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Pilot flies terminal shelter dog 400 miles to spend her last days with a loving family

Antonia 04/10/2021

Unfortunately, not all pets in shelters have a happy ending. Ashlyn, an adorable senior dog who has been living at a shelter in North Carolina for a couple of months, was recently diagnosed with cancer.

The poor four-footer only had a couple of more days to live, but a pilot made sure that her final days were filled with love.

It all started when Ashlyn felt a bit down one day, and it quickly became obvious that she suffered from an illness. Veterinarians diagnosed her with cancer, and there were even numerous tumors underneath the skin.

At one point, poor Ashlyn didn’t even have the energy anymore to run or play.

However, the staff at the New England Humane Society wanted to make sure that Ashlyn’s final days would be worth it. Doctors gave her just a couple of more weeks before she would pass away, so everyone decided to make to most of it.

The shelter staff found a perfect home for Ashlyn, but there was only one problem: her new family was located more than 400 miles away.

The shelter had no means of getting her there relatively quickly, as the pup also didn’t really have much longer to live either. However, there is one man who stepped in in a miraculous way.

Paul Steklkenski is the owner of Flying Fur Animal Rescue and a trained pilot, and he promised to get Ashlyn there quickly.

The plane trip itself was already a highlight for the adorable four-footer.

Paul shared a couple of pictures of himself and his companion in the air and it’s just absolutely adorable and awesome to see. You can clearly tell that Ashlyn is enjoying herself in the air, even though it did take a few minutes to get used to. Whenever the pup did feel a bit uncomfortable in the air, Paul treated her with dog biscuits.

“She started off a little bit distant,” the pilot said to The Dodo. “Then she would kind open up a bit, and she got closer.”

“Then she gave me one paw and then the other,” he recalls. “

Then she laid her head on my lap. To me, that’s huge. That’s all that matters. That’s the reward in itself.”

The pilot even became emotional during the trip, seeing how this pup was so much happier than she’s been in recent weeks.

Paul always had a passion for flying and for pets as well, so he figured a couple of years ago that we would try to combine those two passions. He founded Flying Fur Rescue and has been taking animals from point A to point B ever since.

“I never would have imagined finding something so satisfying, so rewarding, that it would eclipse most all

else of my time on this Earth,” the pilot concluded.

As soon as Ashlyn met her new family, you could see that her smile started coming back.

Ashlyn was picked up by Tracy Lancer, a loving and kind woman who would make sure that the pup would receive plenty of attention and tender loving care. Nonetheless, Tracy was absolutely shocked to see the condition Ashlyn was in.

“When I picked her up from the airport, her condition destroyed me,” Tracy recalls. “She was down to 39 pounds — her ideal weight is between 65 and 70. She came to me with a sweater on — when I took it off, I could see every rib.”

Tracy got Ashlyn’s weight back to normal, and she also made sure that Ashlyn received the best medical care possible.

“She’s getting around more,” Tracy added. “She’s a great eater … and she’s very attached to me.”

Tracy’s other pup Angel also welcomed her with open arms.

“He’ll go up to Ashlyn and just start licking her,” the woman said about Angel. “He thinks he can heal everybody with his tongue.”

Even though Ashlyn only had a couple of weeks left to live, she is still going strong right now.

In fact, you’d say that she is a completely different pup now! She’s been doing better physically and mentally as well. Ashlyn is back to being a pup full of energy again.

“She knows she’s loved,” Tracy said. “Whatever happens she knows she’s loved.”

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