What to Know
- Snow Valley Mountain Resort
- Running Springs
- More snow in the forecast as of Jan. 16, 2019; check road conditions and chain requirements before heading up the mountain
The search & rescue canines spied around California's ski resorts?
They absolutely elicit the "awwws" on the part of we humans.
They inspire our hearts to melt, just a little, even in a place that's experiencing incredibly cold temperatures. And while we long to pause and cuddle them, these important pups have critical tasks to perform, out on the slopes and beyond.
Local news from across Southern California
One of the newest members of this elite and essential band o' tail-wagging workers is Jasmine, a brand-new search & rescue trainee at Snow Valley Mountain Resort in Running Springs.
The Golden Retriever is currently sharpening her rescue skills in frosty conditions, but she had a far more temperate beginning: She was born in June 2018 in Oxnard.
But she's taking to the mountain snow like a duck to water, learning how to "clear the mountain at the end of the day and rescue people who get lost out of bounds."
The resort's in-bounds terrain isn't avalanche territory, so honing that particular rescue skill is not on Jasmine's impressive list of things to learn.
In her downtime, Jasmine enjoys barking at dogs she sees on TV, per her trainer Dennis Bentson, a longtime search and rescue volunteer with the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department.
Mr. Bentson, who has some 40 years experience as a ski patroller and 18 years of training dogs like Jasmine, also confirms that Jasmine "... likes to slide down the snow on her back," to play with balls that squeak, and to give snowboarders kisses (when, of course, they're taking a break).
Riding the chairlift? Totally easy for the pooch, who takes being high above the ground in confident stride.
Same goes for her snowmobile-riding abilities. No worries for this woofer when she's on the motorized move.
As for her current level of training?
She is working on locating Mr. Bentson when he hides behind trees, scoring a treat when she locates him.
Jasmine will soon she'll move on from finding with her eyes to seeking out "those in need of help" with her nose, a more advanced skill.
It's called Wilderness Air Scenting, and given this sharp hound's lively personality and can-do attitude, Jasmine is sure to master that in no time.
Where to see her when visiting Snow Valley?
She'll may be working, so best give this furry do-gooder a wide berth should you be lucky enough to see her. Unless, of course, she swings by with a few kisses to give, which, as mentioned, has sweetly happened.
Watch for Jasmine around the "... ski patrol building at the top of the Snow Valley Express chairlift," which is described as her "HQ."
That is, of course, if she's not training in the woods, to serve and save humans who've wandered out of bounds. Or sliding down the snow on her back, just to enjoy blowing off a little steam, Fido-style.
Good dog, Jasmine.