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High-Spirited Dog Causes A Stir In Toronto Airport, Disrupts Flights For 12 Hours

Appreciation continues to go to workers at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport for their bravery skills. 

Last week, a vivacious filled dog managed to flee from a plane and he ran around the runway for at least half the day.

How did it happen?

The dog, a white podenco named Crystal was aboard a British Airways flight, traveling to Canada with members of a Novia Scotia based rescue organization. This agency help to arrange adoptions between Spanish Podencos and residents of Atlantic Canada.

Crystal alongside three other podencos were on the plane scheduled be on a transfer flight to Halifax upon landing in the Toronto airport.

On touching down, the three others descended from their cargo in Toronto for their transfer flight, however, Crystal was missing.

Searches around revealed her cage wasn’t closed properly. It was then they discovered she was the one running around the landing area, frightening people in the dark.

Podencos are energetic dogs and are regarded for their pacy ability and enormous strength. Those who breed them also regard them for an ability they call “profound awareness” of their vicinity and sensitivity to humans.

“They are agile to the point they have been known to climb trees in pursuit of prey and can jump great heights from a stand,” reads the website of another non-profit group dedicated to saving Podencos from abuse and neglect in Spain, where they’re most often used to hunt rabbits.

“A secure yard with 6′ fence is required for this breed.”

Knowing this, the Airport crew knew they weren’t dealing with any kind of dog who might tire soon.

Thankfully, the airport took some precautions to handle the delicate situation. Pearson terminated all flights, brought in extra staff and made use of night-vision-equippped CCTV cameras to discover the hound.

“Make no mistake this was a very serious situation, a loose dog on the runways and Toronto is a big busy international airport,” wrote Beverly Farmer of Podenco Friends in a lengthy Facebook post describing the ordeal and thanking Pearson staff for their help.

“On two occasions Crystal was actually on the runway as a plane was coming into land. Luckily, the pilots did see her and they had to abort the landing and over shoot,” Farmer continued.

“This could have ended so badly; She could have got sucked into an engine which could have exploded and then a terrible accident. Planes and passengers were at risk. The airport closed the runways down, cancelled flights, it was (a) major incident.”

It ended well for sure with Crystal. The dog has now been united with her new family in Moncton, New Brunswick.

Farmer was thankful to the entire crew at Pearson for displaying extraordinary care and professionalism but pointed out the work of Keith Everett, an experienced falconer who she said was extraordinary in the capture of Crystal. Describing him as one who scares away “nuisance birds” off the runway.

“Boy, could she run,” said Everett to CBC Nova Scotia of Crystal, whom he chased up and down the runway for hours trying to lure.

Eventually, Crystal depleted in energy and slid under a truck to rest. Everett stooped down under the truck petting her with loving words and Crystal’s favorite meals, Everett was able to take her away from the premises of the runway.

“The airport should very proud how their team handled all of this,” said Farmer on Facebook. “They were totally professional, very caring and went above and beyond to bring this to a successful conclusion.”

“The Podencos have gained many more friends and, throughout all of this, the dogs remained calm and impressed so many people, for they were so friendly and well behaved,” she continued.

“Crystal… typical Podenco, [was] like ‘what is all the fuss is about?’,” wrote Farmer of the dog’s response to her rescue. “‘Someone get me a cheese burger.'”

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