Mark Baumgardner’s avalanche search dog, Otto announces his retirement from active duty. Otto will remain “top dog” at the Idaho Smoky Mountain Lodge. Otto began training as a puppy and was active for 12 winters. He participated in many searches and was responsible for the quick recovery of a snowmobiler who perished in a Baker Creek avalanche in 2005. Otto and Mark attended 2 WBR (Wasatch Backcountry Rescue) dog team seminars, considered the finest training available in the US. Otto developed seizures this fall. The original diagnosis was a brain tumor, but later it was revealed that a stroke was the cause. He has recovered nicely, with a little loss of stamina but so far seizure free. We will continue to train this winter as it is a great “game” and there may be a few things we can teach the younger dog teams. Thanks, Otto, best partner, ever!