13 MAY 2010: First United and broken guitars, now Delta’s lost another dog. Josiah Allen of Seaforth, Ontario flew home from Mexico City last week. He arrived safely, but his Jack Russell/ Dachsund, Paco apparently didn’t make the flight. Delta says Paco escaped from a carrier on the tarmac in Mexico.

A Delta spokeswoman, Susan Elliot, said Paco broke out (broke out?) of a dog carrier at the airport in Mexico City, on May 3.

"Our staff have conducted exhaustive searches to locate the dog," she said.

However, Paco remains lost.

Delta has offered its "sincere apologies that we have been unable to recover the dog," Elliot said.

The airline has compensated Paco's owner and offered to reimburse all expenses associated with the dog, she said.

A question of crates

A Delta representative at the Mexico City airport told Allen that Paco's dog carrier was too small, said the owner. He said Delta asked him to sign a waiver saying the airline would not be liable for any injuries that Paco might suffer as a result of the carrier's size.

Allen said he signed the waiver because Paco had slept in the crate for three nights with no problems.

"He could both turn around and stand comfortably," he said.

Yet when his plane landed in Detroit, Michigan, Allen said, the dog was gone.

Extremely rare...except for that other time

Elliot said she couldn't recall another instance when a dog got lost while its owners were in transit.

"This is extremely rare," she said.

Well, Elliott might not remember, but the owners of Vivi, will.

Four years ago, Vivi, a whippet who had won the Award of Merit at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog show, escaped from her kennel as it was being loaded onto a Delta flight at JFK.

Vivi was reportedly seen running across the tarmac before escaping into the marshy area around JFK. Sightings were reported, but Vivi has never returned, though psychics say she is alive and well and living in Brooklyn. (Don’t ask. I don’t know.)

The prize winning Vivi’s value was estimated at US $20,000. Delta paid the owners US $2,800.

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