A few years ago, a pregnant German shepherd was found wandering the Washington state woods alone. A man named Jim Branson, who founded a group called Useless Bay Sanctuary, took her in. Not even one day later, the dog gave birth to one little puppy that he named Tino. No one knew it at the time, but those same woods the mother dog and her puppy were rescued from would come full circle in their lives. Tino quickly grew bigger and bigger with time, and that’s when he began to tag along for search and rescue training classes with other dogs. That’s when Jim realized Tino was very skilled at search and rescue efforts. When Tino was just five months old, he was tested and they realized he had a knack for the job. He would find the “lost” dogs every time in training, so they knew he had a bright future.
Jim Branson adopted Tino and the dog went through 16 months of training and eventually became a member of the Three Retrievers Lost Pet Rescue group. Then, one day Jim got a call about a deaf eleven year old Great Pyrenees lost in those same woods where Tino came from not long ago. He knew Tino was just the dog for the job. The Great Pyrenees, whose name is Puppy, was out with his owner in the woods and the owner was on horseback. After a relatively short ride, the owner turned around and realized Puppy was no longer following behind. Volunteers began searching the woods, but Puppy is deaf and could not near people calling her name.
So, Tino was called in to the area where they believed Puppy was located. Tino was given some of Puppy’s fur to capture the dog’s scent and then he set off to find the lost senior dog. It took a solid 45 minutes of trekking through the woods, but eventually Tino led Puppy’s owner and the search group to a mud pit—and Puppy, who was almost completely submerged in mud and quite stuck. They were able to pull Puppy out and now he’s safe at home with his family—all thanks to Tino!