If you’re ever caught in an avalanche, the first responder that will come to your aid will probably have a cold wet nose, wearing a fur coat and running on all fours.
Alta is a ski area in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, in Salt Lake County and they just added a new trainee to their Alta Ski Patrol rescue team and don’t let her puppy dog eyes fool you, when Lucy is on Puppy Patrol she takes her job seriously.
Lucy as a trainee still has a ways to go before she can join the ranks of her other four-legged friends as an official patrol dog, but she is off to a good start and we are confident she'll be up to the task when the time comes.
Right now she happily plays in the snow chasing stuffed toys, and playing hide and seek. While she may think these are just fun and games she doesn't know that they are designed to develop the skills she will need to find someone who may be trapped in an avalanche
The job of guiding this cute playful puppy to a full fledged rescuer falls to David Kelly of the Alta Ski Patrol.
Complete with a patrol vest Lucy playfully bounces through snow mounds chasing a toy that Kelly has just thrown “She gets to get in the snow. She rides around on the rope tow. She goes on the chairlifts all part of the training she'll need to pass her certification” Kelly said
“For the first year and a half, she’ll work pretty much just with me, being trained to find people buried in the snow" Kelly explained. "Rescue dogs can be vital in an avalanche rescue- when every second -and sniff counts. A trained nose can trace a buried victim faster than any human" he added
In 18 months, Lucy will be tested and if she passes, then she becomes certified and can go out with any rescue team along the Wasatch Front when she’s needed.
Wildlife Planet want to wish Lucy all the luck in the world and we know you'll make us proud.