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Traverse City – Hundreds of people have turned out to salute a speedy border collie that became an internet sensation for keeping a northern Michigan airport free of wildlife.

People lined up to get inside City Opera House in Traverse City for a memorial service for Piper. The 9-year-old dog was euthanized Jan. 3 after battling prostate cancer.

Piper’s owner, Brian Edwards, choked up at times as he talked about the dog while photos were displayed on a large screen. Piper was a wildlife-control canine at Cherry Capital Airport — the nemesis of geese, ducks and even snowy owls.

Edwards says there’s “no book on how to be an airport canine.” He says it took “hard work.”

Images of Piper on the job, wearing his airport vest, ear muffs and goggles, made their way onto online social forum Reddit. He quickly became a top hit.

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