When you hear the term "K-9" you probably think of dogs working with police to protect and serve their communities. But for K-9 Piper, his work was at the airport.
If you were ever lucky enough to travel through the Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan, you might have been able to catch a glimpse of this beloved pup. But if not, chances are you might have been one of the million-plus followers keeping tabs on the pooch across his social media accounts. Piper began his on-the-job training at the airport back in 2015 with his partner Brian Edwards by his side for all three years of service.
This pooch's job was to make sure wildlife was chased off of the runways to keep passengers and animals safe.
The need for a K-9 position was so dire at this airport that the Federal Aviation Administration required it have a special Wildlife Hazard Management Plan.
Piper was part of an integral team!
But when the dedicated pup wasn't patrolling the runways with Edwards, the pair could be found making a name for themselves on Instagram. Since their first day working together, Piper and Edwards shared their antics on the photo app for the whole world to see.
However, a shocking Instagram update from Edwards on January 3rd broke the news that his best friend had lost his battle with cancer, devastating fans all over the country and world.
For much of his last year on the job, Piper had suffered from a severe form of prostate cancer. “He fought valiantly, and we did everything we could, but sometimes life just has to take its course,” Edwards wrote on Instagram.
Following Piper's death, the Air Station in Traverse City presented Edwards with the American flag that had been flying that day, as a token of their love and support for both the dog and his best human buddy.
(via Airport K-9)