When Jesse Yang first saw his Rottweiler puppy, he thought the tan mark on his chest looked like the medals that pilots are given when they earn their wings.
“I decided to call him Pilot because he already had his wings,” Jesse said.
In keeping with the theme, Jesse taught Pilot, now five months old and thirty-eight pounds, commands using the lingo from the movie Top Gun. For example, Pilot knows to bark when he hears the word “bogey”—an unidentified aircraft in fighter-pilot speak. If Jesse tells Pilot someone is “friendly,” the dog will lick them.
Pilot also “tumbles” instead of rolling over, since he is a fighter pilot, to both the left and the right. He can also climb, fetch, and bow.
At just two months old, Pilot became one of Doggedly Devoted’s first clients. He hadn’t had all of his vaccinations yet and had to be isolated from the other dogs, though he got plenty of human attention.
Now his days at Doggedly Devoted are more action-packed as he wrestles, romps, and plays tug of war with both big and little dogs.
At home, his favorite thing is getting his belly scratched. And eating. Jesse’s mom says Pilot takes after Jesse in his enormous appetite.
Pilot has one fear—carts. Shopping carts, ice cream carts, anything with wheels except cars. When he sees them “he goes in between my legs,” Jesse said. He is trying to teach Pilot not to be afraid.
“He’s supposed to be brave,” Jesse said.
Pilot earns his name, and another Top Gun reference, in one other respect, Jesse said.
“My friends thought he was a really good wingman when we went on walks.”