Ellie’s Furcast: Stormy the avalanche rescue dog in training

Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 6:12 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska turns into the perfect playground for skiers and snowboarders in the winter. But with all this snow, it’s important to be prepared for an emergency at any time. Avalanches are common, and can often be deadly. That’s where the newest member of Alyeska Resort’s ski patrol comes into play.

At just a couple months old, Stormy is in training to be Alyeska’s next avalanche rescue dog.

“Right now we’re working on basic obedience and doing very basic search exercises that we call runaways,” said Cody Burns, the assistant ski patrol director and Stormy’s handler.

“Basically I have another patroller hang on to her and we get her all excited and then I go and run behind the corner and we let her go and she comes and finds me,” said Burns, “It’s just the very first step for her to realize that her job is to look for people.”

According to Burns, Stormy comes from a line of Golden Retriever working dogs. And while she is just starting off, she could soon be the difference between life and death for some.

“She brings a lot of joy to this place,” Burns said. “If anybody gets buried then she will be the one to respond to help you out, nothing better than a puppy wagging its tail to save the day.”

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