Seeing eye dog gets ultimate send-off from Virgin Australia

Chris Edwards and his seeing eye dog Odie
Virgin Australia
by Jessica Harrison
26 May 2021

The saying is true – there’s nothing quite like man’s best friend. One frequent flyer pup, seeing-eye dog Odie, will be sorely missed by the Virgin Australia team after jetting off on his final flight this week as he heads into retirement.

The 10-year-old Labrador is one of Virgin Australia’s most beloved and well-travelled seeing-eye dogs. After amassing more than 100,000 kilometres in air travel, he hung up his harness for good after landing in Melbourne on flight VA284 from Canberra.

Odie is one of more than 200 seeing-eye dogs in Australia, who help people who are blind or visually impaired to live independently.

After eight-and-a-half years of service Odie got the send-off of a hero. To celebrate Odie’s significant achievements, Virgin Australia Captain Adam Sleight and Cabin Crew member Bernadette Arena presented Odie with a “pup cake” signed “Happy retirement ♡ Virgin Australia” as the crew formed a guard of honour as Odie left the terminal one last time.

The guide dog’s owner, Christopher Edwards said that Odie being by his side had given him freedom, and Odie had been “a loyal, excellent worker and a great friend.”

Virgin Australia General Manager Product and Customer, Sarah Adam, wished Odie the best in his retirement.

She said: “Whether our guests are furry or human, we love them all and we’re going to miss seeing Odie travel with us each week.”

Virgin Australia also announced it will be launching new routes and hiring more than 250 people.

Visit Virgin Australia to find out more.