Scotty Lago, a snowboarder from Seabrook, N.H., won a bronze medal in the half-pipe at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and won bronze and silver medals at the 2013 World Cup. When he is not hitting the slopes, Lago lives with his dog Camo, a 2- year-old Jack Russell Terrier.
Q: Why did you decide to get a dog?
A: I grew up with my grandfather’s English Setters, so I always wanted a big dog. One day my girlfriend Bridget brought home a Jack Russell puppy, and even though I didn’t want a small dog, I fell in love with him.
Q: Where did Camo come from?
A: Bridget bought him from a reputable breeder in South Hampton, N.H.
Q: How did you choose his name?
A: It’s short for camouflage.
Q: Does Camo travel with you?
A: Yes, but only in the U.S. He’s a great traveler and goes right to sleep inside his travel bag.
Q: Does your dog help you train?
A: No, but he’s hiked up Oregon’s Mount Hood with me, and I held him in my arms when I snowboarded down the mountain.
Q: Does he like the snow?
A: He loves it and wears a coat. I try to put on his doggie boots, but he rips them off.
Q: What’s Camo’s favorite activity?
A: He’s crazy about playing catch, and he’ll go after snowballs for two hours.
Q: Does he help relieve your stress from competition?
A: After a tough day of practice, I’ll come home, and as soon as I walk in the door, Camo starts zipping around the house. When I give him a treat he does all of his tricks, and it’s so funny. We’re both so excited to see one another, and he makes me laugh all the time. That helps me right there.
Q: Did you train your dog?
A: All of my dog training experience comes from watching my grandfather and his English Setters. Using hand signals, I taught Camo how to do tricks. When I raise my hand he will sit, stand, and lie down. He can turn in a circle and bark on command, but the most useful trick is Stay.