Earlier this year SARShop.com contacted search and rescue groups from around the world asking members to submit photos of their dogs. Their plan was to produce the first Search and Rescue calendar. We submitted a couple of pictures of our beautiful Tango and then promptly forgot about it. Just a couple of days before Tango crossed over the rainbow bridge we received an email telling us that Tango’s picture had been chosen for the calendar. This weekend we received our complimentary copy of the 2015 calendar. It was very emotional for us to see our girl’s picture in the calendar. The picture above is the one they chose. She is part of a group of pictures for the month of July.
Back in 2012 this picture of Tango was chosen to hang in the Royal Alberta Museum as part of their Wolf to Woof exhibit. (read more about it here).
Just a few more pictures of our girl. She always looked like she was smiling. Gosh I miss her……..
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Yesterday Don and Tango had their annual RCMP certification in 4 profiles (small article, alley, large article, person) and obedience . I am very proud to say that they passed. During their large article test a stray dog came into their search area and wanted to play with Tango. Our girl just kept searching and didn’t even look at the other dog. There were four RCMP dog handlers observing the certification and they were really impressed with her focus and dedication to her search. Knowing our dominant, bossy girl….I bet she didn’t want to share her “prize” with another dog so she was determined to find it first.
Last weekend we were in Slake Lake to participate in a large multi-agency Mock Search put on by the Slave Lake Regional Fire Service. There were people from the RCMP, Edmonton Regional Search and Rescue, Canadian Search Dog Association, Slake Lake Search and Rescue to name a few. We had 9 dogs teams there representing Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge. It was a very well planned and thought out exercise that had scenarios and search areas to suit each group. We even had helicopters flying low over head throughout the day. The dogs did great and didn’t seem concerned about the noise or the low flying choppers. No one encountered any bears or angry wildlife and we all had a great time.
I am proud to say that Don and Tango passed their annual RCMP Cadaver certification last night. They had three 20 x 20 metre fields that they had to search, one had no material in it and the other two had 1-3 samples. The scent sources were placed 48 hours prior to the test. They were allowed 30 minutes per field but they completed all three fields in approximately 20 minutes. They found all samples and correctly identified the negative field. Don said that it was a ‘thing of beauty’ watching our girl work the fields. Tango got Timmy bits as her reward and the skinny guy and I are going out for dinner tonight for our celebration. Yeah Team!!!!
This past weekend Team Tango participated in a multi-agency mock search in the Slave Lake area. The training scenario was a plane crash in the remote wilderness with 15 passengers and crew that needed to be located and rescued. The search included 4 helicopters, 2 fixed wing aircraft, 3 boats, approximately 30 quads and 110 personnel. They utilized an actual 1975DEC29 plane crash site which added to the realism of the search. The disaster scenario tested the readiness of many agencies including Slave Lake Regional Fire Services, RCMP, Environmental and Sustainable Resource Development (Fish and Wildlife, Lands and Forest), Slave Lake Regional SAR, Edmonton Regional SAR, local aviation companies and of course the Canadian Search Dog Association.
Team Tango was deployed to two search areas and travelled by quad into the crash site. They also did a person search demonstration for the Slave Lake Regional Fire Chief. The big thrill of the day for Don was getting to ride in a helicopter with Tango. I think Tango was more fascinated with the flashing lights and reflections inside the helicopter than she was with the actual flight. Our girl is a little OCD when it comes to watching and chasing reflections. Here is a video and some pictures from the mock search: