Monday, October 31, 2011

Giving it another Go-- Cooper and I

I drove to Milwaukee yesterday to train on the rubble pile with Cooper.  I have an incredible supporting team in People and Paws; they scrambled "victims" for me, since I am prepping to test in Tennessee next week. I drove down, did two search exercises, and drove back home.  It was all done for Cooper and I.  I cannot express often enough how grateful I am to this team. 

We failed our Type1/CE test in Milwaukee last spring and we're giving it another try.  I have been practicing wearing all my gear, marking the victims and going through the required information so that it will be second nature in the test.  Cooper seems to be searching well and in fact, is barking strongly instead of his customary squeak.  I can always tell if he has a victim because he does everything he can to penetrate, as well as barking.  It is quite clear, if not an unwelcome surprise to some of the victims to have a brindle face poking into their hidie-hole and demanding reward! Team Cooper is feeling positive.

When we came off the rubble, he greeted the "victims" with big kisses as he ran around.  I love that about him.  He is such a stable dog, who can move between the aggression required in protection work, to being a sociable, friendly dog. And, he is a total rubble monkey! He amazes me at how easily he covers unstable footing!

I didn't take any photos of him on the rubble but here is one I took on Saturday.