She’s been a and ev­ery­body loves her... she’s just one of those dogs that

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - News -

Dur­ing train­ing, search and res­cue dogs learn to as­so­ciate the scent of a per­son with a re­ward, grad­u­ally cov­er­ing big­ger and big­ger search ar­eas, where their han­dlers must con­fi­dently de­clare all ca­su­al­ties have been found. “You get to a point where the dog is ab­so­lutely sound,” says Mick, “when it can pick up any hu­man scent, find some­one and start bark­ing – re­lay­ing back and forth from their find. And they’re al­ways pleased to see her.”

“Her first find was an older hon­ey­moon cou­ple at the top of Clough Head who were on the phone to our base when she came bound­ing to­wards them. She’s been a bril­liant dog and ev­ery­body loves her. We al­ways say when we do col­lec­tions: the dogs will sit out front with the buck­ets, they’ll go out and find the chil­dren, the chil­dren will bring their par­ents, and the par­ents the money. She’s just one of those dogs that makes friends with peo­ple.”

Of Ginny’s 258 call­outs, 178 were searches for miss­ing per­sons, and as Mick points out, in­creas­ingly it’s not al­ways the in­ex­pe­ri­enced who make poor and some­times fa­tal de­ci­sions.

“Last win­ter there were some­thing like eight or nine fa­tal­i­ties in the UK, nearly all ex­pe­ri­enced hill­walk­ers in their 60s, male and gen­er­ally walk­ing solo. I think peo­ple gen­er­ally don’t take ac­count of the fact they’re get­ting older, and no longer have the re­serves of strength and de­ter­mi­na­tion to get them­selves out of trou­ble when things go wrong.”

“There’s noth­ing wrong in chal­leng­ing your­self, but just be re­al­is­tic. If the weather turns bad, you’re not sure where you are and you’re not phys­i­cally, prac­ti­cally and men­tally equipped for it, then that’s the time to turn around.”

Paul Davies MARCH 2017 AC­CI­DENT BLACKSPOT Best avoided in haz­ardous wet or icy con­di­tions, Blen­cathra’s pre­cip­i­tous Sharp Edge is some­where the Keswick MRT are reg­u­larly called out to.

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