If you've ever ventured into the Wyoming backcountry, you know that avalanches are a constant threat in the more mountainous areas. There's more than one person who has been caught up in a potentially tragic avalanche situation that will attest to the fact that avalanche dogs are the unsung rock stars of the region.

There are two avalanche dog teams that I'm familiar with. One is in the mountains of Jackson Hole in Wyoming. The humans will tell you that the dogs are the hardest working members of their teams.

In the video, Rick Frost explains why these canines are so vital:

Rick Frost - "The function of the avalanche dogs is to find people who are buried in avalanches...to them it's just a game. They have no idea the serious nature of the work..."

Rick's dog is a black lab named "Cricket". Avalanche dogs like Cricket sometimes go through years of training.

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Many of us in this part of Wyoming either road trip to Colorado or if you're particularly adventurous, Big Sky Resort just across the Wyoming border in Montana which has a talented team of avalanche dogs, too.

These heroes with paws have also earned the attention of National Geographic who did a feature special on them a few years ago.

I love dogs, but this is the one dog I hope I never need. But, it's good to know that these animals who have gone through years of training are at the ready. Some piece of mind if you make a misjudgment about how stable the ground is around (and above) you.

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