Saturday, August 3, 2013

Challenge Air

Challenge Air is a national organization that provides Flight for children with disabilities. The idea is that the children get to learn about flying at "flight school" with their parents, and then each family is assigned a volunteer pilot and private aircraft to take Flight and enjoy the view from the air for about 30 minutes.
We live in a gorgeous part of the country that combine water and mountains ~ simply gorgeous. I have never heard of a person living here, or visiting here, that say our area is ugly. It isn't. It is opposite with breathtaking views. Lucky families and kiddos who are so deserving of this very special and unique experience.
Our buddie's buddy, Helaine
In addition to this highlight of the day, there are many booths and activities for the families to enjoy while they are waiting for their flight assignment throughout the day. One of the booths was our Chapter of volunteers for Canine Companions. We had a fabulous day!! (side note to upcoming photos: Tillman (yellow) is a wonderful mentor to all the puppies. He was headed to an August Turn-In but was released just before this event for medical reasons. As you can see, he is rock-solid! His future has been determined by his Puppy Raiser (his now Forever Person) as a Therapy Dog ~ a perfect match and a great reason why Tillman is staying home. Yay!)
Kolby was still sporting his stitches, but I only saw one girl who noticed. He was pretty discreet at hiding them with his awesome Down during most of the visitors to his blanketed area. We walked Kolby around the interior of the hanger we were in, and we took strolls outside in the sunshine during Hurry breaks, and then we also got to have an up close and personal with a Hot Air Balloon, and a Sit in one of the aircrafts used during the event.
The puppies also got to meet Clowns (this was a first for Kolby). Ahhem, all the puppies did awesome with the Clowns, it was the Puppy Raisers that were having more difficulty. Haha - that was fun. I almost had to Treat my dear friend for holding her emotions together - she was literally fighting back the need to flee. Good Job, Nameless Buddy!!
My partners in this long day were my two kiddos who are so fun to pal around with and have help raise Kolby. They have no fear in training, and know just what to do in different situations. I am so proud of them. I am so happy I am not the only one training this bundle of happy.
Kolby was awesome and I am so glad he was able to have the many experiences that this one day provided. It especially came at good timing after a long wait in recovery from his extended surgery. Happy to know that he can slip back into work-mode as if he'd never had a vacation. (sidenote to photo: I love how Kolby was chilling out observing this newest 9 week old puppy - Jepson. Jepson came over to visit with Kolby, and while any 9-week old puppy would mouth and lick another puppy, Kolby held it together and was so gentle and didn't lick back. It was so fun to watch!). 
If Challenge Air comes to your town - I encourage you to get your Service Dog Organization involved. We had so much fun!!


  1. The Kansas City Chapter always attends the Challenge Air! It's a great way to spread the word. We are driving down with PJ in September.

  2. Oh great ~ have fun!!! I look forward to PJ's post about Challenge Air. =)

  3. Thanks for leaving my...*ahem*...I mean, your nameless buddie's name out of it. I'm sure she would have been embarassed if everyone knew her 6 month old puppy could hold it together around clowns, but she couldn't. ;)

  4. Always thinking of you, my Friend. HA!! You have such a great attitude and sense of humor, you know I am only playing with you because you are The Best!!!

  5. What a great event. We are looking forward to the KC Challenge Air in September. And cuddling with PJ for a bit! :D