Memphis-bound puppy stalls airplane traffic

(WMC-TV) - She was supposed to be heading to Memphis, but instead, one dog made headlines when she escaped from her crate and stalled air traffic at New York's LaGuardia Airport. Now her owner says the puppy might be the luckiest dog in the world.

She escaped from her crate on the runway at New York's LaGuardia Airport on her way back home in Memphis.

Her name is Byrdie and with a name like that you might assume that she likes to fly, but Wednesday her daring dash on a Delta runway caused quite a delay.

The 14-month-old Rhodesian Ridgeback was having an ordinary trip from New York to Memphis until she decided to make a run for it.

"They came and got me off the plane and said 'Your dog has gotten loose and we can't catch her,'" said Austin Varner, Byrdie's owner.

Varrner, a Memphis native who now works as an interior designer in New York, was comfortably seated on her Delta flight when police boarded the plane.

"Port Authority police, in conjunction with Delta Airlines, went aboard the aircraft, were able to identify the owner and get her into a Port Authority operations vehicle," said Thomas Bosco, the airport's manager.

"I was pretty upset and terrified, but you know, we got her pretty quickly," said Varner. "So there wasn't much time to panic or anything."

It was the fifth flight that Byrdie and Varner had taken together. The other flights went off without a hitch.

"Once we got her back in the crate she was fine and when we got her out of her crate she was fine," Varner said. "She was unfazed. She went about her business right after the flight."

But, the flight was likely Byrdie's last.

"I cannot see myself putting her on a plane anytime soon," Varner said. "We will definitely be driving back to New York."

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.