Meet Monty, the newest member of the Alyeska Ski Patrol. This 10 week old Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is already in training to become an avalanche search and rescue dog to work along side Alyeska Resort Ski Patrol and Alaska State Troopers search and rescue team. Monty will be trained to smell victims buried in avalanche debris and assist with their rescue. Monty’s journey to Alyeska started in Calgary, Canada where he was born at Seabright Tollers, a renowned retriever breeder. Monty is one of two males in the litter and also has six sisters! Monty’s brother was purchased by the Revelstoke Ski Patrol in British Columbia, Canada. Monty gets his name from Montague Island in Prince William Sound and also after a veteran ski patrol member Monty Atwater.
Kent May, a four year member of the Alyeska Ski Patrol will be Monty’s main handler. Kent lives, works, trains and plays with Monty. “Having a new puppy is very exciting,” says May, “my wife and I couldn’t be happier to be involved with the avy dog program at Alyeska.” Kent goes on to explain the lengthy process to find Monty. “I’d been researching different breeders all over North America for about six months, I had very specific guidelines for a rescue dog. We finally found him in Canada.”
Kent has worked with the other dogs over the past year making him the perfect candidate for the additional dog. Monty will join the ranks of Zuka, Fundy and Yuki this winter and will start to train with them as soon as the snow starts flying. Currently he is learning all of the basic dog commands, sit, stay, come, down etc. Monty has meet the other dogs and after a little bit of rough playing they’ve accepted him as one of their own. Part of Monty’s rescue training will actually come from the senior dogs. With training, Monty should be certified and officially an avalanche rescue dog by the time he is two years old.
For more information on the Alyeska Avalanche Dog Program click here