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The dogs in this town weren’t just trained to be heroes — it’s in their blood

Canines working with the Telluride Ski Patrol in Colorado truly love their jobs.

As avalanche rescuers, they are trained to search, protect and assist in rescuing, using their impeccable senses to smell and hear individuals buried in the snow.

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“Going to work is her favorite thing. Summers are okay for her, but coming to work in the morning every day is the best thing,” Kim Richard, a TSP Dog Handler, said of her 5-year-old dog, Lady Bee. “She just gets really excited about it, and she knows that’s kind of what she does.”

Five avalanche dogs of different breeds work on the mountains, stationed at four different sites.

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“These dogs’ heart rates increase to over 200 beats per minute when they’re working and when they’re getting excited,” said Gary Richard, the Telluride Avalanche Dog Program Director.

Richard admitted that the dogs scream and often make a lot of “embarrassing” noises while on their way to work. In the world of avalanche dogs, this is how they communicate and express their anticipation to get on the clock.

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Sadie, a second year avalanche dog, showed off her superb rescue skills by digging a hole in the snow to locate a ski patroller

“It’s a game for them,” said Sadie’s owner, Andy Bagnall, another expert dog handler on the snowy mountains.

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The team uses toys to lure the avalanche dogs in, giving them a memorable object with a sense of smell and lots of potential fun. When the mission is complete, they walk around with the toy, showing off a job well done.

“The only thing I don’t like is that their lifespans are limited,” Richard said. “I just like to think that that’s why their tails are always wagging, because they know that their life is not long, so they’re gonna be happy for all the years that you’re gonna share with them.”

This post is from RareRare. Click here to read the full text

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