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Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Tale of Sir Flaperon

Submitted by Marcel Stieber

One of our previous blog posts hinted at a four-legged creature that was joining our team. I'm pleased to announce a new member of the Kpong Airfield family: Flaperon! Flaperon is our newly rescued Red Doberman dog that decided to adopt the airfield a few weeks ago. His name comes from the combined control surface on the CH701 aircraft wing and is also nicely descriptive of his flappy ears! We found him perchance in the water tower earlier this month; weak, dehydrated, and only a few hours from death on the rare day that our water went out. Over the past two weeks we've gently brought him back to life with lots of care and attention. He's been getting regular meals several times per day and is now barely showing his ribs anymore. He started as a bag of bones and skin and is now starting to look like a healthy little dog! We've had him on a course of antibiotics, dewormed him, bathed him, and brushed him frequently. Every day he looks a little stronger and becomes ever more sociable with the team. Flaperon is the calmest dog I've met with a demeanor more that of a cat. He loves getting stroked and brushed and has been following me around all day as I work about the airfield. In the evenings he follows me to turn off the generator and then back to lay on the sidewalk in front of my room. At lunchtime he comes and sits with the team at the tables, enjoying the company and the tasty aromas from the kitchen.

Flaperon is a funny dog and since he's a rescue, we're very weary of his past and any abuse he may have had from his previous owners. Up until the last few days he was not very approachable and would always lower his head and back away when you came to stroke him. He's already gained massive confidence and will answer to his name and come trotting up to you for a stroke with a big smile! He really has taken charge of the workshops and walks around with his supervisor hat on protecting and monitoring any activities at the airfield!

So for the time being, Flaperon has become our hanger dog and roams about during the day. He spends his nights with the aircraft and the tools and provides some good security for the area. He needs a bit if training to not go running to the windsock to do his business and stay behind the hangers during flying ops, but with a bit of time and patience, we'll surely see him as a seasoned veteran of the airfield. The only thing that he's missing is a doggie-sized hi-vis vest!

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