Puppy training to be an avalanche rescue dog

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Arizona isn’t where you’d expect to see an avalanche, but if you’re traveling to Flagstaff, you might see a 12-week-old Golden Retriever named Ava. Her name is short for avalanche, and she’s the first avalanche rescue dog to be trained at Arizona’s Snowbowl. 

Like a lot of us upon entering the workforce, Ava sometimes doesn’t want to go to work. 

"She sometimes gets a little grumpy on the first chair in the morning, just cause it's cold out, but she comes around and gets excited all day,” Hailey Hagerty, Ava's owner and trainer, told FOX 10.

Hagerty takes Ava along with her on daily patrols, allowing her to become adjusted to the slopes and putting her in her backpack when she gets tired. Ava plays games to help her associate human scents with hard play, and is getting more comfortable with odd sights like skiers and chair lifts. Right now even the snow is a bit puzzling to a puppy, but Ava is finding it a perk of the job.

“I think her favorite thing to do right now is chew on all the snow, and eat some snow,” said Hagerty.

One day, Ava will get her chance to be a hero, but in the meantime she gets to be the other thing she was born to do: be an adorable puppy having fun. Watch the video to see the cute pup on the slopes training to be a hero.

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