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Goodyear Pilot Reunites Dog with Valley Owner

Heidi may have been dog gone tired, but that didn’t leash her excitement at seeing her owner at Phoenix Goodyear Airport recently. The 13-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer was wagging her tail and smiling from head to paws after a five-month absence and a journey from Pennsylvania that required six-legs for a four-legged animal. She was reunited with her Black Canyon City owner (see photo above right) courtesy of a Goodyear Airport tenant and pilot, Bill Rademacher. Rademacher is a member of Pilots N’ Paws, a volunteer group dedicated to reuniting pets and owners. Since all the members donate their time, fuel and planes to reunite dog owners with their lost pets, the organization schedules as many pilots as possible to lessen the costs and burden of such trips. Rademacher flew the final leg of the trip from Liberal, Kan., after sleeping with the pooch at a hotel the night before.

“Heidi was a great traveler,” says Rademacher. “She jumped right in the plane and laid on her bed in the back.”

Heidi’s owner, Jim Chryst of Black Canyon City, thought he didn’t have a dog’s chance at seeing the German Shorthaired Pointer again. It seems Chryst was walking with Heidi when the dog took off to chase a rabbit. Just like that, Heidi, disappeared and Chryst’s heart sank. A passerby found her near Interstate 17 and wound up taking her home to Pennsylvania. Things didn’t work out with the other animals in that home, so Heidi was taken to a rescue group, which checked her microchip and discovered she belonged in Arizona. When Rademacher, a police officer in Avondale, got word from Pilots N Paws about possibly helping with the reunion, he didn’t hesitate to get involved in these dog days of summer. He revved up his Cessna Cardinal 177 RG aircraft (see photo above) at Phoenix Goodyear Airport, where he’s been a tenant since 2005.

“This is my third reunion with an owner,” says Rademacher, the proud dog owner himself of a 10-year-old yellow Labrador named Bo. “It’s really very special every time.”

Phoenix Goodyear Airport staff and several members of the Phoenix media were on hand at the west Valley airport to witness the reunion. (See photo above.)

“It was very nice to see people helping people,” says Dana Coast, an aviation supervisor at Goodyear. “Mr. Chryst was very appreciative of all the work that went into the rescue.”

And with that, it’s safe to say that Heidi went home and took a nice, uninterrupted nap.


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