Adventures of SAR Dog - Chapter 2 The Mock Search

The mock search last weekend was somewhat disappointing. I thought there would be a victim that was hidden somewhere and the unit would approach it like a real search. Unfortunately, it was just like our regular training except that the mission ready people were required to wear uniforms and fill out T cards.

Since Rufus and I are not officially part of the unit until I finish the sheriff’s dept SAR academy, we could not be part of the search so I was a subject. I was given a radio for the exercise but other than that, it was just like the other times I was a subject.

Fortunately, I told them that I wouldn’t be there unless Rufus got a chance to work so before the "mock search" started Rufus and I worked a short trail. Rufus was on his game that day except for one brief period where he decided to go critter hunting. We were coming down a hill and I could see the subject off to the right and Rufus decided to go left. We got out into a clearing and Rufus just stopped and began sniffing in one spot. That’s usually a good indication that he has forsaken the 2-legged quarry and was concentrating on something with 4 legs. Oddly enough, we were still within sight of the subject. I gave Rufus the ‘back to work’ command and he immediately went back to where he left the trail before. Then he saw the subject and dragged me down the hill. One thing I actually did right was giving his reward to the subject before she left. When we found her, I reached down for Rufus’ goody bag and discovered I had dropped it someplace along the trail. Fear not though. Rufus found it on his way back to base. SAR City, a large search & rescue convention is this weekend. I’m not going but most of the unit is so I don’t know if there will be training or not.

I did submit my application to the sheriff’s dept so at least for the time being, Rufus will continue training and I will continue writing about it.

Rufus Getting Acquainted

Stay tuned for the Continuing Adventures of Rufus the SAR Dog

E-Mail Jeff

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Page updated 02 December 1999