(PARIS) -- Billed by Guinness as the world's smartest dog, Muffin the poodle successfully took control of a disabled United Airlines 767 and landed it safely at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Flight controllers say,
"120 miles off the coast of France Flight 349 experienced a sudden, catastrophic cabin depressurization. Apparently only Muffin, being a poodle, immune to the effects of low atmospheric pressure remained cognizant while the rest of the human crew and passengers lay unconscious."
They went on to explain,
"We theorize that when the depressurization occurred, Muffin down in the baggage compartment knew that something was wrong, picked the lock on her pet transport container and made her way up the plane's cockpit".
Flight controllers, getting no response from the crew of Flight 349 begin broadcasting .."
"Is anybody THERE ... is anybody THERE" messages. Flight Controller Jean-Paul Rousseau told reporters,
"All of a sudden we heard a .. WOOF. That concerned us. We soon deduced that a dog was in the cockpit, sitting at the controls."
Rousseau, coincidentally a former dog trainer went on to describe the incredible rescue ..
"Landing a disabled 160 ton jumbo jet is no easy task. The computer handles most of the details but thankfully we found a way to communicate with Muffin using simple sit/heel/stay commands."
He continued his story ..
"Muffin is incredibly smart. I remember telling her ..."
"THROTTLE Muffin. THROTTLE. Tall STICK Muffin! THROTTLE. Muffin soon learned what the plane's throttle was. I was amazed. So, then I tried .."
"Compass Muffin, COMPASS. Round Ball. Muffin found the compass. I don't know how she figured out how to read the headings and coordinates but she did. With the plane on autopilot and some fuel left we continued communicating with Muffin, slowly teaching her how to fly a 767 Jumbo Jet."
Pierre Bertrand, another Flight Controller assisting Rousseau said,
"How Muffin did that 37.5 degree bank at 12,000 feet I'll never know but she pulled it off. That maneuver lined her up 360, direct for final approach on runway 17. Everybody in the control tower breathed a sigh of relief. I couldn't believe what I was seeing."
Paris flight controllers do say that Muffin DID have a bit of a dizzle extending the landing gear during final approach but as controller Rousseau said,
"I attribute that to her being a .. poodle. Plus, she came within 100 yards of overshooting the runway but .. again .. we're just happy they all made it down safely." He told reporters,
"After the plane touched down traveling 110 mph on runway 17 we simply had to go .."
"STOP Muffin, STOP!!"
Muffin, apparently happy to be on the ground again instinctively used her paws to pull back on the throttle, trigger the computerized braking system and fire up reverse thrusters, bringing the jet to a safe, gentle halt."
After landing, pressure again normal, crew members began to revive. Captain Daniel Lockhart reportedly awakened and remarked,
"What's this POODLE doing in the cockpit?"
Flight attendant Julia Davidson, in the cockpit at the time told reporters that Muffin, the world's smartest poodle simply smiled, gave the captain a wet poodle kiss, scampered out to the first escape exit then slid down the slide, happy to be home.