It's A Dog's Life!

Jet is a two year old Border collie who lives a life most dogs can only dream of. He has a large field of grass to amuse him, and a small squad of people to indulge him.

It's hard to believe, but Jet is a working dog -- the first dog to work at a commercial airport chasing birds. He may be the hardest worker at Southwest Florida International, CBS News Correspondent Richard Schlesinger reports.

"Jet is probably the most valuable tool that we've added to our bird control arsenal, but jet's a good buddy and a friend also," says Bobby Orrick, a WHAT.

Airplanes and birds don't mix well. About 2500 times every year, they collide. Most often birds get sucked into jet engines.

One bird in one airplane engine can put that plane out of commission for days. In fact, bird strikes have already cost millions of dollars. So what's fun and games for jet is serious business to the airline industry.

Airports have tried scaring birds with harmless blasts from cannons and blank shells from rifles. Some birds are too smart for all that. But they sit up and take notice of Jet.

"They don't know that if he gets to them he's not gonna eat them," says Jet's trainer, Nick Carter. "They re not gonna risk that. So theysee him coming and to them it s a wolf."

Carter has lots of dogs just like Jet at his Border Collie Rescue center in Melrose Florida. Says Carter: "They're driven, they're focused, they're obsessive-compulsive, they're neurotic. They're all kinds of just crazy things"

They may not be great pets, but they are great workers.

Dogs end up here when they re too tough to handle. All of them need new homes. And if Jet is as successful as they hope, it could be good news for dogs like Fly and Flight and Fleet and Mayday, who are all up for jobs at airports.

Says Carter: "It's another place we can place these dogs it's one of the best homes because the hardest thing is finding a job for these guys."

Jet is the kind of worker that pleases even the toughest airport executive. He looks good, works hard -- and he's low-maintenance.

  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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