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