You may have recently seen a viral GIF of a dog with a ski mask and ear protection, standing in an epic pose on a snowy runway while casually looking back at a rescue helicopter taking off behind him. You may not know the story behind the heroic-looking pup that might do well in an action movie. The dog is Piper, and he’s a 7-year-old K9 at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan.
Piper works as part of the Wildlife Hazard Management Plan, and his main duty is to chase birds off the runways and keep them from interfering with flight landings and takeoffs. In his time as an airport K9, he’s chased off over 2,450 birds. He’s trained in all kinds of conditions, and the GIF that went viral is taken from a longer video of Piper training to handle snow being blown around by helicopter rotors on the runway.
It took Piper time to get used to the loud noises of aircraft, but now he does his job without fear. He suffered an injury in November 2015 while chasing a snowy owl, which is why he has a cast on his leg in the video. According to his Facebook page, the cast is already off. Hopefully he’ll make a full recovery and get back to being an epic hero dog soon.
‘Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing you can do is keep your mind young.’ – Mark TwainPiper is a student of his craft, constantly learning. He never settles. Here he learns to deal with snowy rotor wash from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City.K-9 Piper: ‘The Student’Eye Pro: Rex Specs K9Ear Pro: Mutt MuffsVest: www.k9storm.comHelicopter: U.S. Coast Guard U.S. Coast Guard Great LakesSoundtrack: Sonic
Posted by Cherry Capital Airport K-9 Team on Monday, February 15, 2016
Are you excited to see dogs working in interesting jobs? Does Piper look awesome in his ski mask? Let us know in the comments below!