Hi Reddit! K-9 Piper is an almost 8-year-old, high-drive Border Collie who works as a Wildlife Control K-9 at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan. I’m Brian Edwards, K-9 Piper’s owner/handler/trainer and I’ve been at the airport as an Airport Operations Supervisor since 2008.

A week ago, Reddit discovered Piper (via gif and photo) and hugged our website to death.

EDIT: Pardon for us, but all done now. Thanks for a good time! Maybe one day we'll be back.

The website: http://airportk9.org

My photo proof: http://imgur.com/GxhdfVq

Comments: 875 • Responses: 99  • Date: 

Duck_Knuckle1079 karma

Do you feel like you're just hanging out with your dog all day - or is it clear to you that the dog has a different attitude at work?

airportk91339 karma

Both. Obviously it's awesome to hang with the dude all day, but he goes into serious work mode when I say "patrol". He knows where the truck is, goes for it and can't wait to work.

Duck_Knuckle649 karma

Must make it easier to go to work yourself.

airportk91273 karma

Absolutely. Totally cliche, but it's not a job. I get to go to work with my best bud every day and get paid for it. Easy? Yes.

bongarong564 karma

How do you two split the wages?

airportk92776 karma

I get what's left after he's taken care of.

gymnasticRug176 karma

Is your dog a workaholic?

airportk9363 karma


yosp790 karma

How do the pilots react to seeing your dog run around the airport?

airportk91867 karma

haha, that is the best part. I can't tell you the number of animals he's been called. To name a few: bear, cat, skunk, coyote, wolf... It's now a joke between the control tower and I - just come up with a random animal when a pilot asks. "Oh yeah that's the airport's komodo dragon."

Tower likes to call him the seeing eye dog for the guy in the truck.

HurdieBirdie549 karma

I'm cracking up imaging the reaction of the pilots to that last one!

airportk9727 karma

It's fun trying to come up with new animals on the fly and swerving all over the place when tower gives them the guide dog thing!

TooLowFlaps193 karma

There used to be a sign on the bulletin board in our ORD pilot lounge that read "The animal in TVC is a DOG, and he's badass! Stop reporting him to tower!" I haven't seen it lately, though. We pilots notice and love seeing him!

airportk929 karma

haha yes. That is awesome!

Take a pic if you do see it and let us know if you're up here, we'll come say hi.

unitedairforce154 karma

Now i know, if i'm ever flying into the area i'll be sure to one up them and tell tower i see a "dolphin" on the runway or something equally as crazy. Catch them off guard a bit ;)

airportk917 karma

haha they need to be kept on their toes!

DrumCorpsAlum644 karma

Can you ask him who a good boy is?

airportk91418 karma

"You woke me up from a perfectly good sleep to ask me that? Of course it's me. Wake me when you've got something good, come on..."

Reptar_here_me_roar342 karma

You're on fire with these replies

Edit: Jews I'm going to break 800 comment karma for this small comment

Edit: I meant to say jeez. Whoops

airportk923 karma

We like to have fun.

browntowntraveler589 karma

What is Pipers kill count?

airportk91028 karma

Zero, Piper is non-lethal.

thehumble_1587 karma

How do you keep the goggles, earmuffs and boots on? I can't keep a pair of goggles on myself. How long did it take for piper to get used to it?

airportk9847 karma

The specs are easiest, great product designed specifically for dogs. It took pipe a couple days to get used to them and we haven't looked back. We use them on and off duty, basically anytime he's outside.

The muffs, well he will shake them off his ears if they're by themselves. The back strap of the specs cinches them down and keeps everything in the right place.

The boots are also iffy. We had to modify them to increase their stay on power, but I'll still have to readjust from time to time.

All in all, he's used to gear now, so adding new stuff really isn't a big deal anymore.

Rasalom627 karma

So when's the laser getting added?

airportk9762 karma

in the works...

popeslopethe3rd104 karma

Asking the important questions

airportk9294 karma

no no, important question is what color??

WarlordTim60 karma

Red, of course.

airportk9112 karma

on it

whatsnewpussykat312 karma

Please tell me that you call them his Doggles.

airportk9284 karma

nah they're specs by RexSpecs.

Frentis385 karma

What does your job consist of? I know the titel is Wildlife Control, but what do you two do?

Also does K-9 Piper have better shoes then you? She beats my old beat sneakers. Are they for traction?

airportk9496 karma

Actually the title is Airport Operations Supervisor. Fancy phrase for a duty manager. We carry around the airport batphone and take care of anything that comes up during our shift. Wildlife Mitigation is a part of the job.

Those boots are definitely better than my shoes, but we're taking a break from them since they caused his injury. Some things are better left to nature.

Frentis135 karma

Ah I see. That is a fancy title, I quite like it though.

I hope, he gets better soon by the way.

Thank you for doing this AMA!

airportk9148 karma

Thanks! We'll be here for a while.

Frentis96 karma

Oh alright cool. I hope it's alright if I ask a question or two more then.

What does a normal work day in general consist of?

Also, what other breeds of dogs, would you think, would fit with the kind of work you do?

airportk9244 karma

We work 10 hour shifts. We start our day by checking the entire field, inside the fence and out, so I can set the bar. We do regular inspections of the airfield and perimeter checks. Beyond that, we have duties inside to take care of and also respond to tenants' needs during the day.

Best way to think about the airport is a mall. We own the mall (airport) and all the businesses (airlines and such) lease space. We have to keep the whole thing up per the lease.

The_Tic-Tac_Kid110 karma

Best way to think about the airport is a mall. We own the mall (airport) and all the businesses (airlines and such) lease space. We have to keep the whole thing up per the lease.

This, by the way, is also why you shouldn't go complaining to the airline people about parking or really anything directly related to the airport itself and not the airline. They have little to no say in the matter.

airportk9250 karma


We get the same in reverse, people asking about baggage all the time. They don't let me answer the main airport line anymore cause I pull an Austin Powers, "that's just not my bag, baby."

The_Tic-Tac_Kid53 karma

Oh, I'm sure. It probably doesn't help that usually the local number for the airline isn't given out (intentionally) to the public.

airportk971 karma

it's a viscous cycle, but necessary on both ends I suppose.

Frentis44 karma

Ah that's cool, sounds like a pretty neat job.

What is K-9 Pipers tasks?

airportk9142 karma

It's fun at our airport because we do a lot of stuff. Most larger airport are compartmentalized, meaning this job would be only a couple tasks all day.

Piper does wildlife control and our Chief Morale Officer. He's been a great ambassador for the airport and the City of Traverse City.

duckmuffins46 karma

So your dog can boss around the actual Airport Operations Officers?

airportk9111 karma

If you're talking inside, getting them to kick him the ball, then yes.

5pmtornado348 karma

Are you a police officer too, or could your dog theoretically arrest you?

airportk9491 karma

Nope, we're not law enforcement.

wheezer32479 karma

I think your dog is fabulous! I have a Border Collie also-why don't more airports use dogs for this job?

airportk9194 karma


While I can't say exactly, it pretty much comes down to cost and logistics. There is a lot of cost to owning a dog and if it's an airport owned asset, the dog is going to be kept at the airport. Doing so, now you have to kennel, etc...

I can speak from experience that it takes a culture to accept the dog. Everyone (employees we work around everyday) has to be accepting of the dog and not have allergies or anything.

A lot of work has to be done before you even bring the dog on.

LeonJones289 karma

How do you get this job?

airportk91014 karma

Here's how it went for me and you tell me if this answers your question.

Work at the airport for a while, prove yourself, get a border collie, train said border collie, get invited to an airports conference, show off trained border collie to airport director, ask airport director if he's down with Pipe running around outside. Get "job". :)

PM_YOUR_B00BIES223 karma

Awesome! Also, its cool to be able to do it in such an awesome part of Michigan. As a person who lives very close to TC, enjoy it :)

airportk9239 karma

swing by sometime and say hi!

NetTrix609 karma

"Hi, I'm PM_YOUR_BOOBIES. You know, from the internet. Yeah. I just came to say hi to your dog."

airportk995 karma

Walked into that one...

zxcv43727 karma

Are you a part of AAAE, or was it a different type of conference?

airportk955 karma

Great Lakes conference a couple years ago

embrauer263 karma

Are the goggles just to protect Piper's eyes from general debris blowing around at the airport?

airportk9475 karma

RexSpecs originally designed the specs as a UV protectant, like sunglasses. They are pretty much 100% UV protectant, even the clear lenses. Obviously they also have the added benefit of keeping everything else out of his eyes.

The muffs are for ear protection. And just like if you wear hearing protection, you can still hear, just have to talk louder. Piper and I communicate visually if we have to during that time, but mostly he knows the drill now.

paulec25221 karma

Can you give some examples of how Piper will communicate visually? What are your signs?

airportk953 karma

He checks in with me every 15-20 sec or so to see what I'm doing in the truck. I stop, he stops. I turn right, he follows suit. I can also point where I want him to look and go.

BeerNoggin234 karma

Piper! How's the leg? We (meaning my pug and I) follow you on Instagram and absolutely love all of your pictures. I think the culprit of your injury was an owl, right? Have you ever caught a bird? Or do you just scare them off?

Also, it seems like a lot of military planes land at your airport. Do you have a secret military nickname?

airportk9299 karma

Unsure of the leg, we'll know more in a couple weeks. And yes, he was injured as he deployed out of the truck after a snowy owl, so we always joke we're going to get that punk. And no, Piper will not catch a bird, he is strictly non-lethal.

We are home to United States Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, so we do get a lot of military visitors. We'll need to come up with a nickname :D

ethanGeltan143 karma

Callsign: Goosechaser (from Top Gun + his job)

airportk9314 karma

I mean Top Gun is the single greatest motion picture of all time.

Pipe and I were Maverick and Iceman this past Halloween.

darkscottishloch108 karma

Picture, please.

BeerNoggin73 karma

Thanks! I am quite happy that Piper is non-lethal, and fingers crossed that the leg is healing well!

airportk9130 karma

Yep, that's why border collies are used for wildlife control. They are a humane way of dealing with the problem. Thanks!

prancingElephant54 karma

I've got a border collie. Any general tips for the breed? My dog can be kind of neurotic and compulsive sometimes. Keeping him stimulated is a full-time job.

airportk993 karma

That's the thing, gotta keep the mind going and don't take any crap. They are smart enough to run you.

3morrow38 karma

Could you link his IG please? Thanks!

MINOLATX223 karma

I fly in and out of Traverse City on trips to my hometown in Northern Michigan.

Is Piper often visible to people traveling through the airport? I'd love to catch a glimpse of him on my next trip home!

airportk9316 karma

Well, when he's healthy, yes we are out a lot. Right now though, he's doing a lot of resting.

Next time you fly in, send us a message and we'll come say hi!

callmemom176 karma

Is Piper not healthy right now? What's wrong?

airportk9327 karma

Recovering from a fractured toe

Idabdabs54 karma

How do you deal with all his pent up energy when he is nursing an injury?

airportk987 karma

that's been tough, but we do our best to keep his mind going.

purplemangosteen2165 karma

How long does it take to train a wildlife control dog like Piper? BTW after seeing your cool clip of Piper...i tried putting doggles on my 8 month Bearded Collie.....didn't go that well.

airportk9182 karma

It took Pipe and I a year and a half or so of passive training in our free time.

Did you get RexSpecs?

purplemangosteen287 karma

They where indeed RexSpecs....My friend had a pair for his dog ( a conservation hunting dog here in NZ) who flys in helicopters a lot. My dog doesn't really have a need for them, but was keen to see how she would go....on that note, whats your best training tip for dogs/pups?

airportk9174 karma

Ah, well I'd say answer to your question also answers specs question: consistency. Pipe ripped the specs off a couple times the first few days, but by staying consistent and keep putting them back on with a positive reaction, he eventually got totally used to them

Same thing with Piper's aircraft socialization. It's not natural for dogs to be around aircraft, so we had to gradually work up to the different sounds. Each aircraft has a different sound. Every day we'd go out and do some socializing, consistent. This also built trust that I'm not going to put him into a bad situation.

CameronsDadsFerrari114 karma

Hi Brian, I'm a Coast Guard H65 flight mech and I've been following you on Instagram for a while now! How long have you been working with high-drive dogs such as Piper? Have you trained him since puppyhood? Did he come from a breeder? Thanks for doing this AMA!

airportk9161 karma

Awesome! Piper is my first dog period. Nope, I met him when he was two, but he was already really well trained with all the basic stuff. I started training him for this specific task a couple years ago. Honestly as much of the training was on the job with all the aircraft, especially the 65s. He did not like the whine at first, but they do have a very consistent sound, unlike a 47 or 60, which really thumps. He hated those at first, but now isn't even phased by them.

He came from an older couple that had been breeding border collies on their farm for quite some time.

Let us know if you ever make it to AIRSTATVC! Either way, we'd love to trade patches!

kmascasa37 karma

I know a USCG pilot stationed in TC!! Small world :)

airportk962 karma

Had lunch with most of them the other day, great group!

BobEWise20 karma

A slightly related question. I was UH-60 crew chief in the Army and military working dogs didn't have a big problem with the sound, but they completely freaked if you approached them while wearing a flight helmet with full face mask. Has Piper had any experiences like this?

Best of luck and thanks for this AMA!

airportk99 karma

What exie said. Pipe does that with employees here if they have a bunch of garb on.

Shoot us a line if you have any patches around, we'd love to trade!

VVangChung100 karma

Fellow Ops/ARFF guy here. Since training piper to chase wildlife, have you guys had to do as many lethal takes as before? In your opinion, is Piper more effective than other means of hazing like pyrotechnics?

airportk9154 karma

Good to here from ops/arff. Been at the airport since 08 and I can't recall any lethal takes of anything. We are very conscious of that, obviously. Piper is definitely more effective than pyros, on most. He really doesn't care to chase gulls, they're stupid and just fly up and down, so it's not fun for him.

That said, having another tool in the toolbox is always good. Piper has significantly increased the effectiveness of pyros and sirens.

In the end, nothing can replace the prey/predator relationship.

Thanks for asking!

VVangChung70 karma

Thanks for answering!

I have to agree, seagulls are the most annoying to deal with for exactly that reason. I'm pretty impressed that you guys don't need to use lethal action against anything, which is great. We try not to at our airport, but sometimes, it's unavoidable for us. We all wish we had a dog as awesome as Piper. A video of him has gone viral at our airport and everyone loves him!

Stay safe out there!

airportk952 karma

Gotta do what you gotta do eventually.

Thanks you as well!

GolfAlphaGolf64 karma

What is the "volunteer" arrangement between the airport and your team? Is there anything "regular people" can do to support Piper?

airportk9182 karma

We are a small airport owned by two counties. Though we are owned by the public, we do not take tax money. There is no airport tax to the people of these two counties. The airport generates revenue by people using the airport. Because of this, we don't have a ton of money around.

I knew going into this the only way I could sell this to the director was that it wouldn't cost the airport anything. But really, is there any price you can put on working with your best friend everyday?

We accept donations through our website http://airportk9.org and this only started out of public demand. I still can't believe how awesome it is people are willing to donate even a dollar to a couple of normal dudes in northern Michigan.

HopelessSky757 karma

Hey! I follow your instagram page and I love Piper. What's the silliest/ most dog like thing he does on the job that takes away from the seriousness of his duties?

airportk9151 karma

His ball is his life. Anytime we're inside, he's got to have his ball. Also, he likes to give big kisses to people he meets.

tooomine51 karma

will you describe a typical day in your employment (as it pertains to working with a dog) and any weekly deviatiosn from your daily routine?

airportk9117 karma

Well, Piper was added to my duties as an operations supervisor, so we integrated the two.

Start out by checking the airfield, both inside and outside the fence to get a baseline. During this time, I'll deploy Piper in known deer and fox hotspots to keep them on the move. Add in a few perimeter checks, he'll be outside the truck checking for wildlife holes under the fence that i can fill. Then we'll patrol the taxiways and runways depending on how our regular duties go that day. Some days the batphone is rining off the hook, others pretty quiet. I try to have Pipe out as much as possible, but it ultimately depends on my supervisor workload.

tooomine23 karma

thanks for the quick response!

airportk925 karma

you bet

kbgames36046 karma

My dog is named Piper also! Is yours named after the aircraft as well?

airportk948 karma

ha yep!

ttjenkins27 karma

How long have you and Piper had this job? Is he your first dog doing this job or did he have a predecessor?

airportk953 karma

I've been at the airport since 08 and Piper joined me in the fall of 14. Yep, he's the first one. Figured I had nothing to lose and asked the director. Honestly, I'm still shocked he said yes.

tf2fan29 karma

What is the director's feedback on Piper now that he's been in his role for a while?

airportk910 karma

I mean I'm not going to speak for him, but he's seems pleased with the program.

onesweetchaos25 karma

Hi there! I saw a guy wearing a great shirt with Piper on it at an event I attended! So cool you guys are on Reddit! Where in the world, can I get one of those shirts... for EVERYONE in my family? <3

airportk952 karma

Sweet! We are actually doing another pre-sale right now. Check out http://hdg-usa.com/airportk9


onesweetchaos18 karma

Oh my gosh, THANK YOU! Kiss Piper for me!

airportk933 karma


autobahn21 karma

What's the most interesting animal that piper has had to chase away?

airportk937 karma

Groundhog/woodchuck. Have a video of it on insta. That guy's teeth were, chucking...

CanadianUkr21 karma

Do you like cats?

airportk974 karma

Grew up with cats, which were very dog like, but if I had to chose now - dogs all the way.

red_xiii_ff720 karma

Does K-9 Piper have any puppies? He's the perfect dog.

airportk929 karma

Sadly no :(

But thanks!!

pegun16 karma

What is piper's motivation? Food? Attention?

airportk943 karma

Piper is pretty much self motivating and we've made it that way for a reason. I need him to focus on the task at hand and not worry about getting a reward. But to learn tricks and stuff, he is definitely food motivated.

monzo70516 karma

Hi Brian, Hi Piper!

Greetings from your Northern neighbour! I just started following Piper and his work after seeing the the Travel and Leisure piece...everything about what you guys do and the way you present it is just great! Keep up the great work. My question is...what's next for you guys? Do you plan to keep things as they are or as a result of the great support do you see other opportunities in this field, Hollywood, training & dog supply or other??

airportk932 karma


What's next? First, get Piper healed. Besides that, continue to slay work every, continue to learn, meet more amazing people and most importantly have fun.

We didn't plan on any of this, we're pretty humble. Just going to keep on keepin on and if something comes our way, we'll see.

Taubin15 karma

As a Michigander living overseas, I want to know if I could come visit Piper up in Traverse City next time my wife and I go visit my family. My wife loves planes and helos, I love dogs, it would be amazing for both of us. You never know if you don't ask right?

airportk931 karma

Heck ya, just let us know! Can't get you outside, but we'd be happy to come visit in the terminal or maybe give you a tour of our maintenance building with all the big fancy trucks.

GunNNife14 karma

What do you and the pup like to do around the TC area?

airportk929 karma

A lot, we're outside as much as possible. We beach it a lot, walk downtown a lot, hike, drive. No point in living here if you're not going to take advantage!

TwirlerGirl14 karma

This might be a dumb question, but do you ever worry about him darting in front of a plane to chase off a bird?

airportk926 karma

Not dumb, but nah. He's smart, he knows where he is allowed and not. Plus he's a good listener.

femalepsychopath14 karma

Hey, your dog is so cute.Can you describe the best memory with your dog?

airportk941 karma

Hmmm, so many. Dude was there for me during some rough times. Was my training partner for a crazy year of obstacle racing a couple years ago. Competed in two Death Races, finished one and did almost 60 miles at World's Toughest Mudder. Piper was the single greatest motivation during that time. Definitely got me through the Death Race. Dedicated that skull to him and lost it on top of that mountain.

The178910 karma

Do you take Piper on the sand dunes in summer?

airportk916 karma

Heck ya, we spend a lot of time on the beach in the summer.

GwenMiller797 karma

How difficult was it to to train Piper to use the goggles on a regular basis? I just have to say I think Piper is amazing! I have two dogs myself here in Grand Rapids and I love knowing we have a canine hero in my favorite town in the state:)

airportk914 karma

Not too bad, he was totally used to them by day 3. Start with lenses out, then clear lens in, then move to tinted lenses.

Come up and say hi sometime!

lemenranger3 karma

Hi Brian! I work in airport operations as well. Thanks for the work you do and for keeping our runways safe. Do you anticipate this option for wildlife patrol will become more popular in the future? It seems like a much more affordable option then having wildlife audits by the FEDS and a big fence built!

airportk97 karma

Hey thanks for the compliments. That's tough. Piper is not the first and won't be the last, but they are rare. For some reason, Piper has gained the most attention for some reason, so that's definitely brought it back into the limelight. Ultimately though, it comes down to cost. Most 139 airports have a fence, so really it comes to cost of the animal, plus all the other stuff that goes with owning a dog. Has to be a culture at the airport that is accepting of the dog, which we have.

Hope that answers your question.

healthymetal3 karma

I have two questions! First, is Piper married? Does she have puppies? A boyfriend? Second, does Piper enjoy her work? What kind of incentives and bonuses come with the position of Wildlife Control K-9?

airportk96 karma

First, he!! haha, he gets that a lot.

What more incentive do you need other than get to run around chasing and sniffing things all day??

IlllllIIlllIIllIIIII2 karma

Tell us more about your photography? What camera, how did you get into it, how do you edit your photos, etc.

airportk97 karma

I shoot on an old D90, would love to upgrade though.

Guess I've always had an interest in photography. Got the camera quite a few years ago now and started with nature photography, which is easy around these parts. it's been a lot of fun integrating Piper into the nature shots, on and off duty. It's actually a lot of fun at the airport trying to guess, based on wind, takeoff performance, load and such, where planes will be airborne as to get the best shot. I've found I love being in the action, boots on the ground. Really is awesome to be around running aircraft, especially military and helicopters. Add Pipe to that? Yeah, amazing.

As for editing, use photoshop, but am a total amateur.

[deleted]2 karma


airportk910 karma

The people. They are great, we've made a ton of friends there, some outside of work now as well. They are awesome to Piper. We stop in all the time and everyone says hi.

Also, the opportunity to work close to the helicopters (hopefully a ride if we guilt them enough) is incredible. They have full confidence in Piper, which is why they have no problem with us getting close. They will frequently stop and goof off while I try to take some pics.

The boat training was awesome. 4 footers, helicopter 15FT overhead hoisting swimmers with a ton of water spray? Yes, that was awesome and it really helped solidify Piper's badassness.

[deleted]2 karma


airportk98 karma

haha that's the one thing he fails at, nobody cares about the guy at the other end of the leash! :P

hannahftw2 karma

Anyone who has been around Border Collies know they can be difficult to train and very reactive. How did you get Piper acclimated to being around moving planes? Was he naturally comfortable with that? How long has he been doing this?

Edit: also, if there's time, how does he alert when he finds wildlife? Is he good with all wild animals or does he ever have a prey drive or feel uncomfortable with an animal he's interacted with?

airportk94 karma

We definitely had to do work to get him used to aircraft. Some came fast, others took time. That is just consistency and trust.

Depends on what you're talking. Holes under the fence, he stops and usually looks at me then continues to sniff, but if he comes on something, chase it on.

He's been skunked and luckily he remembers, as we came on one hidden in some bush that I didn't see. He kept his distance and came back to the truck when called.

uscg_medic042 karma

Do you ever get to fly much with the CG guys up there?

airportk93 karma

I have, dude hasn't... yet. Had a great time, hope to get up again soon.

barkingfree2 karma

Working dogs are amazing, Piper is a badass fluffball!

What kind of training did you guys have to go through to land a job like that? On days off, what do you do to keep her from getting bored?

airportk93 karma

haha thanks.

Most of the training was obedience and off leash control. Then aircraft socialization once at the airport. We stay active, but our duties have us working a lot of overtime in the winter.

PacamaHM2 karma

  1. Has your dog ever stolen food out of luggage and eaten it?
  2. Do you plan on getting any other dogs?

airportk93 karma

  1. he doesn't work inside.
  2. on the radar, but a ways off.

zxcv4371 karma

I'm a college student studying aviation administration, may i ask how you ended up doing what you do, any advice you can offer to a student about to enter airport ops, and how closely do you work with the FAA regarding tactics and training for Piper?

airportk92 karma

As to enter ops - do whatever you an to better yourself as soon as you can, ACE, CM, etc...

Our FAA cert inspector was cautious at first, but we quickly put his mind to ease after he saw Piper in action.

chaffey_boy1 karma

So what exactly is Piper's job? What is a "day in the life" of Piper?

airportk93 karma

Piper's official title is a Wildlife Control Canine. He gets to chase wildlife from the runways and taxiways at the airport. He also enjoys detecting varmints in the ground.

Oh and what day isn't complete without some form of badassery.

slyfox19081 karma

Hi guys! Piper's on his way to becoming Traverse City's biggest celebrity.

How did you get Piper involved in wildlife control? Did you match the dog to the job, or the job to the dog?

airportk93 karma

Hey! All thanks to Reddit!

Definitely a job to the dog. For me it was: work at an airport + have a border collie = awesome job.

joelmooner1 karma

Do you ever become absorbed into pipers fur because of how fluffy it is?

airportk92 karma

Many times while he was injured and couldn't be groomed because of the cast. It's amazing, I won't lie.

ChillPenguins1 karma

Where did you get the shoes? And does it easily slip off

Shoes from this image http://imgur.com/uSOh2E9

airportk94 karma

Those boots are from RuffWear. We modified the rears to help stay on and depending on how hard he's running, some may flip over. They also cause his injury, so I'm inclined to believe some things are better left to nature.

That said, they are really well made and a quality item. Personal results will very it seems.

AdClemson0 karma

Would you fight 100 of your K-9 having the size of a duck or your K-9 having a size of a direwolf?

airportk91 karma


HighOnGoofballs0 karma

That's a bomb dog, not a drug dog, right? I'm asking for a friend

airportk97 karma

Neither, Piper is strictly for wildlife control.

The_Trolliest_Troll-4 karma

Have you witnessed any insanely smart places where people have hidden their drug paraphernalia? If so, where were the drugs, and how did they cover the smell? This is all out of curiosity. I wouldn't have the balls to sneak shit through the airport.

stopmakigsense2 karma

I am pretty sure these dogs are trained on explosives not drugs. The amount of people that interact with drugs in the airport it would be a busy busy dog. Many people allegedly smoke before they head into the airport but you will see these dogs go right past them.

I have seen drug trained dogs in action and they can smell a small amount of weed, even just traces of recent contact they are pretty amazing at what they do.

airportk97 karma

Piper is not a narcotics or explosives detector dog, but explosives would be useful.

CivilityBeDamned-21 karma

How do you feel about the concrete evidence that most drug dogs are almost worthlessly inaccurate? Do you feel that doesn't apply to your job? Do you feel there is an issue with the inability to audit dogs independently of their trainers?

airportk914 karma

Piper is not a detector dog.

CivilityBeDamned-23 karma

So, in what way are you responsible for my life, as you just claimed elsewhere? If the dog doesn't detect, what does it do?

airportk917 karma

Why don't you read up before you ask. We don't work inside, we're not TSA. We take care of the field outside, which includes plowing and reporting conditions in the winter time. I don't like the conditions on my runway, you don't land. I'm in charge in the ground, it's my field. Piper is a Wildlife Control Canine used to keep wildlife away from aircraft.

CivilityBeDamned-31 karma

How do you justify your career to yourself? You receive a trained dog who does all the work. You are literally a babysitter, but not even trusted with human life.

airportk913 karma

Easy, cause you couldn't be farther from the truth. You fly into our airport, your life is in my hands, especially in the winter.

Oh and I didn't receive anything. I did all the training myself and have paid for most of the gear.

Thanks for your question.