Two Friends and a Dog
Earth Angel Carin Powers, passenger Roulini P. and Mr. Monty-Woofers. Monty is a two ½ year old shepard-lab mix. He’s wearing a ‘thunder coat vest’ because he used to be quite anxious and these vests are helpful for this…he no longer needs it.
They say dog is ‘human’s’ best friend, and that is very true for one such dog connected to two friends unlikely to have met if it weren’t for Angel Flight West.
Earth Angel Carin Powers loves volunteering to drive patients to or from an Angel Flight West mission. Carin had been looking for volunteer opportunities when a friend and AFW Command Pilot Herve Goguely told Carin that he thought she would like the role of an AFW Earth Angel. At first, she was skeptical that just “driving someone wouldn’t be that helpful.” She soon found though, not only is it helpful, but being an Earth Angel often means much more to both the patients and to herself than she ever imagined.
Her first Earth Angel mission was for Roulini P. who was dealing with a rare syndrome with a long medical name. It is basically a syndrome that occurs when the small intestine is compressed between two arteries preventing food from moving into the intestines. Rapid weight loss can occur along with vomiting, pain and other symptoms. For seven years since Roulini was 17-years-old, her Angel Flights have taken her from Madera, CA to Stanford Hospital two-to-three times a month for surgeries and follow-up care; and recently every week.
Over time, they began to share personal stories as Carin requested to drive Roulini whenever she needed a flight. Soon, Carin, Roulini and Roulini’s mother Kiva became close friends. One day, Roulini admitted that she had to give up her dog because she was becoming too sick to care for him, and asked Carin if she knew anyone who could take him until she got better. As it happened, Carin had lost her own dog and had “just started thinking about getting another one.” You’d think the story ends there. Yes, Carin did adopt Monty. (“His name was Woofers when Roulini asked me to adopt him. I call him Monty after Le Mont Blanc.”)
However, thanks to the bond Carin and Roulini have made through their time spent driving together to and from her mission flights, Roulini is able to continue to see Monty. Often between appointments she and Kiva come to visit him at Carin’s house. And Carin always takes him with her when she drives Roulini. “When we are together we call him Mr. Monty-Woofers!”
Carin has found that just driving someone “does make a difference.” She acknowledges “how grateful people are for my help and it makes me see life so differently.” And to be sure, Mr. Monty-Woofers is a lucky dog to be the best friend to two human’s who have also become friends because of the work of Angel Flight West.