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Pilots N Paws

Marijke Joins the Rescue Ranks

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(We thank Marijke Unger and LadiesLoveTaildraggers.com for permission to use this story.  Photos by Marijke Unger unless otherwise noted.)

Two weeks ago, our two canine protagonists were facing death at shelters in Texas. Thanks to multiple rescue coordinators, ground transport volunteers, facebook, and Pilots N Paws, they were given a chance at a new life.

Marijke with Pilots 'n' Paws rescue dogs Doc Holliday and Virgil Earp. Photo by Sheila Hudson.

Their pilot on the final leg of the journey was Marijke Unger, who flies a 1976 Citabria 7KCAB out of Longmont, Colorado (KLMO), and this was her first PNP flight. Marijke shared her story and photos with PNP, and with LadiesLoveTaildraggers.com.

Pups safely loaded up.

Today I flew my first mission for Pilots ‘n’ Paws, an organization of volunteer pilots and transport coordinators dedicated to moving rescued pets to their new homes. It was an amazing experience.

The final leg of Doc and Virgil's long journey from Texas to Wyoming takes them over the continental divide.

My two charges, Doc Holliday and Virgil Earp, were headed from a kill shelter in Texas to their new home in Pinedale, Wyoming, to be united with Christine and her blue heeler, Wyatt Earp. The family is complete, and it was immensely rewarding to see big smiles and madly wagging tails at our destination.

Crossing the Divide - the Outside View

I’d like to thank a number of people who were instrumental in making this happen, and who helped make my first PNP flight a safe and successful one: Eric Menchen for helping host two pups and their transport coordinator overnight, for his patience, and for handling food and logistics. Doedo Schipper for many hours spent helping to reconfigure the plane and install crates, as well as supplying parts, crates, and extra hands, and for asking all the right questions to make sure I knew what I was doing. Air West Flight Center, and in particular David King and Larry Kuebrich for expertise, advice, parts, crates, moral support, and a sectional chart. D.J. Molny for his quick response and crate loan. And to everyone who wished me well and kept fingers crossed for good weather. THANK YOU!!!

Virgil and Doc were thrilled to be headed home with their new mom, Christine.

This was a fantastic first PNP flight, and I’m looking forward to the next one already!
Marijke Unger

5 thoughts on “Marijke Joins the Rescue Ranks”

  1. holly says:

    Marijke ~ your efforts will always be appreciated and it is wonderful to read about more pilots helping PNP. (I learned to fly in an Aeronca Sedan on floats a long time ago..:) Most important is the support you gave PNP – Angels come in lots of forms – happy Easter

  2. Leslie says:

    Marijke…..what a wonderful gift you’ve given these two dogs – the gift of life!!! Thank you also to everyone else involved in this fabulous story. PNP rocks!

  3. Tammi says:

    True Angels of the air — God bless you :)

  4. JC says:

    Great to hear about the Sublette County and Pinedale connection to this great story!

    Having rescued two awesome dogs from the pound so far in our lives, my wife and I thank you for all you do!!

  5. C. Steve Stevenson says:

    What a wonderful story! I’ve heard about these flights but this is the first time I’ve known any of the participants. Thank you for your efforts.

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