Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The following pictures were actually taken on March 18, 2008 which was pretty much in the middle of spring break around here. The two Newfies belong to Paul Katinas who is a student of mine. The three helpers are Martino and Kim. Both were trying to decide whether or not they want to do their required volunteer hours here or not and Syndey, the best and most fun helper I have had in a very long time.

Paul has been working to get his two ready for the next level of water rescue dog titles offered by the Newfoundland Club of America. Both dogs already have the first two titles and now our collective sights have been sent for the next and somewhat more serious and yes, difficult test.

As always, we do as much of the training on dry land as possible while at the same time Paul makes sure both dogs get enough swimming time to ensure their overall swimming fitness.

What we decided to do in this series of pictures is to give both dogs extra practice in doing the save of a drowning victim from under a capsized boat. We worked on just the actual retrieve part. The problem of soft mouth was resolved a couple of years ago and the actual reason for using the towel around the arm in the dog's mouth had everything to do with slobber/slingers and nothing at all to do with strength of bite.

As you can clearly see everyone was having a grand time. Since Sydney has been involved in this sort of training in the past, we let Martino and then Kim both "drown" first.

The final count? Three victims successfully saved, five happy people and two happy dogs.

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