A Caught Hail Mary

A Caught Hail Mary

This could have been a sad story, but thanks to a bit of luck and a few people’s good intentions, Mr. Magoo made his connecting flight and arrived safe in St. Louis so he could be on this way to his new foster home in Kansas. Here is his amazing story:

Mr. Magoo, a 15-year old Miniature Pinscher in Rock Hill, SC, was hit by a streak of bad luck. His owner died of cancer a few months ago, and the family couldn’t care for him so he was left at the local kill shelter. In addition (like if it wasn’t enough for this little guy), he was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and also suffers from arthritis. Nevertheless, Pam Allemeier heard about his situation and came to his rescue. She fostered the little old guy and tried to find a great place for him to live the next few years peacefully. Through some contacts, they placed a post on the PilotsNPaws forum for a flight from South Carolina to Kansas. But after almost 1 week, it became apparent that it would be a long and difficult flight to fill.

Pam handing Mr Magoo to Christophe at the Rock Hill, SC airport.

Pam handing Mr. Magoo to Christophe at the Rock Hill, SC airport.

This is when Mr. Magoo got his lucky break! Liz Bondarek, a seasoned Transport Coordinator, sent a private message on the PNP forum to some of the pilots she had worked with before. Her message was clearly a last effort to try to make it happen for Mr. Magoo. At 6am on a Friday in March, her private message was: “looking for a last min hail Mary from SC to TN and KY”. She was trying to get him via 2 legs to connect in KY with another flight she was coordinating from central Georgia to St. Louis and was hoping someone would be able to assist by flying him on Saturday.

Private Pilot Christophe saw the message on Friday morning and reached out to Liz. After a couple of emails and a phone conversation, they evaluated a different option. If he were to connect in Kentucky on Saturday with another flight starting from Georgia, Christophe proposed to fly Mr. Magoo to Macon, GA on Friday night so he would be sure to be on board. Liz rushed out to check with Kristen the local volunteer in Georgia if she could (1) pick him up late at the airport, (2) take care of him overnight and (3) drive him early to the airport in the morning. Liz also checked with the 3 pilots scheduled on Saturday that they could all accommodate this 10lb Min-Pin passenger.

 

Kristen, picking up Mr Magoo at the Macon, GA airport at 10 pm. Pam had prepared him a nice travel bag for the sleep over.

Kristen, picking up Mr Magoo at the Macon, GA airport at 10 pm. Pam had prepared him a nice travel bag for the sleep over.

When everything came with a green light, Christophe reached out to Pam to schedule a 7:30pm meeting at the Rock Hill airport. With Mr. Magoo safely on board and an IFR flight plan filed, they took off in the moonless night towards Georgia. After a smooth flight, Mr. Magoo landed at the Macon, GA airport and met with Kristen for a good night’s rest. The next morning, Pilot Tom took both Biff, a nice English Pointer/Lab Mix and Mr. Magoo from GA to AL, where Pilot Jeff took them to KY and then Rick and his co-pilot Mike took both of them to MO. From there, Biff took a ride to Omaha, NE and Mr Magoo to Kansas.

 

Mike and Pilot Rick, escorting Bill and Mr. Magoo for their leg to St Louis.

Mike and Pilot Rick, escorting Biff and Mr. Magoo for their leg to St Louis.

This story, like many others, reminds us the inspiring quote from St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals: Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. The impossible is what Pam, Liz, Kristen, the pilots and many other volunteers did that weekend.

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4 Responses to “A Caught Hail Mary”

  1. Magoo was my foster dog from our local shelter in York, SC. I picked him up one day and took to the groomer for a much needed pampering. I loved this little guy, he couldn’t see that well, had a hard time walking…. but did he ever have HEART! He was a demanding little min pin guy that you could tell had a loving home at one time. Picked up by Animal Control here in our town. Thank GOD for people like Becky Roeckers in KS who agreed to rescue him and do the necessary vetting he needed. He now lives a great life in KS with a wonderful lady and her 9 yr old nephew. Being pampered is what Magoo deserved. Thanks to all who had a hand in making this possible

  2. These people are Amazing at what they do…

  3. carol migliorisi suess 19. May, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    I Love reading stories like this. The time and love invested gives everyone, including the reader, a feeling of satisfaction. Great job everyone. Congratulations Mr. magoo!

  4. I’m so happy that there are caring people out there that are able to help these wonderful animals.