Thank SAR Golden Retriever Trulee for Climber’s Dramatic Rescue!

Greg Varney of the King County Search Dogs team feeds and praises his golden retriever, Trulee, who followed the scent of a granola bar to climber Derek Mamoyac in rough terrain at the 6,000-foot level of Mount Adams. Photo by Thomas Boyd/The Oregonian

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CHECK OUT 2 GREAT VIDEOS (NEWS REPORT & MSNBC INTERVIEW) WITH GREG & TRULEE!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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An amazing tale of survival

Jill Bartlett and other rescuers spoke glowingly of Mamoyac after he was found alive after five frigid days and nights on the mountain. “He was in very good shape for what he went through,” she told The Oregonian.

As she and several other rescuers waited with him before he was flown from the mountain, he told them he ate centipedes and other bugs after running out of food early in the week. He drank water from creeks.

He was wearing water-resistant pants, insulated boots and gloves but was still very cold. “We put all our coats on him, and he was still shivering,” Bartlett said. “We asked him, ‘Are you warm? and he said ‘yeah.’ ”

Mamoyac was found by the team of Greg Varney with his search dog, Trulee, a golden retriever, and navigator, Ron Buermann, who kept them on course. Mamoyac told rescuers that his climbing trip turned bad as he was descending after reaching Piker’s Peak at 11,657 feet, below the mountain’s summit. He stepped in some snow he thought was solid, but it gave way.

Bartlett said the climber broke his right ankle tumbling down the mountain. He spent nearly four days crawling and dragging his feet through the snow, trying to drag himself off the mountain. When his knees hurt too much to crawl, he said he would turn around and scoot backward.

“We get happy endings, but not at the end of a five-day search,” rescuer Varney said.

Well, this is pretty cool.

After spending five lonely days as the subject of a search, Mamoyac’s mother says, her son has decided what he wants to do with his life. He plans to pursue a career in search and rescue.

Hopefully, he can talk to Greg Varney about that as he is the Operations Leader for King County Search Dogs.

He is working quite hard as Golden Retriever Trulee is qualified in trailing, airscent and cadaver searches.

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Where are my Golden Retriever Gardeners?

Here are two gardeners, both being silly, of course. The first is Golden Retriever Cali, who figured that the trees in her backyard needed trimming. And, Golden Retriever Rescue, River, loves sliding downhill, headfirst, through the leaves.

To celebrate adding an exciting new “topiary” whimsical artist to the Land of PureGold Foundation family, I have a fun and easy new Golden Gardeners Photo Contest.

"Shear Bliss" -- Copyright Michelle Masters

"Shear Bliss" -- Copyright Michelle Masters

Michelle Masters’ wonderful, unique topiary themed gifts for the home, gardener, and animal lover offer a blend of whimsy and elegance. Her collections incorporate watercolor depictions of topiary—living sculpture shaped by careful pruning into a broad range of decorative items.

I just adore Michelle’s “Shear Bliss” art. Who says a Golden wouldn’t enjoy a couch made from a topiary hedge?

Please join us in our fun new contest, Michelle Masters’ Golden wares presented as prizes! We are looking for irresistible gardening photos that capture your Golden Retriever Gardening Helper, entries also completing the following: “This is my Golden’s idea of gardening . . .”.

Here is our most recent entry from special Golden (CCI Puppy Raising) pal, Pat Lawson.

Tavi really isn't much of a gardener, except when the oranges are ripe. He is a master harvester! The only problem is, he eats as much as he picks... all in a Golden's Day's Work.

Click here to learn more and to enter your own Golden Gardener!