Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bear Lake Fun Without Me

I realize I am only eight months old now and that I can't do everything I want, whenever I want...At least that is what Vickie tells me. But I also know that "The Plan" is for me to grow up and be a Search and Rescue Dog like my friends Jamie, Lacy, Toby and Murphy. So tell me why, I didn't get to go with all of them this weekend.

On Friday, Vickie pulled out a big back pack and a bunch of radios, gps's, gators, boots, snowshoes, avalanche beacons and other winter gear. I was so excited. Even though I hate, really HATE going in the car, I was just sure that something big was coming down.

Around four o'clock (Yes, I can read time) a bunch of cars started showing up out front. Then Vickies friends got out and came to the gate. With them was my other mentor "Murphy" and his human partner Paulette. I knew then that I was right. I was going somewhere great. I figured it would be a long trip because of all the gear Vickie was pulling out.

I had met Paulette and Murphy when I first arrived here. Paulette is a really nice lady and whenever we met her and Murphy there was sure to be lots of running and playing. Paulette is the first one who taught me how to play Hide and Seek.
Murhpy is a big ole gooffy "Designer breed". He thinks it is silly to call his kind "Designer breeds" when in reality, it was probably just love at first sight between a Golden retreiver and a beautiful Standard Poodle, then wahoo a puppy is born. Of course, when you come out looking as cool as he looks, you have to come up with an AKC name, thus Golda-Doodle is born...

Murphy waited in the car while the others helped Vickie load.

I stood with Jamie at the gate waiting our turn to load while Vickie and her friends loaded up all the equipment. Then Vickie grabbed her pack and duffle bag and slipped out the gate through both Jamie and I.

I figured she was just going to load her stuff then come back for us, but when she turned, closed the gate and reached through to give us both one last hug, I was devestated. She was going to leave us. I didn't get to go. Worst still was the look on Jamies face. She had never been left behind before and it was painful to see the look in her eyes.

I could tell this was hard for Vickie because there were little wet spots in her eyes as she quietly told me that "This weekend would be too hard for a young boy like me" and then to Jamie "I'm so sorry my heart girl, but you are too old to be put in such a dangerous place this time".

Then she turned away and left us. She left us.....

She was gone for only 30 hours but it seemed like a life time. Jamie spent the whole time lying down by the front gate waiting for her. Jamie always gets sad when Vickie doesnt take her on drives to the store or other things, but this time I could see that Jamie was really upset and depressed.

I did pretty good. I just spent my time chewing on the lazyboy recliner handle, then I ate some of the computer desk and to finish off my wait, I tore up a few blankets and then, just to make my point, I peed on the corner of the dresser. I had never done that before, but I did have a point to make....

Vickie got back late Saturday night. It was so good to see that she was safe. She came in and hugged us all and excitedly told us what we had missed. Jamie looked on sadly as she talked. I think it is because the things Vickie talked about brought back great memories of when she was younger, and maybe she knows that she can't do that anymore. I am guessing that growing old is a bummer.

Vickie says they got into Bear Lake around 6 pm. There they met up with the other handlers and support people from the group and had dinner. They had a great time visiting and talking about things that were about to happen.

After dinner they went to the Bloomington City Hall where Lance and Tom from Portneuf Life Flight had set up the main command post. There was a GPS course set up and everyone got out their gps and beacons and set out in the cold brisk evening searching for items left in a two mile radius.

Their only hints were latitude and longitude locations. It was cold but oh my, the sky was beautiful. You could see a million stars. There was a 1/4 moon in the western sky with a huge planet lighting up the night almost as brightly as the moon shone. It was breathtaking.

After that they all went to some little cabins and prepared for the next day. (Jared and Jen) who you will hear about more of in the future, were real sports as they stayed at the command post for the night, on the cold hard floor.

The next morning a mock search started early. Handlers and support met at the Command Post and were transported up to the sight. Vickie says they had three avalanche victims, one gun shot, one heart attack and two wandering hikers. All lost in the canyon above Bloomington.

Snowmobiles took Paulette, Murphy, Steve, Toby, Joyce and Lacy as close to the scene as they could get them but not close enough. They had to work through the difficult terrain for a few miles before they could get to the avalanche area. Vickie got to wait at the command post because she didn't have a dog. That woudl have been me......But when I look at the pictures, I think she made the right decision. I am just a little too young to be working that kind of area.

At the end of the day, there were some pretty tired dogs and folks that came off that mountain. But everyone was saved and the exercise was a success....

Arrow points out where they started on foot

Jamie has told me that it is very very difficult to do what she has done over the last 13 years. She has told me how, sometimes, she thought she was going to have to be carried out after working so hard for two or three days.

Well, time will tell. Maybe I'll make it as a search dog, maybe I won't. But I am sure gonna try. The true question is, Will Vickie make another round of 10 years......

1 comment:

johndeb said...

Hey Bert, I got to stay in the house and watch the AKC dog show on Saturday. Next time you get left alone we'll have you over for some pop corn and we'll watch old Air Bud movies with Basil.