Traverse City is a nice little metropolis in Northern Michigan, right on Grand Traverse Bay. In addition to producing an enormous harvest of tart cherries, the region has a number of natural attractions, and is a popular summertime tourist destination. If you fly in to Traverse City, you’ll arrive at tiny Cherry Capital Airport, which processes an average of just 1200 passengers each day. Last year, I was one of those passengers, but I missed my chance to see the airport’s star attraction: Piper.
Piper is the airport’s resident K-9, a Border Collie tasked with wildlife control. In short, that means keeping the runways and airspace clear of birds. In addition to scaring birds off when they land, Piper also detects small mammals so they can be removed. This prevents larger birds of prey from circling in the nearby airspace. Piper gets geared up with Rex Specs dog goggles, Mutt Muffs earmuffs, and even an aerial insertion vest. He’s pretty goddamned bad-ass.
He even wears Vibrams!
If you want to be endlessly amused by more pictures, visit Piper’s website to learn more about this ridiculous, awesome dog.
Previously in Border Collies: Border Collies Love Busywork