(NewsNation Now) — Sometimes cold comfort is the product of warm hearts.

Heads-up thinking and dogged determination on the part of two Colorado students saved the life of a canine who might otherwise have suffered a cold, cruel and tragic death.

Colorado School of Mines students Bobby White and Josh Trujillo were backcountry skiing in the Berthoud Pass area an hour west of Denver in the Rocky Mountains when they saw a veritable explosion of snow nearby.

Skiing across the off-trail terrain to check it out, they discovered that the dog of another student, Scott Shepherd, had been climbing above the area of the snow explosion and caused an avalanche.

The dog, Apollo, was buried alive.

On the hunt for the Chesapeake Bay retriever across a 300-yard-long, 50-yard-wide expanse for some 20 minutes, the skiers had just about given up hope.

“I think we need to get out of here,” one of them can be heard saying on the GoPro camera that captured the adventure. “There’s a lost cause. That dog is dead.”

It was then they spotted the snout of the animal protruding through the snow. Frantically digging with their hands and a small plastic shovel, they managed to extricate the animal.

After being buried for nearly 20 minutes, Apollo was able to walk away relatively unscathed, the weight of a snowy world lifted from his canine shoulders.

Who let the dog out? Bobby White and Josh Trujillo of Colorado did.