Piper the border collie is being called the coolest dog ever after a video is circulating showing him decked out in goggles and a safety vest while a helicopter roars behind him.
“He’s very well equipped. Obviously the specks are to protect his eyes. They are sunglasses first and foremost. The earmuffs obviously are for sound, when he’s close to aircraft. And the vest is so I can lift him up and do all sorts of cool things with him,” says Airport Operations Supervisor Brian Edwards.
Edwards works alongside Piper every day, holding down the fort at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Michigan.
Piper’s job is to run, keeping the runways clear and the aircraft safe by chasing all kinds of creatures out of the flight’s path.
“It’s the best thing in the world. I couldn’t imagine anything else now. I love it,” Edwards says. “He’s got a really great personality. He’s really well trained, loves people once he gets to know them.”
So far, Piper’s done a pretty good job.
“Number one is to increase safety. We’ve noticed a reduction in birds, primarily the snowy owl. That’s his favorite thing to chase in the whole wide world,” Edwards says.
And while Piper doesn’t receive an actual paycheck for his services, he gets rewarded in other ways.
“He gets treats. Having the job is rewarding for him because that’s what they’re bred to do. They need a job to keep their minds going,” Edwards says.
Edwards says he adopted Piper back in 2012. He turned out to be a perfect fit after a little practice.
“I knew he had that aptitude and we just needed to hone that,” Edwards says.