One year later: local woman and dog helped rescue Oso mudslide v - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

One year later: local woman and dog helped rescue Oso mudslide victims

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An aerial view of the Oso, Wash. mudslide. Photo: Washington State DOT An aerial view of the Oso, Wash. mudslide. Photo: Washington State DOT
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Devastating. That's the word Robyn Moug uses to describe the scene when she showed up with her trained rescue dog, Max, to Oso, Washington.

Nearly a year ago to the day, a mudslide raced down an Oso hillside and killed almost four dozen people. It buried untold others alive. The search for victims went on for weeks. It was physically exhausting and mentally draining, but one of the key factors that helped make all the difference was the search dogs.

Robyn Moug is from Spokane. She takes Max to play at the park every day.

"It's his favorite thing to do," she explained laughing.

Max is a rescue. "I got him out of a box of free puppies at Big R," she said. But one year ago, Max was the one doing the rescuing. The pair drove through the night to get to Oso, and then helped search for people buried in the mud and debris.

"It's something that's hard to describe. Until you get there you're never prepared for something like that."

She spent years and more than $20,000 training the blue heeler and border collie mix. She mostly helps out with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. Going to a disaster like the mudslide was never her intent, but when she and Max got there, their years of training kicked in.

"It was intimidating," she said. "It was humbling."

She and Max dug through treacherous conditions to find survivors and bodies. That day, 43 people lost their lives, and the entire town was flattened by the natural disaster. She says she'll never forget the moment when she and her partner arrived, but she's just glad they could do their part to help the people who needed them most.

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