“It’s time to go to work,” Mike Stornetta said to his partner, Rocket, as they approached a muddy sea of tangled tree limbs, rubble and boulders.
Issued his signature command, the black and white border collie mix sprang from Stornetta’s side, kicking up dirty water as he scoured the debris blanketing East Valley Road in Montecito, California, the coastal enclave that had been devastated by a landslide the previous morning.
A member of the Windsor, California, fire protection district, Rocket had a singular goal: find the scent of live humans amid the 30 square mile area he and 17 dogs were combing. If successful, Stornetta would let Rocket play with his favorite toy, a 12-inch stretch of firehose he could chew and tug on.
Once again, Rocket would prove he was worth saving from euthanasia.Stornetta and Rocket had driven all night to assist the search and rescue operation in Montecito. Now, as […]