From the beach in northern Wales to cliff top runways in Cornwall, Raymand Uren and his partner Eric Cilliers along with their black Labrador Benson are true traveling adventurers.
At home in Chandler’s Ford, (is this a car – what does this mean?) adjacent to Hampshire, England, Uren is a partner at two businesses, Medical Support Solutions Limited and Lisa Freede, a jewelry and accessories company. However, it is Eric’s job as an air traffic controller that leads to the monthly adventures they are fortunate enough to enjoy with Benson. Eric learned to fly in 1998 as part of his training at the College of Air Traffic Control. Since 2006, he owns a share in a Cirrus SR22, a single engine four-seat aircraft,.
Uren and Cilliers adopted Benson in 2002 when he was 4-years-old. After only a few short weeks Benson settled in and began traveling comfortably by car. As dedicated dog lovers wanted Uren and Cilliers to find a way for Benson to travel via plane without having to be in a commercial holder and in 2006 found a plane that comfortable enough for a black Lab to travel in! In order to make sure that the flight was dog-friendly they use a specially designed headset called mutt muffs, a hammock which prevents Benson from slipping off the seat, and when on the apron at the airport Benson wears a high visibility coat.
Benson has become such an avid travel enthusiast that according to Uren “the minute he notices his headset (mutt muffs) and seatbelt being packed he becomes very excited.” Some of the trio’s favorite spots are Caernarfon in northern Wales, where the runway is only yards from the beach, and Perranporth in Cornwall, equipped with a cliff top landing strip. The aviators, including Benson, enjoys spending time in the outdoors, especially in destinations like Donegal, Ireland and Craig-y-Nos in mid Wales where they can find needed solitude, playful swimming for Benson, and plenty of open air mountain hiking. Uren says one of the most rewarding parts of traveling with Benson is “seeing his tail wag when he sees the airplane after a long day on the beach – even when he is exhausted he is still excited to go flying.”
By Whitney Moore