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US Piper the airport dog dies from cancer

01:16  05 january  2018
01:16  05 january  2018 Source:   cbsnews.com

Plane goes off the taxiway at Boston's Logan Airport

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RIP Piper , a heroic dog who kept airport runways safe. An AH-64 Apache is reflected in Piper ’s goggles at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Mich. The speedy border collie, who gained Internet fame for chasing critters off the runways, died of cancer this week.

RIP Piper , a heroic dog who kept airport runways safe. An AH-64 Apache is reflected in Piper ’s goggles at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Mich. The speedy border collie, who gained Internet fame for chasing critters off the runways, died of cancer this week. (Tessa Lighty/Traverse City

Piper on the runway as a Blue Angel taxi's by.: piper.png © CBS News piper.png

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -- Piper the airport dog, who went viral on social media last year for his work protecting planes from bird strikes in Michigan, has died. He was 9 years old. 

The Border Collie's partner, Brian Edwards, paid tribute to Piper on Instagram Wednesday, explaining his beloved four-legged friend succumbed to a year-long battle with prostate cancer. 

"It is with the ultimate sadness I must report the passing of my best friend and love of my life," Edwards wrote. "He fought valiantly, and we did everything we could, but sometimes life just has to take its course."

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An airport hired Piper to chase off animals from the runway. This K-9 has the right gear and the right attitude to protect the planes and people around him. USA TODAY.

Piper , the eight-year-old bordie collie who worked at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City has died after a year-long battle with prostate cancer .

Edwards' post included a photo of an American flag that was given to him by members of a Coast Guard unit that Piper once helped to protect. 

Friends, . It is with the ultimate sadness I must report the passing of my best friend and love of my life. . Piper passed away tonight peacefully in my arms after fighting a year-long battle with prostate cancer. He fought valiantly, and we did everything we could, but sometimes life just has to take its course. . Today, Piper enjoyed a pain-free day, filled with love from family and friends, mostly his fellow airport employees. He played soccer, got some much deserved butt scratches and yes, he chased away one last snowy owl as he sailed into the night. . As I hope was plainly evident, we are grateful. Grateful to have done what we loved for three years and had a whole hell of a lot of fun doing it. Mostly though, we're grateful for all of your support. It's what's really helped us through the dark days. . As we leave you tonight, know that Piper is in a better place. I only ask for your patience as I take time to tend to my shattered heart. . Lastly, as a final act of true class, the flag you see here flew today at @uscg Air Station Traverse City and was taken down, folded and presented to us and a token of their love. Please join me in thanking the men and women, past and present, of Air Station Traverse City for their awesomeness. Piper and I are forever in your debt. . With love, . Brian & Piper

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - - Piper the airport dog , who went viral on social media last year for his work The Border Collie's partner, Brian Edwards, paid tribute to Piper on Instagram Wednesday, explaining his beloved four-legged friend succumbed to a year-long battle with prostate cancer .

A dog that went viral for his style, and protecting planes from bird strikes has died . Matt Yurus reports.

A post shared by K-9 Piper (@airportk9) on Jan 3, 2018 at 6:09pm PST

"Please join me in thanking the men and women, past and present, of Air Station Traverse City for their awesomeness," he continued. "Piper and I are forever in your debt."

Piper became a viral sensation on social media for his sense of style while working on the airport's tarmac. For three years, he sported goggles and a uniform while protecting aircraft from birds and other wildlife. 

"I've been in a number of airports, they usually shotgun blanks," Coast Guard Pilot Lt. Commander Charlie Wilson told CBS News transportation correspondent Kris Van Cleave in 2016. "Birds get used to that, they know, hey, it's just a sound, nothing's going to happen, but when you deploy a dog that actually chases after them and they have that fight or flight instinct, they go running, and they remember that."  

Prior to his death, the wildlife control canine amassed more than 95,000 followers on Instagram. 

Watch: Piper the dog keeps airport runways safe

Panic as jet skids off Turkish runway .
The Pegasus Airlines plane plunges nose first down a cliff but passengers and crew escape unhurt.The Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800 with 162 passengers and crew had flown from Ankara and just landed at Trabzon on the Black Sea coast.

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