Saturday, October 8, 2011

3 New Certifications!

Went to Camp Ripley, MN from Sept 26 -Oct 1st for North American Police and Working Dog Association (NAPWDA) training and testing.

Emmett passed his Utility Area search. He had the subject pegged before we vested him up. Vested him up and prolly 1.5minn later we were done. Next time we will for the SAR Search.

Eve passed her tracking certification on Wed and had a hell trailing test on Thursday 1.5 was a nightmare!! 20MPH winds and gusting way more and dry as heck which made for some of the worst conditions to trail in!!  The trail was all over Camp Ripley. By roads in-between buildings, parallel to the wind, against the wind, with the was hell.   Eve stuck with it and worked it out!!!  Proud of her!!!!! SOOO PROUD of her!!!!

NAPWDA is a quality organization and I'm proud to have 3 certs from them for my two guys!!!

Now it's time to get Eve an HRD certification and keep Emmett consistent and growing in his young SAR career.

There was a professional photographer there and I'll get some pics up when I get them.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Another call out. Both K9's deployed

Got a call out @ 4:20 this morning.  Got the pups ready and hit the scene at about 4:45am.  Bad car wreck and we were called in to track the driver that fled the scene.

Started Eve and she worked North next to a building and over to a city park/large community garden.  She worked north and I felt confident that she had a nice track.  I stopped her (as my other K9 partner had already started tracking her dog down that same line 5min earlier) as I wanted to make sure that was the only trail out of the scene.  Started her off the seat (which no one had been in besides the driver) and cast her around the scene trying to pick up some other trail...but had no luck.  Cast Eve toward the direction that she had gone earlier...and she hooked back up taking almost the same we continued on that path weaving through the trees and shrubs in the gardens.  It was pitch black and very hard to navigate.  Worked a trail through the gardens and out on to a side street where the trail went cold.  Worked her back into the garden and met up w/ the other K9 and handler.  We scented where she had ended to see if we could work the trail more.

Later we brought Emmett to clear the garden area and he found nothing.

All in all a very hectic and frustrating day.  Mad that we didn't get the subject but we are thinking he was picked up by friends and transported out of town.  Will find out when he is caught and brought to justice!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Eve and I got called out...and nailed it!

Can't post much details but
Call out #1 8:05 Boda (one of my team mates K9's) ran 1.25+ mile trail to where a truck was stolen..happy dance!
Get back work call out #2 Eve ran a .96 to where suspect called from! Yes!
 Was a great day!  Eve worked hard and it was all Urban mostly about 12hrs old or so.  Picked up the trail and never looked back.  When right to the block (4 buildings) that the suspect ran to that night and stayed.  Then worked the area and worked along a stream crossed and down the other side till ran out of scent.  Then straight to the building that the suspect called from to get a ride!  Eve worked it great and gave no indications of leaving the building!

Proud Dad!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

SAR certifications passed! (May 7th, 2011)

Had an exhausting last 2 weekends doing SAR Certifications. Last week I was the one under the gun when I good the NASAR SAR Tech II test. Thankfully I passed. Then this weekend the dogs and I were tested through NASDN.

Thank God they both passed!!! Eve recertified in tracking/trailing and Emmett received his first ever SAR cert passing Air Scent Area Search certification! Emmett's test was a breeze even though he hasn't worked much in the last 9 months due to the ACL repair. He is a good boy and knows the game and loves it! He cleared the 6 acre area and led me to the victim in 7min!!!! That was even after dad was a doh head and didn't follow his dog when he noticed the 1st head pop.

Eve's trail was a real bugger and she didn't give dad any help in the beginning. She was so lackadaisical and didn't even act like she wanted to trail. Dad kept his cool and didn't freak out. He cast her and worked her to get her going. Once she was about 50ft into it she was dead on and looked like a normal working Eve that I know. Got to the bottom of a hill in a valley where about 4 different hills and valleys met. The air down there was crazy. It had gotten warm and the wind switched 4+ times while we were down there. Took us about 5-10min to work that area and clear the scent pool. Dad about melted down and freaked out!!!!! I kept my cool and was glad that she gave me plenty of negatives so I knew where to eliminate and keep working towards the victim. We were about 30-50yrds away the whole time. I thought she gave me a negative the way the trail was but I must have miss read her because she went that way 3 times before the dope on the end of the rope followed her and about 30yrs up a trail on a hill I saw our victim laying on a pallet in the woods. My heart sank as I knew we had recertified!!! That was about 5-10min of the most stress I have had in a lot time. The evaluators and about 4-5 of my peers were staring as I about melted down and almost missed certifying. After the trail we talked about what had happened and the evaluators talked about how the wind shifted 4+times while there were standing there and why it would have been harder then it should have been. I have never worked a valley like that before. Granted I wasn't perfect and missed some signs she gave me we kept it together and thank God she didn't shut down on me and we figured it out!!!! I never want to go through that again but am glad I did so that I can just keep thinking and reading her through it!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Long overdue update

So the last post has been since January...well I've been VERY busy.  Almost every weekend is full of training the dogs and life is always busy.  Have some great news though.  I passed my NASAR SAR Tech II test!!!!  We studied for 4wks or so hard and heavy and I just took it this last weekend and passed!!!!!  I'm excited to have this step in my SAR career out of the way.

Now I'm getting nervous as Eve re-certifies thus coming weekend (May 7th) and Emmett will try for his first certification that day also.  Dad is getting the pretest nerves.  I know my pups can do it...just hope dad doesn't get in their way or mess them up.

For now not trying to let the nerves get the best of me

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Warm January play

A short video for you all. It was like 33-35 degrees here yesterday which was like shorts and t-shirt weather after this -23 crap we've had. Got her out to play and took a video w/ my itouch

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yep I'm a terrible parent. Forgotten Birthday!

Well Eve turned 4 a week ago yesterday....I forgot about it till Friday of last week.  What a terrible parent I am.  Who's taking Eve cause obviously I'm not fit to keep her

I look forward to the years we have together.  She has been such a great pup these first 4 yrs.

:)  J/k But I did feel bad that I forgot :(  What a jerk I am

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Emmett has had a few rough days

Emmett was due to have his TPLO (ACL surgery) plate out and get neutered on Tuesday of this week.  He has a gap in the bone and it isn't healing fast enough.  It's been 7months and looks more like 7wks in that one gap.  So the surgeon suggested that we pull out his plate, 6 screws, and 2 pins.
On Monday night (the day before surgery mind you) poor Emmett had to man an emergency visit to the vet. He had a hunched rear, ears back, and acted not happy!   Vet did a urine and blood sample thinking it might be prostatitis.  But she wasn't convinced as the blood tests didn't show what she should have seen.  The vet checked his prostate and he went ballistic!!!  Whining and crying and biting.  Emmett NEVER bites!  He was in terrible pain.
She did multiple x-rays to see if he was blocked but nothing was in there.  We left him there after 2hrs with no definite diagnosis.  She gave him some pain killers to him feel more comfy and hooked him up and gave him about .5 liters of fluid to flush anything in his system.
Since we thought it was an infection were were not able to remove the hardware :(  Neutering him actually helps protatitis so he had the surgery.  Everything went well but....Emmett has had a retained testicle in his abdomen since he was a puppy so we knew when we neutered him that they would have to go find it.  Well the retained testicle decided to get twisted and lodged up in a place it shouldn't have been causing all his pain and discomfort.  I guess this is unheard of!  They said it was all read and full of blood and looked nasty.  Poor guy.  Well it's all removed and he's much happier.  Bad thing is that we have to wait a week or two to remove the plate and screws and he will have to go through another surgery :(  Oh well for now he's on the mend an pretty happy. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

1st SAR Case last night!!

Eve and I had our very first SAR case last night!!  What a rush.  I felt sick to my stomach after I found out that we would be working but once I got there all the training kicked in and it was go time!

We were called up after the subject had been missing for 3days and the last 3days weather has been snow, blowing winds, and very cold.  All the sidewalks and streets had been plowed or snow blown around so much that I was not optimistic about running a successful track.  But we needed to help out as much as we could and hopefully provide any info/data that we could to the case.  No other K9 teams had been called up yet....not sure why...but we were there to do our thing.

One of our team members pulled her dog out of the car and started him off the scent article.  He did a circle around the entrance that she was last seen at and did a jump indication...he did a No Scent Indication (Kevin Kocher training method for anyone not familiar with this term)!  We understood that he was telling us "there isn't that scent present here" but we tried to work him out from the building some more....notta nothing but negative indications. 

So Eve was up....I put on her boots as it was like -6 to -8 w/out windchill and I wanted her to work w/out worrying about her feet freezing.  Talked her all up and got her all ready to rock...I really try to pump her up w/ encouraging and positive words before we go out there.  Walked her around the point last seen (PLS) to get the wiggles out and to potty then brought her to where the harness and scent article were laying.  Started doing are harness routine and as usual was whispering pump up words in her ear.  Pointed out the scent article and when she sniffed it told her "find em".  She went up to the door but showed not real interest in the area so I let her work a little longer and then cast her out into the parking lot where she gave me a lot of negatives (head up, shake off's, and no committed trail).  Worked her up towards the side of the building and tried seeing if I could pick something up....notta.  Then went around around the building to the other exit and tried to pick something up on that exit or sidewalk.  Nothing, nothing, nothing!!  So it was back to the car for a warm up and on to drive to a place about 2 blocks down where someone thought that they saw the missing person 3 days earlier.

Did the same preharness routine (you want it to be like a free throw in basketball...the same motions, same everything, everytime) and gave her "find em".  This time we worked a 3way or "T" corner.  She went up to one sidewalk...head up....and a shake off.  Then I cast here to the road and towards another sidewalk...another shake off.  Then down the sidewalk (working the corner in a clockwise fashion) for a couple more shake offs and no commitments.  Then back towards the article on the last sidewalk/street area for only more shake offs.  I swear that is the most shake off's I've ever seen out of one dog on a corner! 

While I am sad that we did not find a trail to hook up to and follow to a find I am proud to say that Eve did the best job that she could with what she had.   There was no hesitation by either of us if she was on anything.  It was VERY clear that she had nothing and was throwing negatives all over the place (shake offs, head up, etc).  I am happy that she did not take me on a wild goose chase or search for is nice to be able to understand that Eve had nothing and was not going to give me anything she did not have.

Although I am proud of her I am sad and distressed that there might possibly be a person out there that needs to be found.  I have thought about it almost all my free time for this last day.  We are going back to work some others dogs in different areas (track/trail dogs are of no use now in the case) so Eve will not be worked.  I am hopeful and confident that if we get into the right area a K9 member of my team WILL find her...but until then I can't stop thinking about it.

I guess that drive is why we are doing what we do.
"That others may live..."
Eric and K9 Eve

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cold day of training

Not much been happening here with all the Holidays and the weather.  Unfortunately we haven't been training much but we got out today.  It was about 10 degrees so warm feet were my concern.  I tried trailing with Eve in here boots ( and she did the same thing that she does when she wears them on walks........RUN!!!  I have no idea why but she pins her ears back and gets a wild look in her eyes....then flys crazy about.  I had a feeling this was going to be the case but wanted to know before we got out on a real case and I had never put her in the boots before.

She did well on the trail but I ran almost the whole way.  This is NOT the style for me nor her.  She was dead on (after she got the spunk out the first 50ft or so and settled in) but I refuse to run with her.  It won't do either of us any good.  She will burn out quicker and she can miss corners easier.  Also I can't read her very well when she goes so fast and doesn't give as many negatives.

Emmett did awesome for not training more than about 2 times since his ACL surgery on July 30th.  I'm really impressed w/ this little guy.  He has the basics down of the game and has great drive.  Now we just need to work on getting him larger area searches. 

Also, found out that Emmett will have to have all of his TPLO surgery hardware (plate, 6screws, and 2pins) removed in the next couple weeks.  He isn't fully healed almost 6months later.  The Drs believe it is due to the plate so we are removing it.  I hope that he gets back to "normal" as I really want to lock in his training and hope to get him certified in May. 

I do have concerns about him being a Boxer and having a short muzzle.  Many feel it makes their smelling capabilities less than a dog w/ a longer muzzle.  I don't know if that is true (cause he seems to smell very well) or if it is the fact that he will overheat quicker and then mouth breath more and then not smell through his nose as much?  Either way I have started training him, he is doing very well and loves it and I will finish him out and certify him.  That does not mean that I will ever put him in a situation that I feel that he will not do well at or that he could compromise the lost person.

Enough for now....hope more to post later