An eyebrow or two may go up when you see the new issue of Spirit, Southwest’s inflight magazine. First, it’s super-big—220 pages big. Second, the image on the cover isn’t your typical cover photo. It shows a soldier lying brow to brow with a beautiful black Labrador, who’s wearing a “Service Dog” harness.
The accompanying story by Kate Silver, “How Mya Saved Jacob,” will blow you away. We asked Kate to write the story from the point of view of Mya, the amazing dog on the cover. This sweetheart learned 82 basic commands from an inmate at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, a women’s prison in upstate New York. Mya is part of the “Puppies Behind Bars” program that’s doing amazing work in rehabilitating both inmates and veterans.
Jacob, an ex-Marine, is slowly learning to adjust to civilian life after seeing more than his share of horror in Iraq. It took an extraordinary photographer to win the trust of Mya and Jacob, so we sent Tyler Stableford to do a day-long photo session in Colorado. Tyler has won some of the top awards in photography. A former intern of mine, he’s shot a bunch of stuff for Spirit, ranging from Cirque du Soleil to the only pig farmer in Las Vegas.
The Mya-Jacob story is part of a big package on dogs that includes 167 ways to love your pet. (One tip: “Anything your dog learns between 8 and 16 weeks, whether good or bad, becomes her permanent knowledge.”) Don’t have a dog? Check out our giant table, which helps you choose the right breed for you.
And now for Spirit’s beloved Numbers: A “jiffy” equals 10 milliseconds—the time it takes for light to travel 1 centimeter. The Pentagon contains 17.5 miles of corridors. The oldest piece of chewing gum is 5,000 years old. (Yes, it has human teeth marks.) And the 16 largest American hotels are all in Las Vegas. The pig farmer lives elsewhere.