By Scottie McGowan, International Rescue Coordinator


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Sian (pronounced she-ann) was living on a dog meat farm. Orioness (now Brulee) was a street dog abused by villagers. Little did they know that their lives were about to change. They were rescued, bathed, vetted, and then escorted by two flight volunteers from Inchon, Seoul, Korea to LAX. They flew in the belly of a big Airbus for almost eleven hours confined in crates, but once they landed on American soil, they began living a Golden life. They were now RAGofAZ girls.

We are blessed to have two flying angels of mercy. Lindsey King is a long time RAGofAZ volunteer as well as a pilot. Her employer, Mike Smith, is also a pilot and owns a private jet. Together they donated their flying time and expenses to significantly decrease the girls' travel time to their final destinations. Mary Liz Freund from the Transport Team accompanied us to assist with transport.

Our exciting journey began at an exclusive, private airport in Scottsdale where we boarded Mike's luxurious jet and flew to the airport in Burbank. Mike stayed with the jet while Lindsey, Mary Liz, and I used a rental car to go to LAX to retrieve the two girls. They were a little shy at first but quickly warmed up to us; they were so happy to be released from the confines of their airline crates and given an opportunity to potty and stretch their legs after their long journey.

We applied the RAGofAZ leash, tag, and collar sets to make them official. I had the honor of having two dogs cavorting all over me and getting puppy kisses in the back seat on the ride back to Burbank. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it. The rest of their trip was bound to be much more comfortable.

Upon returning to the jet, Mike and the girls got well acquainted before boarding for the return trip to Arizona. Mike and Lindsey gently lifted the girls into the jet and allowed time for them to adjust to new surroundings. When we were airborne, the two girls walked back and forth in the aisle to schmooze Mike and Lindsey in the cockpit and Mary Liz and me in the cabin. They were relaxed and trusting and thrived on the attention.

Bob Schillaci greeted us in Scottsdale to pick up Sian and escort her to a foster home. I delivered Brulee to her forever home and adoring family before returning to Tucson. Because of a ten hour decrease in travel time in a car, the girls quickly recovered from their arduous journey and showed no signs of stress.

The round trip to LAX was two short hours of flying time versus two long days of driving time for dogs and transporters. Many thanks and tail wags to Mike and Lindsey for their generosity, Golden hearts, dedication to rescue, and this thrilling transport experience, to Mary Liz for her expertise and loving interactions and assistance with the girls, and to Bob for being Sian’s chauffeur to her foster home.


Brulee has adjusted well to her new home, family, and living in a different time zone; Korea is 16 hours ahead of Arizona. Her family reports that she loves being brushed and fed good food on a regular schedule, something she didn’t have in her past life.

Sian is in a new foster home while she undergoes Heartworm treatment. She has the company of two other Golden girls, but she will have to have a sedentary lifestyle while receiving treatment.


Sian Orioness jet


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