Pilots N Paws Helps Opie and Ollie Home by Robin Aspinwall


We recently lost our 12 year old deaf English Bulldog Wilbur. The loss of our sweet Wilbur was tremendous and we knew we wanted to adopt another deaf rescue pup as we had room in our hearts and home.  We also knew that our beloved Wilbur would want us to rescue another deaf dog just like him and give a new deafie a wonderful opportunity to have a great new life surrounded by a family who would cherish the pup and always keep it safe.

Photo above: Our sweet deaf English Bulldog Wilbur 

When my husband Bubba and I recently noticed a post from Tornado Alley English Bulldog Rescue about an 18 month old deaf English bully named Opie who had been an owner surrender. When we saw Opie’s photo, we immediately fell in love with him! He had to have tail pocket surgery before he was adopted, so in the meantime of waiting on his surgery, we saw another English Bulldog pup named Ollie posted available for adoption on the same website. The post said hearing dog Ollie would be given to an approved home of a past or current adopter for no charge because he is a senior and  he was surrendered with severe skin allergy issues. Since Bubba and I had a lot of experience with canine skin allergies, we also inquired about Ollie to see if he was available for adoption to our family. We came to find out, that Ollie was surrendered by different person than Opie but Opie and Ollie had become best buds in their foster home. Since they are a bonded pair, we wanted to adopt both of them together.  Looking back at the beginning of our adoption journey, it seemed like this particular adoption scenario was meant to be for our family. I am so lucky I have a wonderful husband who supported me in the decision to adopt two English Bulldog pups so a big shout out to my hubby Bubba for welcoming Opie and Ollie with open arms.


Photo above: Air Force pilot Lt. Col. Ron Johnson getting ready to board with Opie and Ollie. Ron went above and beyond to fly the both pups three hours from Oklahoma City to Birmingham Alabama, a huge shout out and thank you to him for his kind consideration and time. He totally rocked this special rescue transport! 


How to get two English Bulldogs Safely From Oklahoma to Georgia

When the time came to bring the pups home, we still had to figure out how to get Opie and Ollie from Oklahoma City, OK to Statesboro, Georgia. I have health issues making long drives very difficult for me so we had to figure out another way to get both pups home to us with the least amount of stress.  I decided to reach out to a friend and local pilot, Dr. Richard Marz to inquire about his volunteering with Pilots N Paws. Dr. Marz is a local dentist and in his spare time he has rescued and flown over 80 pups into the safe arms of rescue through the Pilots N Paws program.

Dr. Marz immediately got back to me and said that he would handle the transport leg closest to us which was Birmingham AL to Statesboro, GA. , Since Opie and Ollie’s foster home was apprehensive of adopting both dogs to a person without meeting me first,  Dr. Marz said I could fly along with him!

We posted to Pilots N Paws and I found out there was one pilot Lt. Col. Ron Johnson that had flown for Tornado Alley Rescue who lived locally, he was also a former adopter from Tornado Alley Rescue and he has a huge love for English Bulldogs. I called Richard to see if he could help us get Opie and Ollie from Oklahoma City to Birmingham AL and he enthusiastically accepted the challenge.  On the day of Opie and Ollie’s transport, pilot Maj. Ron Johnson went above and beyond to fly both pups three hours to Birmingham Alabama, where Dr. Richard Marz and I picked them up and flew them home to Statesboro, GA. I had looked forward to the moment when I could squeeze their squishy cheeks and I almost died with excitement when I finally got to sit in the back seat of the airplane on our way home just to smooch with Opie and Ollie.

Photo above: Robin and Dr. Richard Marz getting ready to take off and fly from Stateboro, GA to Birmingham, Alabama to meet with Pilot Ronald Johnson and Opie and Ollie. 



Photo above: Robin and Richard getting ready to take off with Opie and Ollie to fly to Statesboro, GA 


Photo above: Robin getting snuggles in flight in the back seat of the airplane with her new dogs Opie and Ollie. 


The Rescue was such a wonderful organization to work with by educating me on both Opie and Ollies needs. Stevie Easter and Hilary Engel from Tornado Alley were on the phone with me multiple times a week so we could talk about Opie and Ollie’s care, medicine, and positive reinforcement training. They were extremely helpful through the whole process, and did so much work to make sure both pups were going to a loving forever home!

Photo above: Our kids meeting us at the airport to meet their new rescue pups Opie and Ollie


Photo above: Opie and Ollie enjoying their new home with their new family


My family is so thankful for everyone involved in helping us get Opie and Ollie from Oklahoma City, OK to Statesboro, GA. I also know that our sweet Wilbur is looking down on us and smiling because we saved another deaf English Bulldog and his best friend. Our hearts and home are so full of love. ~ Robin Aspinwall