Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Inside Spirit's June Issue

Adventurer B

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.

Explorer C
Hi..I love Southwest Airlines...! I will be flying to Reno in a couple days to meet up with my daughter, also flying in, to spend a few days together since her Dad passed away. I can't hardly wait to pick up this months issue of Spirit magazine to finish reading the cover story. I'm already moved by the cover itself. Having 2 Siberian Husky's, I am always amazed how well dogs respond to the training they receive. It is the first time that I've heard of the program, "Puppies Behind Bars", but sounds like an excellent program. Service dogs provide such specialized needs. Thanks Southwest for the great articles I find in the Spririt each time I travel with you.
Explorer C
I have been so looking forward to the June Spirit issue, I was on 5 flights in May and always read my Spirit Mag (I've taken may home to share too). I guess I will have to book a flight to somewhere so I can read my newest issue!
Explorer C
This story was incredibly touching from so many different angles, none more so than the special bond that forms between Jacob and Mya. The photos are beautiful. I cried all the way from burbank to SF. Thanks for such a touching piece.
Explorer C
Thanks for the Mya-Jacob story. I would like to write a fan letter to Kate Silver to let her know not only how the story touched me, but how fine her writing style is; not what I expected in an in-flight magazine. Has she published elsewhere? Has she a book in print? Can you forward this to her? Thanks, John Argue Oakland CA
Frequent Flyer C
Hi John A. --- We'll make sure that we pass your comment onto Spirit Magizine to share with Kate! Millie Richter
Southwest Airlines

Explorer C
Hi Kate, If you have a chance to read this, I just want to say thank you for researching/writing this amazing story. I couldn't put it down once I began. I have had a deep curiosity and 'heaviness' in me when it comes to even fathoming the traumatic experiences soldiers go through. I was a Theater major in college, and had to do tons of research on the Vietnam war, which opened the door to a reality I never before gave a second thought to. Just today, I felt a burden to pray for every one that is fighting, stressing and sacrificing so much across the globe. Your story truly captured the realism of pain, and the hope in the healing process fo every person battling a haunting past. It truly encouraged me to know that inside of one soldier's life, there is someone that he can connect with, that brings him his own unique joy. It would be an honor to even shake Jacob's hand. To me, he is a walking example of how hard life can be, but how one day at a time, with the right 'spirit' around you, it can be rebuilt. Please hug him and Mya for me! Jasmin
Explorer C
Hi Kate, I tried to leave a post for you the other day but it didn't go through. I hope this one does!Thank you so much for researching/writing this. The realism of Jacob's story was so amazing to reflect on. I can only imagine the hardship that soldiers, medics, and others serving us go through. I am truly grateful that in the midst of all of it, there is one person that still has a 'hope' to smile for, and a connection that can ease them internally. What an amazing gift Mya and Jacob have in their relationship. I am encouraged by both of them. God Bless! Jasmin Silver Spring, MD
Explorer C
Hi Jay, I loved this article along with all of the beautifully designed and photographed features in the June 2010 issue. I wanted to share "How Mya Saved Jacob" with my sister who has recently received a service dog for her disability (also a black lab), but the URL is broken: Do you think this could be fixed? Looking forward to it, as the print issues look great and the website is a great way to keep the buzz going. Best, Elaine Rhode Island
Adventurer C
Dear Elaine, I could not agree more about this article. Loved it myself! By the way, I reached out directly to you via your e-mail address, but on the chance you have not received my response, I wanted to let you know that when I contacted Spirit on your behalf, they informed me that the links to the magazine articles only stay "live" for three months. Sandy
Explorer C
I would like to pull up the text of this story but am unable to do so. Does anyone have any suggestions? I've tried the url track back link. The Author, etc. etc. If anyone has a copy of the story could they please send it to me. What a beautiful story. I want to share it with so many people