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Pilots N Paws

Four Years Later

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Carney, a 15 pound silky, is a puppy mill dog that was rescued by Mr. Jim Carney along with 17 other dogs about 4 years ago. He was flown to Florida and temporarily housed with a lady name Mimi in Fernandina Beach until he and the other dogs could be evaluated by a vet, updated with shots, treated for any ailments and/or diseases, etc.

Carney lazying around with MomAfter a few months of getting the rescues back on their feet, Ms. Mimi and her foster friends held an adoption day at Petco in Jacksonville, FL off of Atlantic Blvd.

Dudley, my husband, went to get food at this Petco for our 2 yorkies and came back home and said, “I like to have never gotten out of that store because they were having adoption day and they had a lot of yorkies there and one of them look so pitiful. That dog had the prettiest eyes!” I jumped up and said, “let’s go look at them.” He replied, “darn, why did I open my mouth.” So we went to Petco and all the dogs were up and walking around and responding to all the people but one dog. He was lying in his bed and couldn’t make eye contact with anyone. It happened to be the dog with the pretty eyes, Carney, who by the way had two brothers there that day as well.

We took him from the cage to hold him and I’ve never seen a dog so scared and withdrawn. He hid his head under my husband’s arm and never faced us. Of course we felt compelled to do something to help him. So we completed the adoption papers, set up a time for a house visit to get cleared for adopting Carney and our journey began.

Carney loves roadtrips

Carney loves roadtrips

We drove 40 miles to Ms. Mimi’s to get him. He was so sad to leave her. I could tell he was very connected to her. But I was just sure we could make him a great home. So as we arrived to our house, he ran immediately to a corner in the family room. That’s where he stayed, so that’s where his bed was placed and still is to this day. Well at least one of his beds. The other bed is located in the vanity area under my sink in our bathroom off of our bedroom close to us. He tends to love cozy and small hidden areas.

At first he was such a challenge because no matter what we normally did with our other dogs, he would never respond so my “how to work with a rescued puppy mill dog” research started. When we would walk him, if there was even the smallest of a stick lying on the street, he would stop and pull the opposite direction to try and get me to go back toward the house. Needless to say our goal the first few weeks was walking to the end of our driveway and back. Then to the end of the block and back. Next goal was to the cul-de-sac and back for the next several months. And when we would approach a stick, a garbage can or sack or anything sitting by the curb on the street, Carney would just freeze so I started walking between Carney and the item on the street. After a few weeks, he eventually overlooked anything that was on the street when we would go on walks. Now he walks on the beach and is “Mr. Social” and even walks in the water sometimes and loves it.

Carney watching Dad read

Carney watching Dad read

He didn’t bark for the first 2 years, and we thought the puppy mill owners had done something to his vocal cords. But after two years, one night my son came home late from work and when he walk through the door at an odd time of the night, Carney started barking and we were all astonished. Now he barks at my husband about 6 pm every night to get his nightly treat of cheese. It’s the funniest thing. We both just laugh when he does it.

I take all 3 dogs to the groomer every 3 weeks, and now Carney leaps out of the car and runs right to the gate that leads to the path to Ms. Sharon’s back door. He truly loves her. He loves the beach. He loves walks. He loves his greenies first thing in the morning and his cheese snacks late of afternoon. He loves tossing old socks in the air and pouncing on them like a cat. He loves running in circles as fast as he can. He loves taking care of his 5 lb. sister Bebe and playing with his brother Booboo. He loves lying on his back in his warm bed. Carney loves loving life, and it could and would not be possible to do all these things if it weren’t for that one flight, that one decision, that one call to Jim Carney, a team member of Pilots and Paws. Mr. Jim is the one who made this all possible for Carney (yes, he is named after Jim) and many, many other dogs who were stuck in a kennel, who had never walked or barked or seen a beach or ate cheese or ran in circles. Thank you Mr. Jim for saving our Carney!

Jacksonville, FL


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20 thoughts on “Four Years Later”

  1. Gail Storm says:

    Thanks….. For making me feel happy and to smile today.

  2. Yolanda Cessna says:

    I am so proud to have been a part of rescue. I am so happy that this little one was found, rescued and now is being treasured as he should have been from birth.
    Thank you all who accomplished a miracle for Mr. Jim and for all the others rescued.
    God bless.

  3. Beckie says:

    AWE! I love stories like this! Thank you for loving him and taking care of him! <3

  4. Jim Taylor says:

    Wow, that is an awesome story of your love and patience.

    We had two strays we rescued 10 years apart and we too wondered if they were “bsrk-less:” One was a German Shepherd mix, the other a Lab mix. Both eventually found their voices but for the lab- 90% of the time it would be for treats.

  5. Robyn Carter says:

    Its success stories like these that keep rescue workers on track to save and rehome as many dogs as possible. Thank you Sheryl and Dudley for giving a lost dog a new chance at life.

  6. Robin says:

    What a wonderful story. Thank you for this wonderful program getting these frightened dogs into loving homes. We adopted a german shepherd a little over a year ago. He was found at the lake nearby where we walk, trapped and taken to a kill shelter. He was feral and afraid of everything. Now he is a big love bug. He’s still afraid in the car and wary of new things but it’s one day at a time. My goal is for Casitas to live life like little Carney does! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Rita Chesterton says:

    LOVE this story! and so beautifully written. I’m glad your husband went to the store that day, and I’m glad he told you abt seeing ‘the sad-eyed Yorkie.’ You are ALL very fortunate to have each other.

  8. Debbi says:

    I loved reading this story!!

  9. Kim says:

    What a sweet story should happen to many more dogs and cats out there in the world Hope you get to spend many more days with Carney.

  10. Pam Allemeier says:

    I love Pilots n Paws so much they helped a little old min pin Mr. Magoo get to his forever home in Kansas. He was my foster from our local Animal Control. I loved reading about Carney and how you all helped him become the dog he is today. A puppy mill survivor because of Mr. Carney, Pilots n Paws and you all. A new life for a beautiful and loving puppy. Thanks for saving him and giving him a loving home.

  11. wade roberts says:

    well done, jim!

  12. wade roberts says:

    perfect name, by the way!

  13. Jim Carney says:

    Thank you for the kind words. I’m so happy that Carney has made you and your family so happy. When I hear words like yours about how well their dog is doing and the joy the dog brings into their life, is the number one reason, I fly for Pilots N Paws. It is a win win for both the animal and their humans.
    God Bless both you and Carney!!
    Jim “Uncle Jim” Carney

  14. Marianne Hendrickson says:

    Pilots n’ Paws is the Visiting Angels of the animal world…the work of so many people comes together to rescue and give homes to animals who might otherwise be lost forever. Living in a “no-pets” condo makes it impossible for me to join in but
    it would be the focus of my golden years if
    I could. Kudos and kisses to all of you!

    …An old friend from North Central days

  15. Patty Larson says:

    Yours is such a familiar story. We rescued Seamus, a 2 year old lab, a year ago. We don’t know his background, but he’s mainly afraid of noises of any kind, especially voices. After a lot of effort, he will walk at night either 2-3 houses down the block and very rarely down the block to the corner. He freezes like Carney if there is the slightest disturbance. Do you have any tips for how you got Carney to go on walks? I worry about him getting enough exercise.

  16. Don Hull says:

    I had the privilege of meeting Jim Carney a little over a year ago when I was the first pilot transferring a dog to him at his home airport in Tennessee for transport to Missouri. He is a first class gentleman and a first class pilot. How appropriate to name a rescued dog after Jim! I just wish we had more PnP pilots like him.

  17. Jim Carney says:

    Hi Sheryl,
    Thank you for the very kind comments. Your adoption and love for Carney is why I love flying for Pilots N Paws. To have a dog named after you, makes Carneys rescue very special. I still have his picture on my desk next to my computer where I plan all of my Pilots N Paws flights.
    Jim Carney
    Pilot for Pilots N paws

  18. bob koch says:

    God has a special place for those who rescue, foster or adopt those precious creatures. It is a place to be rejoined with all of those animals whose life’s they touched.

  19. Sheryl says:

    Patty Larson

    The first thing I started doing was getting Carney calmed down before we went on walks. Walk Seamus outside and close to the start of your walking route. Then get on his level and make him sit and start rubbing him and calming him down. Usually you will be able to see a difference in his body language. I had to do this at the beginning and then sometimes during the actual walk if Carney kept looking back toward the house. But as weeks went on it got better. Patience is the key. Most important, you can’t react. Dogs feed off of our energy so if you hear a noise, keep walking as if nothing happened. I Seamus freezes, then walk back to him and talk sweet to him, bend down and start petting him reassuring him he is ok, then try going forward again after a couple of minutes. Sometimes they just need time to absorb the noises they are not used to hearing.
    Some weeks we would actually go backwards instead of forwards in progress and then some weeks we would make major strides.
    Also I did start walking Carney outside of his comfort zone in other areas as well. That seemed to help him adapt to other noises, smells and people. But when we first got him, if I walked outside of the house and there was a weed-eater or lawn mower active, I just walked right back in the house and did not force him to face that fear. Now most days it doesn’t bother him but every now and then, it still does.
    Everything I have read is about puppy mill dogs gaining our trust and making eye contact. If they can’t do that then we have to work to gain their trust on their terms first. Carney is still jumpy and probably always will be to some extent but he’s seems to constantly be making progress. Another idea is the “Thunder Shirt.” It’s a tight fitting t-shirt fabric shirt that brings security to a dog with anxiety.

  20. Roberta says:

    I am one of the two PNP Transport Advisor and having coordinated many many PNP transports and helped many others with coordinating their PNP transports, it is stories like this one that TRULY exemplify the extraordinariness of PNP! And Jim Carney is a perfect example of the compassionate, generous and dedicated PNP pilots who make all of this happen. Jim has “saved” several transports that I’ve coordinated. I should give him the nickname of “Mr. Zero Hour” because when you are at that “zero hour,” the make it or break it moment, and you contact Jim more than likely he will “make it happen,” or do his best to try to “make it happen”!

    It’s also nice to learn and hear about the end results of PNP Transports; animals being able to be what they are supposed to be: loved, cherished, and secure. So hats off to all the wonderful adopters like you and your family who let us know our endeavor is working out very nicely.



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