Real-Life 'Lassie' Retires: Mij, Britain's Top Rescue Dog, Ends Seven-Year Career (PHOTOS)

Mij, Britain's real-life "Lassie," is retiring after a seven-year career of saving lives.

The 10-year-old Collie has been on more than 200 search and rescue missions and saved 14 lives, according to the Telegraph.

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real life lassie

Mij began joining rescue operations in 2008, the Lakeland Echo reported. She was one of only two scent discrimination dogs, meaning she can easily tell one human scent from another. Her intense skills put her, with her handler Iain Nicholson, in great demand.

"When Mij is shown an item of clothing from a particular individual, she can follow the trail despite the possible distractions of other human odors," Nicholson told the paper in 2008.

Paul Durham, of the National Search and Rescue Dog Association, told the Telegraph that because Mij had health problems as a puppy, she was unable to be trained as an open area search dog. But her handler didn't give up on her.

"Rather than prevent her from being a normal search dog Iain saw so much potential in her that handlers need," Durham said. "[He] helped her become the best rescue dog in the country."

Mij is now helping to train 20 new search and rescue dogs, keeping her legacy alive.

real life lassie



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