Virgin Australia reunites puppy with family after five months apart

Pipsqueak, the daschund, sleeping in a fluffy dog bed
Image from the Eilbeck family
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
12 August 2020

Pipsqueak, a dachshund pup, was sailing around the Pacific with her owners on a four-year global sailing adventure in March when COVID-19 struck. Pip, as she’s affectionately known, was separated from her family as Zoe and Guy Eilbeck and their children were forced to fly back to Australia urgently.

Over the next five months, kind strangers across the United States cared for Pip before she began her 17,000km journey home to Sydney, via North and South Carolina, Los Angeles, Auckland and Melbourne.

Her homecoming was thwarted on its final leg when cargo flights between Melbourne and Sydney were full due to the COVID-19 state border restrictions. Poor Pip was stranded once again.

Thankfully, Virgin Australia came to the rescue, booking her on the next available service to Sydney.

“She’s part of our family and it’s been five months and that’s a long time to miss anybody,” Guy Eilbeck said.

His wife Zoe added: “We just can’t believe we got her home, this was such a team effort and good on you Virgin!”

Glen Moloney, Virgin Australia Group general manager for cargo, said the airline was thrilled to have played a part in reuniting the much-loved sausage dog with her family after being thousands of kilometres apart for many months. He said: “During these difficult times it's nice to be able to put a smile on someone’s face and I know it was a real joy for our team to come to the rescue.” 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Virgin Australia has donated essential supplies to people in need.

Visit Virgin Australia to find out more.