If you want to know the range and resiliency of the human condition in these difficult times, look no further than the Village of animal rescuers. Last night, Madera PD found a horribly abused pup left for dead in a dumpster. With the call from PD, Megan Bowe stepped up to shelter Hank, as he is now known, overnight, and connected with Jennifer Colletto this morning for transport out of area. Jennifer then shot a text to me about 10:00 AM “I know you’d said you’re on lockdown but…”. I had been looking at a sketchy weather outlook earlier, but sometime between my weather check and Jennifer’s text, the God of Clouds said, “Hold my beer…” and cleared the sky between Fresno and Sonoma where Dogma Duane insisted he had had vet staff waiting. A quick call to Ross Aviation—they waived the usual 2-hour prep requirement…”We’re all animal lovers…no problem!” and we were off for the short hop from Fresno to Madera.
I gingerly onboarded the pup up in Madera, and I’ll admit that I thought there was a good chance he wouldn’t survive the flight, but N1869 is the mama grizzly of light aircraft and insisted that she wouldn’t be the weak link in his survival. A word about N1869…she/he/it whatever is not much to look at but never complains about the funky smell of pilot or passengers, and if you ask nicely, will run like a Clydesdale in a Bud Light Super Bowl commercial. A little over an hour at 165 mph with the wind in her face and Sonoma tower cleared us to land in front of some experimental aircraft on final. I skidded to a stop, literally, at Sonoma Jet Center where Dogma’s team was waiting, at recommended social distances, of course. I braced myself when I opened the carrier…Hank was quiet the entire way…but he greeted me with a cheeky grin that said, “Ok, that was cool…” and the D-squared crew whisked him off for loving triage and repairs.
Based on my layman’s observation, Hank’s suffered serious trauma and his prospects are grim, but last night he was in a trash bag in a Madera dumpster and today, he’s on a warm, safe bed in wine country surrounded by a crack medical team…with a hundred or so women asking for regular updates on this four-legged Ferris Bueller. The trend, at least, is going his way, and the selfless response from the Village on Hank’s behalf provides welcome contrast to the moral depravity that triggered the effort. Meanwhile, somewhere, Colletto has penciled “165 mph with no lead time” by my name for transport options and the KF crew is rolling their eyes at all the kind “angel of the skies” comments in the half dozen “Save Hank” threads on Facebook.
Bottom line, everyone needs to think positive thoughts…Hank’s gonna need them…but know that when called upon in a time of extreme duress, the Village did what it was supposed to do.