glad you’re back together! Blessings to Mitzi for being a good doggy grandma and keeping Blue safe while her dad was away serving his country. Also to both Keely’s Friends and everyone involved with Pilots N Paws who daily volunteer their talents and time to needy animals.
Watch the full story here…
This story is proof that one person may not be able to change the world. But by working together we can certainly make the world better for someone, one day at a time.
Source: The Animal Rescue Site