I have to say that one of the more interesting things about training a K-9 search and rescue dog is the venues we train in. Saturday we found ourselves at a scrap yard.
One of our teammates arranged for the team to train at a scrap yard over in Missouri. So Küster and I found ourselves getting up early and making the three and half hour drive to Monroe City, Missouri. It was a nice cool, rainy day and we watched the weather forecast due to storms coming in later that afternoon.
You would think scrap yards would be easy for the dogs to work in. There are acres of nicely stacked cars all in rows. But, the reality of it is that there are many places for the scent or odor to get stuck while blowing in the wind. Here’s an example. We had a person acting as a victim in one of the wrecked vehicles. There was a strong wind blowing across the rows. The K-9 is sent out to search and finds an area of interest. The K-9 is very interested in one of the SUV’s and was spending a lot of time in and around the truck. The handler finally walked over and looks inside the SUV. It was empty. The team began to work more of a search pattern and the victim was found two vehicles over. After a brief discussion it seemed like from where the victim was hiding was a wind tunnel headed directly into the SUV where the scent was caught and stayed there.
Another interesting thing that happened was during an HRD search. The source was hidden very high. In this case the K-9 worked very well under the source and upwind of the source. On the down wind side of the stacked vehicles there seemed to be a three or four foot void with no scent. The K-9 did work it out and find the source in time. In this scenario the wind seemed to be pushed out and then it fell to the ground some distance from the source.
By the time we had run all the dogs and were ready for lunch the skies opened up and rain came down. All in all a great day and we all learned a little more about our K-9 partners and how they work.
On the way home Küster and I stopped off in Hannibal to see the home of Mark Twain. We also picked up some caramel corn to bring home to the Chief Editor.