A Glimpse To The Future, A Glance At The Past

by Houndstooth on

Bunny mentioned yesterday that we went to help with some Search and Rescue Training with Küster and Mr. Taleteller over the weekend.  This weekend’s training was different because they had a man who’s a Master Trainer there to give them three days of instruction with their dogs.  It was a great experience for everyone involved, I believe.  I volunteered to go on Saturday because it was being held at the old Bartonville State Hospital for the Incurable Insane and because I love being able to see all the dogs work in their various disciplines.

Sula On The RunKüster now has almost a year of training under his collar and we are very happy with his progress.  He is learning about trailing, which is when there is a person missing and it’s known where they were last seen.  However, this weekend, Master Trainer thought it would be interesting to see if he could work on area search.  Our big puppy rose to the challenge and figured the game out rather quickly.  The training involves Küster looking for a person (who happens to have one of his toys), then running back to get his handler (that would be Mr. Taleteller) and leading him back to his victim, who then gives him the toy and does some playing with him.  In short, Küster thought this was the best game ever, so we will still work on training him for trailing, but he’ll also start to learn some area search techniques.

Kuster Waits to WorkI really love seeing some of the more advanced dogs working, too.  It’s fun to see dogs who have really mastered their disciplines work at them.  I find it fascinating to see them in action.  None of them work in exactly the same way.  Each dog has his or her own way of doing the job and of working with the handler.  Can you imagine being able to find the scent of human remains from a grave over one hundred years old?  The canine nose is a masterpiece of creation.

Biba Sniffs Things OutAnother part of the day that I really enjoyed was meeting Nike.  She is an eight week old Irish Water Spaniel.  Her human is new with the group and is planning to train Nike in some discipline of Search and Rescue.  Right now, the plan is to socialize her a lot with new people and to foster her interest in toys and playing.  She did some games that I remember us doing with Küster and it made me feel really nostalgic.  It also showed me how far our boy has come in the last year.

Nike Looks IntenseOne important lesson that Mr. Trainer shared with Nike’s human was not to compare her progress with that of other dogs in the group.  My husband and Buzz’s human both shared how they’d gotten Buzz and Küster within the same week since their birthdays are four days apart.  Each of them has felt discouraged at times when seeing each other’s puppies doing their work, even though they’re training for different things.

Chico Gets ReadyI can say that I think they both should be extremely proud of their puppies.  It’s been a great help for us that another person close to us had a puppy at the same stage of training as Küster.  I think it would have been a lot more discouraging for my husband to only see dogs who were a lot farther ahead in their training all the time.  He and Buzz’s human have met a lot during the last year to train the puppies together.

Sassy at WorkI suppose it’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, but it’s important that we see the assets that we have as well.  I know that I need to work on certain aspects of who I am, but it’s good to know that I have strengths, as well.  We all have both, but we all lose sight of them at times.  The good news is that we can be reminded about what our strengths are from time to time.

Jima Gets Some Love

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  • This has been the greatest lesson my pups have taught me. The ease of being who they are and not wishing to be another dog has really helped me accept who I am.

  • Those Brindle Kids have also taught me that sometimes things I think are really important – just aren’t. They’re greyt for helping me with perspective.
    Nike has the cutest little face!

  • Sue

    Never realised so many different breeds wee used in S&R. Absolutely adore Chico:)

  • Yep be should never compare ourselves to others. We are created to be who we are. And that is a beautiful thing.
    Blessings,
    Goose

  • Sam

    I have loved hearing all the stories of the work and training – I think I would be easily discouraged, but you are right, every dog learns at its own pace and does its own thing!

    Sam

  • I try not to compare myself or my kids to others. Everyone is different. I think we are comfortable in our own skin.

  • We wish we lived closer so we could watch you and your friends working Kuster. Thanks for sharing your fun adventure with us.

    Millie & Cindy

  • Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

    A very wise post. Just like human kids, dogs develop in different ways and that is important to remember. We keep reminding Mom about that when she wonders if Lightning really has a brain:)

    As we have said many times before, Kuster is just so handsome.

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

  • I LOVE hearing about Kuster’s training. It’s so interesting to me. I mean, I have a pretty decent sniffer, but finding people and remains and all of that? WOW!

  • This is such a great post – thanks for the reminder about strengths and weaknesses. Of course, I appreciate all the pictures too. Nike is so cute – she kinda looks like Emma!

  • The comparison game is so hard to avoid! I feel like no matter how well I know not to even go there, nasty little thoughts still pop into my head. But it is ridiculous as no doubt the other person whom you think is doing so much better is thinking about how much better you are!

    It is definitely great to see so many breeds participating. Thanks for sharing all the great shots!

  • Ryker

    What an interesting post. I am so impressed with all the dogs involved in S&R. It is a great calling. Nike is adorable!

  • Benny & Lily

    It’s amazing how these pups are so eager to do their job
    Benny & Lily

  • Jet

    Hey Bunny, Hey Kuster, Jet here. Hi Mr. & Mrs. T.

    Kuster looks sleek and attentive in his picture. Nike’s picture quality is exceptional, btw.

    Thank you for sharing about the Search and Rescue Process. We thank all the teams for their service.

  • I love when you get pictures of the redbone!!

  • I don’t think I’ve ever compared our dogs to other people’s. But (perhaps sadly), I do compare the ones we have to the ones we had. Poor Georgia will never be the saint Jordan was! Thankfully, she is is slightly less woolly than Rufus 😉

  • KB

    Ah, area search was my favorite and Acadia’s favorite. I adored watching her run, directing her, and figuring out the wind currents so that I knew how to search an area most efficiently.

    Great photos! I love that first one!

  • That’s a beautiful Redbone in the top picture. So beautiful to see them working.

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