The two Coniston SARDA handlers took part in a graded dog exercise on Sunday 1st September 2013. There were 7 graded dog teams and one trainee team.
The handlers were given the scenario that three people had left their vehicle on the Friday night near to Gatescarth Pass and had left a note stating that they would return on the Saturday afternoon.
On not returning back to their vehicle and no family members contacted stating that they were safe and well a search commenced on the Sunday morning.
A route card was left but what was not known to the the handlers was that all three missing persons had fallen out and had slpit up.... not a helpfull development!!
The search took four hours to complete and all persons were located, one having sustained a a broken ankle and suffering from hypothermia.
“Away,away,away” I say
At the start of our testing day
I send him of to search on high
Nose to the ground and tail to the sky
Off he speeds, I watch him go
The hiding place he seems to know
He zigs and zags across the fell
And tries to catch that subtle smell
He’s leaving me to follow after
Like I’m the dog and he’s the master!
But whose nose is better his or mine?
So I’m not to whinge and whine
Onward I hurry he’s gone from sight
Is that him or a trick of light?
Yes, there he is, he’s just a speck
I strain my eyes and crane my neck
“Away, away, AWAY! I shout
He’s lost the scent and begins to doubt
But if he’ll just look back at me
I’ll point the way he needs to be
Good boy, Good boy! He used his brain
Well spent those hours we used to train
Were back on track and looking good
The watcher smiles from where he’s stood
His clipboard raised with pen in hand
The SARDA man surveys the land
He’ll wait and watch with keen interest
To note the outcome of this test
Come on boy! Don’t let me down
Find the body upon the ground
Is that a bark I think I hear?
Yes! A bark! I give a cheer!
And as I reach my good dog’s side
I can not help but feel pride
A deed so great, reward so small
A hug a pat, a squeaky ball
But later as I contemplate
What could have been the body’s fate
I’m proud to fulfilled a dream
And joined the Lakeland SARDA team