Race against time…
That’s when search and like Ginny in.” are called
but they’re usually not serious. And it’s because it attracts a very wide clientele – everyone from kids up to grannies. We had a kid last year who broke her ankle – she was just running down and turned it over.”
“She told her dad that she couldn’t put any weight on it, as it was hurting, and after being told ‘not to be so soft,’ she managed to go another 100 metres before they realised her foot had twisted 90 degrees. She’d had a triple break in the bone and needed pins put in. Her dad was absolutely mortified afterwards! We carried her off to the waiting air ambulance.”
Last year Keswick MRT attended 94 incidents. The team responds to a variety of call-outs, many of them accidents involving broken bones and lower leg injuries, but Mick says around 30% involve searches. When a walker is lost or a vulnerable person goes missing, it can be a race against time to find them; that’s when search and rescue dogs like Ginny are called in. Mick’s trained three dogs in his time as a handler and he explains it takes time to hone their skills.
“They’re usually collies in the Lake District and it’s their agility and endurance that’s needed to a large extent. You need the dog to be stock sound and obedient before you start, and you need the adult bark. Once you have those, she will always work for something like a squeaky toy or ball.”