As many of you know through our Facebook and Instagram presence that we lost Bo several months ago, about the time I finished my CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) certificate after almost 3 years of intense flight training. Laura and I had been working to rescue hounds years before Bo came into our lives but somehow this hound touched me like no other. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think of him and feel an overwhelming emptiness with no bottom, often eyes are wet. I try to think of all the good times and unconditional love Bo gave, but some days are harder than others. He was like no other dog I’d ever met. His last few years were definitely good ones but why did he have to go so soon and suddenly? It seems I have struggled in my post Bo world, I know it’s a circle of life and compared to humans we have so little time with our K9s, but I have been slow to move on.
About the same time that finishing my CFI Certificate freed up money to start saving for an airplane and time to devote to working on HoundPilot’s future, I was presented with an opportunity to put that certificate to work at the flight school where I trained. This is good news for several reasons:
1) They say that once you teach something the “real learning begins”; this is so true, I find myself studying more prior to lessons than my students! Every pilot knows that each certificate gained is simply a “license to learn” and that is true to a whole new level when trying to teach it.
2) It has provided a distraction form losing Bo and allowed me a way to channel my energies, that’s just how my brain works.
3) While teaching I’m not spending untold amounts to pay my tuition bills and am able to save that in the “Airplane Fund”. In addition to that my salary for teaching also goes into that fund. It’s still a painfully slow process but you never get there if you don’t start.
4) CFIs by regulation are able to log flight hours while instructing and while I do not presently need or have a plan that would require any certain amount of logged hours, it is nice to be building time for opportunities that might present themselves in years to come.
5) Being on the other side of the flight training business and so immersed in aviation is allowing me to meet many pilots and build networks that will surely be invaluable in the future and that are presently cherished.
6) I have gained so much knowledge about what aircraft would fit our mission and purpose and all that is involved in aircraft purchase.
7) My brain can only do so much while immersed in training. I became overcome, simply didn’t have the time or energy to conduct the research and all involved in moving forward with some of HoundPilot’s more aggressive future goals.
Laura and I in this period have continued to rescue hounds. We continued educating people about the breed and benefits of adoption, consulted fosters and adopters, and transported hounds from harms way by car and in many critical cases by airplane. Many of these efforts have been shared via our Instagram and Facebook presence; however, due to the reasons above I have been unable to get them on the HoundPilot.com webpage and blog. Producing videos and blog posts are time consuming projects that I simply couldn’t keep up with while training and working more than full time; Then after losing Bo I realized I had become fatigued. I thought finally with CFI training complete I’ll have all this time, but then learning to teach, I mean actually DOING IT, consumed me. Then suddenly Bo was gone and it felt as though I had been gut punched hourly.
Thankfully Laura has stood by my side with angle like unending patience and wisdom. I’m now feeling like I have at least a rudimentary handle on flight instructing and am able move on…. Find some balance in life that has been missing while devoting all to flight training and learning to instruct.
We have folders full of photos and raw video documenting some of our efforts over the past several months and I have hired Vincent and Voltage Photography to help me produce a few videos to catch the web page up and give all of you who have stuck with us a view of our work. It is my sincere intention to continue, in a regular manner, updating the webpage with videos and blog posts.
While our efforts to save hounds, educate people of their plight, and share hound rescue and aviation with young people has not slowed, I want to make sure I keep all our supporters informed. Your support in critical to our success now more than ever.
Please like our Facebook Page, Instagram, and especially our YouTube Channel (the number of “subscribers” greatly affect what we can do with it). All of these options are free to do and really go a long way towards making HoundPilot successful.
Also consider a tax deductible charitable donation to HoundPilot, a registered IRS charitable organization. In furtherance of our future we have secured accounting services, web presence, and other necessities. While we are committed to best practices and using a vast majority of funds raised to directly DO the mission, in order to do that we do have some minor operational costs.
For the HOUNDS
Bo the Black and Tan Coonhound gallery: