When we think about working dogs, we often imagine dogs working as therapy dogs or medical service dogs. We also see dogs working in international airports whose job is to sniff luggage to detect illegal substances or banned food items from being smuggled inside the country. However, there are a limited number of working dogs that compare to the dog named Piper.
When Piper is not working, he’s just like any other dog who loves to play and cuddle with his family. However, Piper’s look changes once he puts on his work uniform, a special harness and cool goggles and does his job to keep airplanes and their passengers safe. Piper works at the airport and unlike the sniffing dogs, Piper’s job is way cooler. Piper looks a lot cooler too.
Piper’s main job is to chase birds away from the runway. It may sound quite an ordinary job but it’s actually an essential job that saves millions of dollars a year in plane repairs and equipment expenses. Before Piper, the airport in Traverse City, Michigan used all sorts of machines and devices that emit sound or light to scare off wild animals away from the runway. These things surely worked but only for a short time.
It didn’t take long for the wildlife to get used to the huge machines that blare out noise and light. The wildlife soon became so used to it that they no longer fly or run away when they see or hear the vehicles that emit loud sounds and bright lights. That’s when Piper comes in.
Piper’s buddy and partner, Brian Edwards, stated that ever since Piper started working at the airport, bird strikes were down, which saved companies millions of dollars every year. Whenever air traffic spots wildlife wandering around the runway or near the runway, Piper’s partner, Edwards, gets a call to unleash Piper. Edwards drives Piper near the wildlife and as soon as Edwards opens the door, Piper would launch out of the vehicle like a missile with his cool-looking goggles and harness.
Piper would chase the birds away from the airport and away from the path of expensive aircraft. Piper may not be known to regular people but he already has plenty of fans. Piper’s fans are aircraft pilots who appreciate what Piper does to keep them safe.
Piper along with his best friend and handler, Brian Edwards, worked 3 years as a wildlife control dog at the Cherry Capital Airport until he lost his battle to cancer in January 2018. Piper’s fans paid tribute to him upon hearing of his passing.
Here’s a cool video showing Piper at work and how he managed to be more effective than expensive equipment to chase away wildlife and keep airplanes and their passengers safe.
Video Source Great Big Story via YouTube