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Michigan airport dog Piper dies after battle with cancer

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TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Michigan's most famous dog has passed away after a battle with cancer.

Piper, the Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport dog, passed away on Wednesday night after a long battle with prostate cancer.

Piper's main job at the airport was chasing birds, including geese, ducks and owls, off of the runways. He officially started working at the airport in January 2015.

A message posted the the airport Facebook page confirmed the news:


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 U.S. Coast Guard 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

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.