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Pilots N Paws

Mimi’s Journey–Pet Goes to New Home in Illinois

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Jeanine Kahrs, with the Marshall County Humane Society, hands Mimi to pilot Todd Smith, a volunteer with Pilots N Paws.

Editor, The South Reporter Online

Ingrid Steiner-Wedige said it’s a match that was meant to be.

She lives in Stillman Valley, IL. She found just the pet she was looking for down South in Marshall County.

“Mimi is the perfect dog,” said Wedige, via telephone from her home. “She’s gentle, calm, a real smart little girl. Everything just fell into place.”

But it didn’t happen all that easily.

About two years ago Wedige and her husband Mark had lost their dog, a border collie and St. Bernard mix, to cancer. They had searched and searched for one similar to replace her, mostly via Petfinder.com. They wanted to adopt one that had been rescued.

“I looked for a long time,” Wedige said. “Everything we wanted was in the South, far away.”

They got close several times, but either the puppy was already adopted or out-of-state adoption was not available.

“We kept missing out,” Wedige said.

Then she saw Mimi, a white dog with black markings, available from the Marshall County Humane Society and e-mailed Jeanine Kahrs.

“They loved Mimi’s photograph,” Kahrs said, “but we thought there would be no way to work out all the details of checking the home and references and getting the little dog (three months old) to a place so far away. But they had been looking for a dog with this look for two years after losing one who looked so much like her, so Mimi seemed to be the one for them.”

The Marshall County Humane Society found a Labrador Rescue group that was willing to do a home visit with the family.

“We got very good reports from them and their veterinary reference,” Kahrs said. “So, our group had to figure out a way to get little Mimi to her new home, which was 10 hours away from us.”

Someone mentioned checking with Pilots N Paws, which transports animals all over the country just to help them get to new homes.

“The flights are all donated by the pilots,” Kahrs said. “They receive no compensation for their time, or fuel. Their travel board is filled with requests from all over the country daily, and these caring pilots are willing to make these journeys to make a difference for the deserving animals.”

The plan was for the pilot, Todd Smith, who assisted with this specific request, to pick up Mimi at the Olive Branch Airport and then another pilot would do the second leg of the journey from St. Louis, MO.

“But Mother Nature intervened,” Kahrs said, “and the weather went bad, and the journey could not be done in one day.

“Our special pilot (Smith) volunteered to foster Mimi overnight until we could determine how the second leg would be done.”

As it turned out, the stormy weather continued through the weekend. So Smith drove Mimi to Lincoln, IL, where he met Wedige.

“She’s smaller than our other dog, but that doesn’t matter; we love her,” Wedige said. “We’ve very happy with her.”

“She is never far from our sides when outside. House training has been a breeze. We are working on teaching her to ring the bells hanging on the door to let us know she needs to go out.

“We cannot thank Jeanine (Kahrs) enough for taking the time to find someone in our area to do a home check and for considering adopting her to an out-of-state home.”

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