The patrol department of a mountain resort has recently included a new member of its avalanche rescue team. The new recruit is a 1-year-old dog named Nala.
The Ski Patrol Manager Chris’o’Connel is handling the Border Collie and Golden Retriever mix. The pooch is currently getting the training to be a search and rescue avalanche dog. Chris has been working at the resort for 14 years and 9 of them have been on the ski patrol.
Nala was chosen for the job because of her drive towards work and also her breed’s typical characteristic of being exceptionally loyal and having outstanding sniffing abilities.
Nala is looking forward to becoming a fully certified avalanche rescue dog. The dog is expected to get the certification in a matter of two to three years.
Chris takes Nala along with him to work every morning, five days per week. The pair rides together to the summit of the mountain by either a ski lift or a snowmobile. Chris and Nala train many times during the day, and the training takes place in a remote location on top of the mountain.
Nala is already adept at using her extraordinary sense of smell to locate people trapped in snow and then dig them out. Chris said that although avalanches are not likely to occur in that area still, he wanted the dog to have versatile training so that the pooch could serve the surrounding community well by being an asset to them.
Chris said that the biggest challenge for him is to find an appropriate area for training Nala because there is a lack of snowfall in that region.
Chris added that the dog had become his best friend and was more like his shadow.
The dog also has an adorable personality, and in between the training session and avalanche control, the pooch likes to mingle with the visitors as well.
Image source: Watchara Phomicinda via The SUN