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Local celebrity dog bringing smiles to hundreds of travelers, fans online

Local celebrity dog bringing smiles to hundreds of travelers, fans online

She went from rescue puppy to celebrity status. Now in her golden years, she's still using that star power to benefit other rescues.

She was a six-month golden retriever with a snake bite who had been abandoned. Raina Melville, a customer service representative at Innisfree Jet Center, came to her rescue. She gave this little lady a new home and a purpose.

"I just happened to bring her in one particular day. Told her she couldn't go outside until she protected her ears and I put a headset on, and that's just where the story of Sadie the Aviation Dog started," Rain said.

Sadie has been on the job for nine and a half years. She has gained quite the reputation with the pilots and passengers coming through.

This girl is so popular she has her own Facebook page with almost 1,500 friends. Children even write her letters.

Raina seized on the celebrity and found ways to raise money to support charitable causes. Some fans just send in donations.

"We've done calendars. We've also done books with pictures. We have also done a kissing booth," Raina said.

They donate the money and supplies to various pet rescues to the Escambia County Animal Shelter and the K9s for Warriors program. Still, job one for Sadie is just to bring joy to others.

Raina has made a wardrobe of fashions for every occasion so that this lady steps out in style to greet the customers. A lot of military personnel come through here as well and that happens to be one of her favorite outfits.

Whether it's the business traveler tired from a long journey or the sick child or adult who's being flown to or from medical treatment, Sadie's there.

"Whenever they walk up and see Sadie with her little headset on just a wagging her tail; and just to see someone's bright smile, to me, you just can't put a price on that," Raina said.

Sadie the Aviation Dog is 13 years old now. Arthritis has slowed her gait a bit. She's come a long way from being an abandoned pup and has brought a lot of smiles along the way.

"We'd just like them to remember Pensacola in a positive way, and remember Sadie," Raina said.

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by Nemours Children's Specialty Care.

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