Two-year-old Mason isn’t just an adorable dog, he’s also a valued member of a mountain patrol team. The golden retriever is trained to sniff out people buried by avalanches, alerting rescue teams to their whereabouts.
Mason works at Colorado’s Copper Mountain ski resort, where his nose is an invaluable tool. According to Christopher Gray, if a stranded person doesn’t have a beacon or RECCO reflector, Mason is their next best chance.
For the pup, finding buried people is like playing a complex game of hide and seek. Once he’s succeeded in tracking them down, Mason uses body language to let Gray and the rest of the team know where they are. Then, they work together to dig the individual out.
Given the recent news stories about avalanches here in Canada, it’s nice to know that dogs like Mason are hard at work.