The past two weeks in Austin have been all about South by Southwest, but this year’s festivities were a little different thanks to some new volunteers. As the annual event comes to a close, we had to share one of the most unique stories we heard. If you’ve ever attended the conference, you know how tough it is to keep your phone charged. Enter Mophie and their posse of Saint Bernards to the rescue at SXSW.

St. Bernards, the big lovable dogs, are best known (after Beethoven) as search and rescue dogs in the Swiss Alps, climbing through avalanched snow with a cask of brandy around their necks to warm up survivors. This past week the Alps were replaced by the streets of Austin and the brandy by phone chargers. The canine employees were provided by the St. Bernard Rescue Foundation. You can watch the USA Today video here.

The phone battery life boosting company Mophie has made it its business for the past few years to rescue SXSW attendees with a fresh charge. Inspired by the overwhelming gratitude of their clients, this year they took the essential nature of their job to heart, with a tongue-in-cheek twist. A dying phone at SXSW may not actually be a life or death situation, but it can certainly feel like it.

All you had to do was tweet a screenshot of your low battery to @mophie and maybe, just maybe, one of their beautiful, battery-pack toting St. Bernards would come lumbering toward you (accompanied by a handler, of course) with your lifeline! And you could even track their progress from the Mophie Rescue Lodge to you in real time.

For us, the rescuing of dogs (and cats) is of vital importance and not just as a cute marketing ploy at SXSW. But we appreciate the partnership and exposure Mophie gave to St. Bernards and their foundation. VIP supports several rescue organizations in Austin, including Austin Pets Alive.  Contact us to get your pup out strutting his stuff on the streets of Austin just like these battery-bearing heroes!

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