Los Angeles, California to Edmonton, Canada
This was a beautiful and exciting rescue flight! A bit too exciting in terms of winds and afternoon thermal turbulence for me to take my hands off the controls to snap any photos of the gorgeous Sierras, Cascades, and northern Rockies -- but trust me, they were sights to behold! Hansen (the poodle) seemed particular entranced with it all, and he was often standing on his hind feet right behind me gazing out at the scenery. But let's start at the beginning before we get to the excitement...
At the plane and ready to leave at 0500, we departed pre-dawn out of southern California's low marine layer and landed Hanford (near Fresno) with all smooth sailing. We refueled and taxied over to meet our precious canine cargo, and what a beautiful site it was -- so many happy, healthy-looking dogs! Each had arrived in his or her own roomy crate in an extra-large van specially renovated just for animal ground transport. Cheryl and her colleagues from Sportinghope Rescue had personally fostered all ten of these dogs for the past several days, so there were no surprises or behavior problems, and the dogs had clearly been well socialized and loved. Each had a new collar or harness with ID tag and leash, and their paperwork was in perfect order in one large three-ring binder.
We kept only two of them in crates for the flight, "Ladybug" because she was smaller and still skittish, and "Ody" because he was larger and occasionally felt the need to remind others that he was the boss. All the others we loaded one by one into the comfy bedding-lined cabin, where they were free to move around, restrained only from coming as far forward as the airplane controls. Each found a cozy place to his or her liking and settled in looking quite eager for this next adventure! As we left, Cheryl took photos of the dogs looking out the airplane windows and smiling -- here you'll see Hansen (poodle), Shelly (black pug mix), and Paco (chihuahua). The others were Archie, Manning, Missy, Stevie, and little George. All were one to four years old except for little George, who was just over eight months. Shortly after takeoff, young George's wishes were answered, and he spent the rest of the flight on my lap. :--))
Original plans to drop other dogs along the way and arrive in Edmonton the following day had been changed just that morning, so we decided to try to make it to Edmonton that night. That meant we had not a minute to waste, since Canadian flight rules require that we land there in daylight. Fortunately, tail winds were in our favor, and our speed over the ground averaged about 135 knots (155 mph). We made one fuel stop in Grangeville, Idaho, calculated our time to Edmonton and decided that we could make it, so we called Canadian customs and filed our required flight plan. Just over three hours later, we landed Edmonton at 7:30 pm -- almost exactly as we had estimated! This whole day was yet another example of a phenomenon we've experienced over and over again in animal rescue work: when we keep our focus on what is best for the animals with consideration to all rescuers involved, things seem to work out the way they need to, even when they are quite different from what we originally envisioned.
The arrival in Edmonton was the one of the happiest rescue scenes ever. Nearly thirty eager people showed up to meet these much-wanted ten dogs! Even with the short notice of our arriving Saturday evening instead of Sunday, all of the adopters had come, eager to welcome their new canine companions. Get ready to smile and maybe even cry when you see the video and photos of this lovely event!
We would like to honor and give publicly a very special thanks to Kari and Rene Mayer of CaliCan Rescue in Edmonton and Cheryl Neilsen of Sportinghope Rescue in Hanford. They are among the most professional and organized rescuers we have ever worked with, and their love for animals and people shines from them like light from the sun. Together, they carefully select animals from shelters in California who would otherwise be euthanized and match them with equally-carefully selected adopters in Canada. Their track record for happy endings and truly successful rescues is outstanding, and they bring together hundreds of dogs and families per year!
And there's no way any of this could have happened without the dedicated work and warm hearts of the many other volunteers and donors who supported this complete and successful rescue -- pulling these dogs from death, giving them nourishment, healing, protection, and reassurance, finding them homes, and then flying them there. Thank you Brayton, Deb, and Dave! Thank you Julia, Kym, and Dawn! YEA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOF!!
Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site
"The Story of Pellie Lou - a Pelican who survived the Gulf of Mexico oil spill"
by Bonny L. Schumaker, Ph.D.
With 46 photos from the Gulf of Mexico.
ALL proceeds go to benefit Gulf wildlife!
Order your autographed hard copies or an electronic copy here!
Read about our rescues under Rescue Tails!
Here are some samples:
A Dog Named Pepper Doesn't Give up Easily on Life!
20130428 - This 15-yr-old deaf, blind, arthritic senior held out in a hot, dry, desert parking lot until love finally found him!
CHAZ - No Ordinary Extraordinary Cur!
20130422 - Left to die but instead, this super-intelligent deep-hearted dog discovered love, family, and even fun -- from the most unlikely mentors!
Turbulent Trails for Tails from TX-20130413
Six rescue dogs from east Texas find forever homes in Nevada and California!
Who was rescued, and who was the rescuer? Anyone who has known this kind of bond has felt something so deep, so real, so ancient, that it cannot be described with words. These bonds ground us and free us from pettiness in our lives. Thank you Sheba. Rest in peace.
A Letter From Your Admirers! 20121231
This was a last-minute challenge that seemed beyond even our own grandest heroic imaginings. But it turned out not to be beyond the devoted hearts and energies of about 30 rescuers, shelter staff, volunteers, and families working together. Forty-three (yes, 43!) dogs in one day, from dead-ends in a Porterville shelter to homes and real lives with real humans who love and want them. Rescuers ROCK!
Orphaned very young, left alone and hungry til her fur fell out and her skin was covered with mange. Thanks to some big-hearted Texas rescuers, not only did she recover, she found the family who wanted to love her forever. How glad we were to be able to give this little pup with the big paws the ride to the rest of her life!
20121205-Blackie Goes Home at Last, and Taylor Turns Texan!
Four long months since Blackie's lifelong human companion and partner Tammy suffered a serious injury from a passing truck and disappeared from his life. Suddenly Blackie was in a shelter kennel, and Tammy fought for her life as she dreamed of her beloved dog. Thanks to many people, both of these souls survived to find each other again! This was a rescue and a reunion we'll never forget.
The same rains that made us work "On WHEELS Of Care" this week kept us grounded for this trip, which serendipitously combined the transport of Skip northward and the joyful and miraculous reunion of Miss T'Chen, who had been rescued and taken to Illinois after Hurricane Isaac, with her family in Baton Rouge!
This flight went almost as planned, and our plane was filled to over-flowing on every leg. And we met some wonderful new cat and dog rescues in Idaho and Oregon!
20 Lucky rescued dogs flown to homes in Canada!
2012 Sep 22
It turned out to a journey full of unexpected challenges, but these 20 lucky lovable canines who had been through the worst of times in California were just the best through it all, and now they are warming the hearts and laps and lives of some very lucky Canadian families!
Spindletop Scandal and the Search for Scarlett
2012 July 17 - present
With pitbull-like tenacity, we wouldn't take "NO" for an answer. Out of 21 dogs we sought, we have closure on all but two. Alas, one of those two is our Scarlett.
Tale of seven cities, six cats, and five goats!
2012 July 16
Who knows if the pleas for help brought the plane, or vice-versa.
But when serendipity puts this much together, there's no saying no!
Homeless Mom and Pups no More!
2012 July 08
Sometimes rescuers find the IDEAL person to adopt that animal in need ...
themselves! And in the process, a hole gets filled for the entire family.
This lucky mom now lives with Bear, Sheba, and Dave!
From Empty Nest to Love Fest!
2012 May 11
That last urgent plea came for the five orphaned pups ...
but what about the two large senior boys who would probably never get adopted?
Some people are just angels, meant to be who they are and where they are.
Check out these two and their new happy pack!
JEREMIAH has come home to us!
UPDATE 2012 July 7!
2012 January 13
His adopter called to say she had become ill, and could we care for Jeremiah? You bet we could. We rented a plane and flew to Arizona and retrieved him immediately. Jeremiah was indeed a true friend, and we aim to be his true friends, too. He has been eating like crazy and slept his stress away for the first few days, and now he's acting like a young dog again. Read more here!
CHAMP found at the airport!
2012 January 01
A sad, scared but dignified young Champ quickly won the hearts of everyone who met him at the New Orleans airport, and within two days we had permission from his original breeders to give him to a young couple with a younger female boxer mix, all of whom fell totally in love with him at first sight! Champ and Miss Princess are leading the good life now, and Champ's new dad finally has the fishing buddy he wanted! They tell us we made their dreams come true. We think they made Champ's come true, too.
Abby & Dinozo -- Two of a Kind!
2011 September--2012 January
Orphaned brother and sister, rescued and adored until calamity struck and they lost their family. Orphaned again, these gentle gems and perfect canine citizens found love and adventure with us until we found them their true forever home! Abby & Dinozo came with us to Washington January 7, and they were welcomed warmly and immediately into a home. Read more here!
Yo! Get a Load of Yolo!
2011 November--2012 January
Left in the cold, high in the mountains of southern California, life was over before it had barely begun for this orphan teenager.
Little did he know, his adventures had only begun! As of January 7, it's back to snow but this time with a family who adores him, and lots of fun and play in the Pacific Northwest!
Saving Scarlett -- Love Forever at Last!
Found on the streets, teats full but puppies absent, a battle-torn very hungry pitbull.
Hardly that sought-after doggie in the window.
But after we brought Miss Scarlett home to love and food, warmth and stuffed animals,
we discovered a warm heart and sweet spirit that changed us forever.
2011 July--September 29, A Joyful Reunion At Last!
Here they are during their flight with four other dogs Sep 29 (New Orleans to Oakland, CA, fuel stop in Roswell, NM).
And here's a photo from the happiest reunion ever!
More photos and updated videos here!
Sheba-Cosette - this lovely lady waited a lifetime!
Jeremiah - a true friend finds a new lease on life!
Two Giant Dogs & three cats reunited with their family on Whidbey Island, WA
Chihuahuas "Betty" & "JellyBean" fly to their rescue in Bremerton, WA!
New Year's Rescue: 33 dogs & cats are flown to rescue in the Pacific Northwest!
Hounds fending for themselves for years in Alabama fly to rescue in Arizona!
Romo & Stanley are flown to safe havens in Arizona!
Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico - 2013
2013 Apr 12 - Mayflower, AR Pipeline Spill
2013 Apr 02 - Bayou Corne #6
2013 Mar 23 - IMMS Marine Mammals
2013 Mar 19 - Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#5
2013 Feb 15 - Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#4
2013 Jan 26 - Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#3
2012 Dec 24 - Bayou Corne Sinkhole-#2
2012 Nov 08 - Tar Sands and Texas
2012 Aug 30 - Hurricane Isaac Conquered
2012 Aug 28 - Hurricane Isaac Arrives!
2012 Aug 13 - Sinkhole in Bayou Corne, LA
2012 Jun 13-Dispersant Spraying Exercise off LA
2012 April - Chronicles of the Endeavor
2012 Dec 10 - How Dilute is Dilute Enough?
Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico - 2012
Sat Nov 17 - Platform Explosion
Wed Nov 14 - Barrier Islands 1
Sat Nov 10 - OIL
Fri Nov 09 - OIL
Sat Oct 06 - Whale Sharks
Fri Oct 05 - OIL
Fri Sep 14 - OIL
Sun Sep 09 - Hurricane Isaac
Sun Aug 12 - Whale Sharks
Wed Jul 11 - Whales & More
Fri Jun 29 - Whale Sharks & More
Dominica - The Nature Island!
On Wings Of Care flies to the Eastern Caribbean for whales and sea turtles!
Read more here!
Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf of Mexico - 2011
Sperm Whales & Whale Sharks:
Cape Cod, MA
Our Gift for YOU for 2011!
Click Here to Smile
from your heart, out!
Aerial Monitoring of the Gulf, 2010
Galapagos Veterinary Support
Galapagos vets do much with little,
thanks to true friends who shipped a TON of supplies and meds from the U.S. in June, 2011.
“Man can no longer live for himself alone. We must realize that all life is valuable and that we are united to all life. From this knowledge comes our spiritual relationship with the universe.”