Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Piper … “Joe Cool” of the runways !

You may have seen this on YouTube a few months back but if not …

This is a true story about Piper, the Border Collie, who helps to maintain wildlife control at the Cherry Capital airport in Traverse City, Michigan. He has actually been trained to shoo away ducks, geese, owls, foxes and other critters.

There have been other airports that use this technique but few, if any, have the dog's owner working there too. He is Brian Edwards and has been an airport operations supervisor since 2008. When he acquired Piper as a pup in 2012 he soon realized he had a winner. Border Collies are born herders and Piper was exceptionally adept at it. Brian decided to try his hand at training the pup for work on the runway.

It took a lot of time and patience ...especially getting Piper used to airplanes. This is not natural to dogs. The gear he wears helped (reflective specs to avoid dirt and debris and to shield his eyes from sunlight and ear muffs to protect his hearing) and he overcame his fears. Now Piper has become a vital asset to the airport.

It's very tempting to book a flight to Traverse City just to see “Joe Cool” in action !


Blogger Marie Smith said...

Such a great looking work dog! I hadn't heard about him. Thank you for sharing.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Amazing really.

5:39 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

I had not heard of him and think he is amazing. I am delighted that his owner has taken such care in protecting his dog. Kudos to both.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing. Border collies are great dogs.

8:07 AM  
Blogger joared said...

Recall hearing a brief news item about the dog but appreciate knowing the whole story you shared here. Went to a fair in Virginia years ago when visiting my daughter. I tired of walking in the humidity and heat so told the young ones to go on while I sat in the shade in a stock exhibit area. One of the events I enjoyed was watching a border collie herd a small flock of ducks into a small wired pen inside the arena from outside. Subsequent events displaying the dog's talents had me on the verge of wanting to buy a puppy. Good sense prevailed and I didn't as they need more area than my back yard to run in and work activities beyond being a house pet. I owned a full size stock collie when I was young and we lived in the country. Have never gotten over being broken-hearted when we moved and I had to give him up. No pet has ever meant as much since.

9:42 PM  
Blogger possum said...

I LOVE Border collies. Well, I love collies in general.
But yes, I have seen this pup on duty... actually, his story has been on the news a couple times and I so enjoyed seeing him 'at work!'
Google 'extreme sheep herding' to see what these dogs can do when they have a bunch of shepherds with LED lights and too much time!
great post, Ginnie! Thanks!

4:26 AM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

How cool is that! I've seen border collies in action. Energy plus!!!

6:41 AM  

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