A retired search dog once thought to be the UK's tallest mountain rescue dog has been honored for her service.
A Border Collie, Skye made 200 searches during her 11-year career at Lake County before retiring in 2020 at the age of 14.
Sky will be awarded the PDSA Legion of Merit, sometimes known as the "Animal OBE", for her efforts.
Sky and her handler, John Ledbetter, 49, searched for missing personnel in all weathers during her service.
The dedicated canine started her career as a pup with the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team. She then worked with Duddon and Furness MRT as a trainee and tertiary search dog before moving to Langdale and Ambleside MRT and later Kendal MRT.
“Sky means everything to me; she is my best friend, and we are partners for life,” added Mr. Leadbeater.
“Seeing her receive the PDSA Medal of Merit is truly gratifying and moving, and a wonderful tribute to the time and hard work that Search Dogs and their teams devote to mountain safety.”
Not only has her long and illustrious career seen her guarding and helping vulnerable people, but her work as an ambassador has also helped generate vital funding and promote awareness.
Skye is the 36th animal to be awarded the PDSA Medal of Merit, which was created by the organization in 2014 to reward animals for their remarkable contributions to society.
“We are incredibly proud to honor Skye with our PDSA Legion of Merit,” said Jean McLoughlin, PDSA General Manager.
"Her extraordinary skill and dedication beyond those of ordinary companionship make her a very deserving recipient, and we think this is a fitting tribute to her life of dedication and hard work."
“Her long and distinguished career has not only seen her protect and help people in danger, but her work as an ambassador has also helped raise important funds and raise awareness of the amazing work that Mountain Rescue teams do.”
Skye began her training as a puppy with the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team and later qualified with the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dog Association.
Searches continued throughout the Lake District, as well as Lancashire, the Pennines, and Scotland.
Now about 16, she is enjoying her retirement with Mr Leadbetter and his family, who say she still enjoys being out on the hills and slopes, albeit at a somewhat slower speed.