This is Flo. She’s a 4-year-old Border Collie who serves as a rescue dog for the Edale Mountain Rescue Team, one of the busiest mountain rescue teams in the UK.
She’s one of many brave rescue dogs that go through over 100 days of training to find and recover people who get lost while walking or climbing in the wilderness.
Earlier this month, her rescue organization posted a video to Twitter that showed part of her training and it immediately went viral. The post now as over 20,000 retweets and 90,000 likes and the video has over 1.5 million views!
But never fear for the human – Flo’s rescuee was a volunteer who had buried himself in the snow as part of a training exercise to see how fast the dog could find him. Of course, Flo passed her test with flying colors.
As you can see, from the volunteer’s perspective, being buried under the snow can be pretty intimidating. All you can do is stare up towards the light and hope that someone – or some dog – finds you.
But then, you can see the little snoot of hope poke through the cold snow, ready to dig him out.
On the Edale Mountain rescue team website, her trainers call Flo “an extremely intelligent, confident young dog with remarkable work ethic and drive.”
And we can see why, because she’s happy and excited to dive right into her responsibilities. Here’s a screencap from the video that shows her just going for it.
And rescue she did. With human rescuers picking up her bark hot on the trail, she gets in there to make breathing room for the person trapped in the snow.
While it’s safe to say none of us would choose to be suck in an avalanche, many Twitter followers could imagine being rescued by Flo or one of her fellow trainees:
Since she got the go-ahead to become a formal rescue dog in January, she’s already been a part of 30 calls for missing persons!
According to the umbrella organization Mountain Rescue Search Dogs, their rescue dogs are trained in “non-discriminatory air scenting,” which means they are not given the scent of a particular person, but search for any human scent in the air and track them down in the wilderness. The organization says that while there are other ways of training, they’ve found this to be the most effective.
It turns out that humans lose around 40,000 skin cells every minute, and while they are light and tiny and get caught up in the wind and blown around, dogs’ noses are still able to pick up on that scent. While humans have 6 million smell receptors in our noses, dogs have around 300 million, not to mention an area of the brain devoted to processing scents that is 40 times larger than ours! This allows dogs to catch scents far better than humans, at even a quarter of a mile away.
Of course, you should watch the whole video of Flo’s heartwarming rescue. But before you do, if you’re interested in donating to this charity, which is run solely by volunteers and from donations rather than any government funds, their official donation link can be found by clicking here.
(For the Americans, the donation is in UK pounds rather than dollars, but your credit card will do all the work. Just make sure to look up the conversion rate first so you know how much you’re donating. Ten British pounds is a little over $13, for example.)
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Source: Bored Panda