International Rescue Dog Day - April 27

Meet Blaze, a certifided Search and Rescue dog. Blaze is a Swiss Shepard who, with her canine buddy, Delena, visited us from Calgary this week. Blaze was kind enough to bring Birgit and Alex, a couple of non canines, to entertain me with stories over breakfast, and to run the beaches and trail with them.

It is from Blaze that I discovered it was International Rescue Dog Day today. What wonderful company to enjoy it with.

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Birgit told me that the training for the human comes first. Have been certified herself some years ago, Birgit continues to keep her skills up and continues to work many times a day maintaining and perfecting Blaze's skills. Though it seems a lot of work, Birgit makes it fun for Blaze who enjoys daily romps and solving puzzles.

Though Delena is now retired as a rescue dog, I'm sure she takes pride in watching Blaze achieve the skills necessary to be a rescue dog.

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Rescue dogs are used to help police locate objects that might have been discarded by a perpetrator of a crime. However, finding missing persons is the job that they are most noted for. Though rescue dogs are used to find persons who have been lost in wilderness areas, they are also used to find children and disabled persons like those with alzheimers.

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Keeping in top physical shape is necessary for search and rescue dogs as well as their partners who must keep in physical shape to meet the requirement of various terrains and obstacles.

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When Blaze finds an object she lays down and waits for Birgit to retrieve it. It if is a person she lhas found, she greets the person, grabs a tag from her collar, and brings it back in her mouth as a sign that a person has been discovered. They  return to the person together, assisting with first aid and rescue. It must be a powerful feeling to be of such use to a community. Calgary is very luck to have this pair.

Birgit, who has worked with many dogs over the years, assures me that every dog is smart in it's own way, even, she says, fluffy dogs like Baxter. I wonder if Baxter can be trained to find my car keys?

Find out more about search and rescue dogs from Birgit's blog at www.hilsbos.ca

Thank-you Birgit, Alex, and the girls for brightening up my house during your stay. We look forward to seeing you come up over the horizon again soon.

Happy International Rescue Dog Day!