Photo YubaNet

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. April 11, 2018 – A small Cessna plane landed yesterday at the Nevada County Airport around noon, carrying a special passenger – Elliott. His entourage piled out of the plane and Elliott cautiously made his way onto the tarmac with cameras chronicling the event.

You see, Elliott is a Boxer and the flight from Southern California to Grass Valley was one more step toward a new lease on life for this very senior pup.

For The Love of Pets Vet‘s Office Manager Kim Furtado greeted Elliott and his humans as they exited the plane. The Veterinary Hospital was the next stop on a journey that began three weeks ago in LA. Elliott was picked up by City of Los Angeles Animal Services East Valley Shelter in Van Nuys on March 20th. His story made it onto the Pilots n’ Paws message board where a member described his situation as follows: “Elliot broke my heart when I saw his sweet gentle face and trusting eyes staring out at me at a high kill crowded shelter in Los Angeles. With his fawn eyes and light coloring I doubted he was a pure breed and so I figured Boxer rescue would not take—but I figured it would not hurt to send his photos to them. Well, guess what; Elliot is a pure breed and Boxers get that white when they age. Elliot has won the hearts of everyone at the shelter and he is still there, urgently needing out of the crowded shelter.”

Elliott’s flight crew: Kim Bemis, Kitty Saraceno (holding the dog) and pilot Derek Heikes. Photo: YubaNet

NorCal Boxer Rescue agreed to find foster parents and eventually a forever home for Elliott. They turned to For The Love of Pets vet for a medical assessment and any treatment needed. Pilots n’ Paws member Derek Heikes volunteered to fly Elliott from LA to Grass Valley in his plane. Heikes, a commercial airline pilot for 26 years, flies for JetBlue. A year ago, he got back into personal aircraft piloting specifically to fly rescue dogs for Pilots n Paws. Kim Bemis  and Kitty Saraceno accompanied Elliott on the flight.

Photo: YubaNet

Elliott was fitted with a special padded harness by Furtado and after one last group photo and many hugs he stretched his legs on the way to the waiting car. Probably more used to asphalt and concrete, he avoided the fresh grass, preferring to walk on the tarmac.

Furtado shared that the previous shelter diagnosed weakness in his hindquarters, walking slowly and delayed proprioception in the left hind. Despite feeding him loads to fatten him up he actually lost a couple of pounds while in the LA shelter. For the Love of Pets Vet is running bloodwork and urine tests to determine if there is a problem. She also confirmed his very sweet disposition and that a foster family has been found for Elliott.

Welcome to the neighborhood Elliott!