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Henry's STORY

Vail Mountain's 1st Avalanche Rescue Dog

Vail Avalanche Rescue Dogs


During his storied career, people could always count on Henry being at Ski Patrol Headquarters (PHQ) at the top of the mountain spreading goodwill and cheer to visitors from all over the world. Most of Henry’s days at PHQ were filled with kids and adults alike showering him with affection and loving on him all day long. All of the love that Henry gave back to his fans and the lives he touched made him an iconic and beloved fixture at the top of Chair 4. This led to a yurt and deck being built across from PHQ which was affectionately named Henry’s Hut, a popular meeting place where skiers and snowboarders gather for picnics and where friends and family go to warm up inside on those chilly winter days.


They say bourbon drinkers are an intensely loyal breed with their families, friends, co-workers and their jobs. Henry personified all of those qualities as Vail’s first ski patrol avalanche rescue dog and his loyalty and dedication will never be forgotten. That’s why we wanted to ensure that we left a lasting legacy for Henry.

When we embarked on this journey to preserve Henry’s legacy, we thought what better way than to give back to service dog foundations that are so important to us. That’s when we decided to develop and launch a bourbon brand to honor Henry with a philanthropic component. A portion of the proceeds from sales of Avy Dog Bourbon will be donated to support hand-picked service dog organizations on both a local and national level.

From Henry’s days as a young pup rookie ski patroller, his impact was immediately felt. Chris “Mongo” Reeder, Henry’s owner, handler and the Director of Vail Ski Patrol couldn’t have imagined a better life for his beloved best friend.


In the beginning as the only dog on Vail ski patrol, Henry was definitely the odd man out. He would have to earn the respect of his fellow ski patrollers which he accomplished through nearly 2 years of rigorous training to prepare for his validation test. The training takes place every day and it takes a whole team to train and maintain a professional avalanche rescue dog. All of Henry’s hard work finally paid off and he was welcomed by the patrollers with open arms and treated as one of the team. Henry had earned his stripes!

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We were fortunate in finding a great partner in Ryan Thompson, the founder of Vail born and award winning craft distillery, The 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Company. Both Henry and 10th Mountain Whiskey & Spirit Co. are deeply rooted in Vail and share a common goal of philanthropy, each with causes that wonderfully coincide. This made Avy Dog Bourbon's collaboration with 10th Mountain Whiskey a perfect complement to each other…and the 10th distillery is in our own backyard!


Having been a loyal and exemplary service dog all of his life, Henry has become an enduring part of Vail’s history and culture. Please join us in a toast celebrating Henry and his legacy!


Every bourbon has a story...ours has a LEGEND

Our Adorable Hero

Henry's Life In Vail's Ski Patrol

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