Great Big Story went to Traverse City, Michigan to find out a bit more about K-9 Piper, a specially trained, hardworking border collie and his determined mission to clear birds such as geese, owls, crows and gulls from the runways of Cherry Capital Airport in order to prevent aircraft bird strikes. Piper’s human partner and handler Brian Edwards shared the importance of Piper’s job and just how much they both love it.
Birds can cause a lot of different types of damage. Most bird strikes are with smaller types of
birds that might just cause dents but if the bird is large enough and is ingested into an engine that can cause a serious failure….I don’t think Piper sees it as work. I think it’s all play to him.
UPDATE: On January 4, 2018, Piper sadly passed away due to complications from prostate cancer. Piper’s human partner and handler Brian Edwards wished him a heartfelt farewell to his brave, hardworking dog.
It is with the ultimate sadness I must report the passing of my best friend and love of my life.
Piper passed away tonight peacefully in my arms after fighting a year-long battle with prostate cancer. He fought valiantly, and we did everything we could, but sometimes life just has to take its course. …As we leave you tonight, know that Piper is in a better place. I only ask for your patience as I take time to tend to my shattered heart.