OGDEN -- Dinah Novy, accompanied by her dog, Max, eased the golf cart away from Pioneer Park and slowly drove along a paved path next to the swollen Ogden River. Novy, a member of Ogden's Community Emergency Response Team, spent Thursday making rounds along a section of the Ogden River Parkway as part of a city-sponsored volunteer effort to warn pedestrians of the dangers of the fast-moving water.
As Novy drove along the trail, Max peered out from the golf cart, seemingly unfazed by the raging torrent nearby, as if to say he's seen much worse.
Indeed, he has.
In 2005, the border collie-sheep dog mix survived Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the New Orleans area in 2005.
Novy got Max four years ago from her son, who assisted in rebuilding New Orleans following the deadly storm.
The dog is the perfect partner for her work along the river, Novy said.
Kids love to pet him, which gives her plenty of time to have a serious chat with their parents about safety.
"If I can stop one person from ending up in the river, I've made a difference," Novy said.
Several people with whom Novy spoke on the trail Thursday said they appreciate efforts to keep them safe.
"It's a good thing they are out doing that," said Jason Critchlow, of Ogden, who was walking along the trail. "It's a great idea."
About 30 CERT volunteers in golf carts, on bikes and on foot have been patrolling a 4.5-mile section of the river trail from Rainbow Gardens, 1851 Valley Drive, to just west of the 21st Street viaduct almost daily since June 16.
About 600 volunteers from local congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are on standby in case river conditions worsen because of flooding, said Dewey Cragun, the city's CERT coordinator.
The river patrol was expected to last 10 days, but will continue until at least Monday, at which time it will be re-evaluated based on weather forecasts, Cragun said.
The volunteers work in pairs and are given two-way radios as they fan out along the river trail to check for bank erosion, trees that have fallen into the water and boaters and swimmers who may be in trouble.
They remind people they encounter to stay at least 5 feet away from the river's edge, to closely supervise their children and to keep their pets on a leash.
Although volunteers from the river patrol have not had to rescue anyone along the trail, they have observed people engaging in potentially dangerous activities, said Ron Ball, the city's risk manager.
Last week, some kids were caught jumping off the Gramercy Avenue bridge. Another group tied a rope to a foot bridge near Pioneer Stadium, 668 17th St., so they could wakeboard, he said.
While there have been seven drownings in Utah so far this summer, Ball is determined that the persistent floodlike conditions won't cause any in Ogden.
"If we can make it through the next week without a drowning, we will consider it a success."