Norwegian Army Dog Gets 2nd Taste of Freedom at Dulles

Dog makes second escape

By Tracee Wilkins
|  Thursday, Apr 22, 2010  |  Updated 4:22 PM EDT
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Norwegian Army Dog Gets 2nd Taste of Freedom at Dulles

Gunn Anita Fossli

Qondor and Gunn Anita Fossli

One escape to freedom apparently wasn't enough for a Norwegian Army patrol dog at Dulles International Airport.

After escaping Wednesday night and then being caught Thursday afternoon, Qondor the dog escaped a second time about an hour later, just as officials were putting him on an airplane back to Norway.

The dog spent a few brief moments running around the more than 12,000 acres of ground at Dulles before crews corralled him again.

The story of Qondor, a 21-month-old Doberman, began last night. 

The dog, a specialist in the Norwegian Army who focuses on patrols and is being trained in explosives detection, and his handler, Captain Gunn Anita Fossli, flew into Dulles last Wednesday for a dog training course in northern Virginia.

Their original flight back to Norway was canceled because of the volcano in Iceland. On Wednesday night they were offered a flight on Iberia Airlines.  But the dog somehow escaped from his crate at about 10 p.m.

Airport officials drove Fossli around to the places Qondor was spotted Wednesday night, but "they weren't willing to do more than that," Fossli said of Dulles officials. "It was dark and the fog was coming."

"I don't really understand why he was able to escape," Fossli said. "His crate is OK. I'm really very worried about what will happen if I can't find him now."

There was a glimmer of hope Thursday morning. Fossli and airport officials drove around the southern end of the airport and spotted Qondor. They weren't able to catch him, however.

But at about 3 p.m. Thursday, Qondor was finally found.  The dog and Fossli were reunited, and they quickly scheduled a flight back to Norway at 5:15 p.m. -- presumably before Qondor could get into any more mischief.

Too late.  Qondor apparently broke free yet again while he was being loaded onto the plane.  His second escape didn't last long, however, and he was picked up in time to make his flight.

Officials said they didn't believe the dog was in any danger while loose, and they said no flights were delayed because of the search.

Luckily this story had a happy ending not once, but twice.  But Qondor might have a lot of explaining to do when he gets back to Norway.

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