Everywhere that Craig Smith, a helicopter pilot and reporter, went, Molly followed. Molly was his West Highland terrier. She would follow Smith to music practice, the dentist, and even ride with him in the chopper. She would wear her custom-made headphones and either sit in his lap or snooze in the back seat. She was known as “The Flying Dog.”
Last week, Smith’s helicopter collided with another local news helicopter while covering a car chase in Phoenix. The crash left Smith and three other journalists dead. Molly usually flew with Smith, but that day was different. She stayed back that day. There was such a rush to cover the breaking news that Smith left Molly waiting at the hangar while he flew out.
On Thursday, Molly was at her owner’s funeral just like any other family member. Molly will be moving to Michigan where Smith’s parents will be taking care of the dog. Smith’s father says that Molly has “been moping around, not eating, acting depressed. She knows something is wrong.”
Smith bought Molly from a friend three years ago, and from that point, they were inseparable. Everyday, viewers of KNXV-TV would watch Smith and his high flying dog, Molly. Smith called Molly his companion, buddy, and his “cantankerous Westie”.
Smith had hired a Russian dog wizard, Vlade Roytapel, to train Molly. He was able to get the Westie used to being strapped into the helicopter. Roytapel told Smith to use a special treat, American cheese or Polish or Russian calbasa, to reward Molly for riding in the helicopter.
Take care Molly and know that your co-pilot and owner is watching over you.