This is one lucky dog. When rescuers met Shadow, the abandoned pup was just 22 hours away from being put to sleep.
And now, he’s flying an airplane. For real. Really!
Shadow is a finalist on “Dogs Might Fly,” a U.K. reality show that rescues stray dogs and teaches them new tricks, with the goal of eventually training one to successfully pilot a plane.
(Dogs have proven they can drive cars, so why not?)
The show looked for dogs “willing to go the extra mile, to problem-solve and to investigate how to work something out for themselves. That’s the kind of dog you want flying a plane,” trainer Victoria Stilwell told The Guardian.
Shadow and two other dogs made it to the show’s final stage, airing April 3, in which they’ll be tested on how successfully they learned to fly — or at least follow the instructions to do so through a system of treat-based commands. Watch Shadow work in the preview clip above.
Human pilots have always taken bold action to help their canines passengers when they can, but this takes things to a whole new altitude. With thousands of stray dogs in need of homes, we hope Shadow’s flight will inspire travelers to adopt furry “co-pilots” of their own. Clearly, there are a lot of shelter pups with unlimited potential.