By Matt Kroschel
CARBONDALE, Colo. (CBS4) – More and more people are hitting the backcountry and bringing along their four-legged best friends.
While people usually know how critical it is to be a responsible backcountry adventurer — someone who is prepared to protect themselves from injury and the elements, as well as willing and able to assist others in an emergency situation — recent spike in dog rescue calls has forced a Colorado man to start a new business venture.
At Fido Pro, based in Carbondale, they are designing and building backcountry gear for dogs.
“Our products are developed with two primary goals; to assist you in saving your dog should it become sick or injured in the backcountry and to help prevent injury from occurring,” Paul Hoskinson told CBS4 Tuesday.
Hoskinson is a backcountry skier, ultra-marathon trail runner, climber/mountaineer and the creator behind Fido Pro.
Over the years, Hoskinson has traveled countless backcountry miles alongside his two German Shorthaired Pointers. Through their many adventures, Hoskinson began to understand the need for specific products for the backcountry dog, yet he found that these products simply do not exist.
The necessity of these critical canine-specific products was confirmed by Hoskinson during a skiing accident in 2017.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, he and his dog Remi were backcountry skiing with a group of friends on Independence Pass.
They spent several hours ascending to the top of a bowl. Hoskinson was the first to drop in, but unbeknownst to him, Remi quickly caught up to him as he skied slowly through some old slide debris.
As Hoskinson made a series of turns, he felt one of his skis make contact with Remi. He quickly skied to a stop near the bottom of the bowl and looked to see if Remi had been injured. He saw that she was unable to support herself on her right front leg. As he looked closer, he was horrified with what he saw — a deep gash on her leg caused by his ski edge.
Things could have gone very badly from this point on. Fortunately for Hoskinson, he had the help of his friends and was somewhat prepared to tend to Remi’s wound.
SHARE YOUR STORY: Share A Together 4 Colorado Story Idea With CBS4
He removed his first aid kit and his friend Chuck helped him wrap the wound and stop the bleeding. His other friends began dividing up the contents of Hoskinson’s daypack to carry his gear out. Once the wound was dressed, they squeezed Remi into an empty backpack.
They began the long ascent out of the bowl to safety and medical help.
Hoskinson and Remi began to slowly rehabilitate her leg. After a few months, they were back on the trails again.
The possible scenarios of how a dog can become sick or injured in the backcountry are endless as are the outcomes, some of which are unimaginable.
Across Colorado, search and rescue teams have more calls for help from humans, and while they will try their best to respond to calls for dogs needing assistance, often times they are not able to respond.
“We want people to be more prepared to take care of their dog if something bad does happen,” Hoskinson said.
LINK: Fido Protection