Four-paw rescuer retires from job
After 10 years of active service in the Treble Cone Ski Patrol, avalanche search dog, Milly, retired last Sunday.
Milly celebrates her 13th (in human years) birthday tomorrow.
The pedigree labrador was taken on by owner and handler Brendan ‘‘Doons’’ Kearns as a 3-year-old in 2004 and after a year of training, she qualified as an operational avalanche search dog.
Milly has worked every winter on the mountain since then and three years ago qualified as ‘‘advanced’’ avalanche search dog.
The Aspiring Avalanche Dogs team responds to incidents across the Southern Lakes region and up to Aoraki-Mt Cook.
Milly attended and ‘‘cleared’’ eight avalanche incidents and helps promote backcountry safety awareness on a daily basis.
Aspiring Avalanche Dog coordinator Matt Gunn said Milly had ‘‘great drive and an awesome temperament’’.
Next year, Treble Cone Ski Area plans to employ Gunn’s dog Rocket, Callum Grant’s dog Zeffer, and Andy Wardell’s dog Tuki.
Search dog: Retiring avalanche search dog Milly with her Wanaka handler Brendan Kearns at Treble Cone.