Two Pups and Sam
Three pilots completed a rescue flight from North Carolina to New Hampshire carrying (2) 5 month black lab pups (40# each) and Sam.
NC to VA, Rick Gutlon
VA to NJ, Terry Friedman
NJ to NH, Mike Wilt
Rick fills in the details of Sam’s journey…
Sam is a 6yr old, 90# yellow lab with epilepsy that was given up after his owners lost their jobs, lost their home, relocated for work, and moved into an apartment. They’ve spent months looking for someone to adopt him in the area with no luck given Sam’s age, size, and medical concerns. Due to the overpopulation issues in NC, Sam was going to be euthanized if left at the local shelter. Joy at Ruf Creek Ranch came to his rescue and arranged to include him on a flight with other labs she was sending to Lisa Borst at Rosemont Labradors in Hinsdale, NH. Lisa has had tremendous success placing older labs, and I’ve been involved in a number of flights for their organizations.
I spent two hours with Sam the prior weekend before we had to scrub and reschedule the flight. His owner (they’ve had Sam since he was just weeks old) never stopped crying while we were together. It wasn’t any easier this past Sunday. As a volunteer pilot, I normally don’t get a chance to spend this kind of time with dog(s) prior to a flight; it’s usually a short hello, load, and go. But in no time I had gained Sam’s trust and we became best pals forever. I’m convinced he knew we were there to not only help him, but bring some peace to his family. Once airborne Sam dozed on and off for the 1.5 hour flight to VA but kept his head resting on my arm between the front seats. This is one beautiful dog deserving of a home, and there is no question we saved three very special lives that day.
I’ve now flown 23 rescue flights and transported 57 dogs … but this mission really touched me. A heartfelt thanks to Joy Frannicola and Lisa Borst for coming to Sam’s aid and who work tirelessly helping dogs in need. And a special mention to Sam’s former family who clearly loved this guy … and were determined to see him have a quality of life even while their own lives were turned upside down.