It’s been three years since Chile experienced its most devastating wildfire season yet. Flames tore through 1.4 million acres, decimating the country’s forests.
Even in the face of such destruction, hope came in the form of three fluffy heroes, who teamed up to restore Chile’s forests to their original glory!
Meet 6-year-old Das and her pups, Summer and Olivia. The three border collies belong to Francisca Torres, who trains assistance dogs and runs Pewos, a canine-oriented environmental community.
Following the wildfires in 2017, Francisca and her sister Constanza found a wonderful way to put the dogs’ love of running to good use.
A few months after the fires, Francisca brought the dogs into scorched areas. Each of them wore a backpack filled with native plant seeds.
Their mission? To wander around for hours, spreading the seeds to make the woods green once again!
On a good day, the furry trio was running up to 18 miles — and dispersing 20 pounds of seeds!
It quickly proved to be the perfect workout for the dogs, as border collies are known for being extremely active. Plus, as sheepherders, they were likely to leave any wild animals they encountered alone.
While Das, Olivia, and Summer have had a blast racing each other, they’ve also made a big difference!
“We have seen many results in flora and fauna coming back to the burned forest!” Francisca told Treehugger. Of course, she gives all the credit to her canine friends, adding that “border collies are super smart!”
The best part is their work has just gotten started. Francisca plans to take the three pups back into the forests soon, where they’ll continue spreading seeds and revitalizing important ecosystems. In the meantime, you can keep up with Das, Olivia, and Summer on Instagram.
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