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    Flying With Man’s Best Friend


    [Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz once said, [All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog]. For me there is a simple truth in that statement. I have many failings and weaknesses that I am continually trying to learn from. Some I am just learning to accept, new ones get pointed out daily by others. That is just me. But I have the privilege of owning and caring for a dog.

    Spending time with most dogs you will probably find they want nothing more than to be close to you and be at your side as you experience the world. Food, water and loving attention is all you need to provide to win a dog’s heart. It is a simple price. But the admission into their hearts is worth more than their weight in gold.

    Dan McManus is a professional paragliding and hang gliding instructor in Utah. He has been flying for about 37 years and he can be found most days catching the breeze at the flight park on a mountain ridge at the south end of the Salt Lake valley. However, in recent years he has also been joined on many flights by his service dog Shadow. McManus suffers from a general anxiety disorder but manages to keep many of the symptoms in check with the constant companionship of his Australian cattle dog. While flying in itself has been a calming pursuit he soon found out that his service dog never wanted to be away from him (a bit of separation anxiety for Shadow).

    McManus said he would often come home from flying to find that Shadow had scratched up the doors and floors while he was away. At the flight park Shadow could run but was often times on the ground chasing him from below as he made his flights. Shadow has even been to known to try to hold onto McManus’ boots with his teeth in order to get in the air. [It felt like he wanted to keep me safe].

    As a dog owner I can completely understand that. My Australian cattle dog mix, Chica, has been known to stand guard at the base of the cliff and keep people away from my belay partner or the rock itself as I rock climb. When I am on the ground, people are free to come and go as they please. But the moment I start climbing she is on watch.

    With Shadow wanting nothing more than to be with him, about nine years ago McManus had a specialty harness made from the skin of a durable duffle bag and the two have been flying together since. Incidentally, Shadow was originally named Bandit but the name was quickly changed after it became apparent he did want to leave McManus’ side. Seeing the two fly together can easily be described as therapy for them both. McManus said the experience [resonated] with the two of them, [you just don’t get bored. There are so many aspects to it].

    Dogs seem to know just what we need at times. Before Chica, I had the privilege of raising Gizmo, an Australian Shepherd, for about 10 years before he passed away due to illness. And just like Shadow is there for McManus, Gizmo knew when I needed him most and was always at my side. To me it makes perfect sense for Shadow to be strapped in under the wing. The two genuinely looked happy for each other as they made laps over a mountain ridge. Upon landing McManus was showered with affection and kisses from Shadow. The two are sharing in an experience that would be unique on its own, but is made more special by the bond they have together. [This is home. He would rather be here than anywhere else. This is his freedom], McManus said]. – Jim Urquhart via Reuters


    Dan McManus prepares his hang glider as his service dog Shadow waits to fly outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


    Dan McManus prepares his hang glider as his service dog Shadow waits to fly outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




    Dan McManus secures the harness for his service dog Shadow before they hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


    Dan McManus secures the harness for his service dog Shadow before they hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




    Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


    Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




    Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


    Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




    Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


    Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




    Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


    Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




    Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. McManus suffers from anxiety and Shadow's presence and companionship help him to manage the symptoms. The two have been flying together for about nine years with a specially made harness for Shadow. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


    Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. McManus suffers from anxiety and Shadow's presence and companionship help him to manage the symptoms. The two have been flying together for about nine years with a specially made harness for Shadow. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




    Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


    Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




    Dan McManus gets a kiss from his service dog Shadow after they flew in a hang glider together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


    Dan McManus gets a kiss from his service dog Shadow after they flew in a hang glider together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


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Flying With Man’s Best Friend


[Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz once said, [All his life he tried to be a good person. Many times, however, he failed. For after all, he was only human. He wasn’t a dog]. For me there is a simple truth in that statement. I have many failings and weaknesses that I am continually trying to learn from. Some I am just learning to accept, new ones get pointed out daily by others. That is just me. But I have the privilege of owning and caring for a dog.

Spending time with most dogs you will probably find they want nothing more than to be close to you and be at your side as you experience the world. Food, water and loving attention is all you need to provide to win a dog’s heart. It is a simple price. But the admission into their hearts is worth more than their weight in gold.

Dan McManus is a professional paragliding and hang gliding instructor in Utah. He has been flying for about 37 years and he can be found most days catching the breeze at the flight park on a mountain ridge at the south end of the Salt Lake valley. However, in recent years he has also been joined on many flights by his service dog Shadow. McManus suffers from a general anxiety disorder but manages to keep many of the symptoms in check with the constant companionship of his Australian cattle dog. While flying in itself has been a calming pursuit he soon found out that his service dog never wanted to be away from him (a bit of separation anxiety for Shadow).

McManus said he would often come home from flying to find that Shadow had scratched up the doors and floors while he was away. At the flight park Shadow could run but was often times on the ground chasing him from below as he made his flights. Shadow has even been to known to try to hold onto McManus’ boots with his teeth in order to get in the air. [It felt like he wanted to keep me safe].

As a dog owner I can completely understand that. My Australian cattle dog mix, Chica, has been known to stand guard at the base of the cliff and keep people away from my belay partner or the rock itself as I rock climb. When I am on the ground, people are free to come and go as they please. But the moment I start climbing she is on watch.

With Shadow wanting nothing more than to be with him, about nine years ago McManus had a specialty harness made from the skin of a durable duffle bag and the two have been flying together since. Incidentally, Shadow was originally named Bandit but the name was quickly changed after it became apparent he did want to leave McManus’ side. Seeing the two fly together can easily be described as therapy for them both. McManus said the experience [resonated] with the two of them, [you just don’t get bored. There are so many aspects to it].

Dogs seem to know just what we need at times. Before Chica, I had the privilege of raising Gizmo, an Australian Shepherd, for about 10 years before he passed away due to illness. And just like Shadow is there for McManus, Gizmo knew when I needed him most and was always at my side. To me it makes perfect sense for Shadow to be strapped in under the wing. The two genuinely looked happy for each other as they made laps over a mountain ridge. Upon landing McManus was showered with affection and kisses from Shadow. The two are sharing in an experience that would be unique on its own, but is made more special by the bond they have together. [This is home. He would rather be here than anywhere else. This is his freedom], McManus said]. – Jim Urquhart via Reuters


Dan McManus prepares his hang glider as his service dog Shadow waits to fly outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


Dan McManus prepares his hang glider as his service dog Shadow waits to fly outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




Dan McManus secures the harness for his service dog Shadow before they hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


Dan McManus secures the harness for his service dog Shadow before they hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. McManus suffers from anxiety and Shadow's presence and companionship help him to manage the symptoms. The two have been flying together for about nine years with a specially made harness for Shadow. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. McManus suffers from anxiety and Shadow's presence and companionship help him to manage the symptoms. The two have been flying together for about nine years with a specially made harness for Shadow. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


Dan McManus and his service dog Shadow hang glide together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)




Dan McManus gets a kiss from his service dog Shadow after they flew in a hang glider together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


Dan McManus gets a kiss from his service dog Shadow after they flew in a hang glider together outside Salt Lake City, Utah, July 22, 2013. (Photo by Jim Urquhart/Reuters)


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Bold Italic Underline Strike | Align left Center Align right | Insert smilies Select color | Add Hidden Text Insert Quote Convert selected text from selection to Cyrillic (Russian) alphabet Insert spoiler

It is forbidden to use not normative lexicon, insult other users of the site, active links to other sites, advertising in the comments..