From the Editor

Best Friends

Back in February I got a call from my friend Ken Vargo of Howard. He was wondering if I had any interest in joining him for a trip to Southwestern Utah in early March to volunteer for trail-building at the Best Friends Animal Society.

Having had few opportunities to spend time in the red-rock country of Utah since I moved here from Durango, I decided to take the trip with Ken in his trusty VW Westphalia van along with his dog, Buster.

This would be Ken’s third trip to Best Friends in as many years and he had made all the arrangements. Ken works for the U.S. Forest Service so has lots of experience with trail building; skills that are a good fit to help out at what is considered North America’s largest no-kill animal sanctuary.

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Üllr: Diggin’ his New Job

Story and Photos by Mike Rosso

As a native of Black Hawk, Colorado, Aaron Peyrouse has been playing in the mountains all his life. He learned to ski at Loveland Ski Area at a young age and eventually became a full-time ski patroller. It was during those years at Loveland that he learned about avalanche rescue dogs and became intrigued. The area had employed golden retrievers trained to seek out and hunt down the scent of skiers buried in avalanches.

Peyrouse began his own research into the training of rescue dogs by referencing the certification program offered through Search And Rescue Dogs Of Colorado (SARDOC) Colorado Rapid Avalanche Deployment (CRAD). Meanwhile, he ran into an old friend in Central City who had just arrived from Montana with a fresh litter of bird-dog puppies. Peyrouse got to choose the pick of the litter, a six-week-old black lab he named Üllr after the Norwegian god of snow and skiing.

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