If it’s true that a dog is a man’s best friend, then wouldn’t it make sense to assume that an avalanche rescue dog is a skier’s best friend? I think so! Especially considering that these specially trained dogs bring such a valuable skill and service to the table. And what would that be you ask? They find people. And not just any people. They find people who have been buried underneath feet of snow. Let’s see a human do that with just his nose!
And just like any other member of the Solitude Mountain Resort Ski Patrol team, when an avalanche rescue dog goes down with an injury, it’s a big deal. Because as Scott Rogers, owner of Subi, a Solitude avalanche rescue dog said, “She’s not considered a pet. She’s considered a valuable, contributing member of the Ski Patrol team.”
Subi, a 5-year old Australian Shepphard, suffered significant tears to both her anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL) during a training exercise at Snowbird Ski & Summer Resort last February. After undergoing bi-lateral ACL surgery at the Cottonwood Animal Hospital, Subi’s recovery was estimated at six months. But like the champion she is, Subi was working her way back into the rotation, featuring 100% mobility and flexibility in just three months! Now that’s toughness!
For those of you who don’t know, avalanche rescue dogs are bred and trained specifically for rescue. They know how to find people, and they do it fast! Avalanche rescue dogs do this by finding where the human scent is rising out of the snow and indicating that location to the other members of the Ski Patrol team. In fact, depending on the wind conditions and the strength of the scent, avalanche rescue dogs can sometimes find avalanche victims faster than Ski Patrollers using beacons! How’s that for efficient!
Subi is now back, working full-time with Ski Patrol in their efforts to make the slopes of Solitude Mountain Resort the safest slopes around.