Friday, August 15, 2014

Blogville SAfety Week Search and Rescue

Good Morning Everyone.  WElcome to the Search and Rescue part of the Blogville Community Safety Week.

I am Bert and I will be your guide thru this very long post as we learn all about Wilderness Safety, Humans and Dogs and How they smell and a hole bunch of other stuff.

You will see many of our friends who have passed on and we hope you will forgive us for still using them as our wonderful examples of each section.  Most of this post was done three years ago and we just couldnt bring ourselves to change the pictures.

So we hope you see this in the loving memory that it is meant to be and not to hurt any hearts.

WE are going to start out with The difference between the Human Nose and the Incredible K-9 Nose.

My Vickie wants to thank everyone who sent in pictures for us to use. 
OFF we go:


 So whats with all the stuff floating in the sky?  Well my friends those are Skin Rafts.

Every person loses 40,000 skin cells per minute. These cells take the shape of tiny flakes called skin rafts which can float on air currents or drop to the ground depending on humidity levels, wind currents, sunshine, cloud cover, terrain, and temperature. 

I am sure you have heard that humans have fingerprints and that no fingerprint is alike.  Not one person on the whole earth has a fingerprint like yours.  That makes you special and different than anyone else....But Did You Know that you also have a SMELL that is unique only to you.  No other person in the whole world smells like you.....

 And the cool thing is that us dogs, well we have such great noses that we can tell the difference between the way you smell and the way anyone else smells.

Here is how.......
Inside the human nose is a tiny microscopic little hair known as your olfactory receptor.  On the end of each receptor is 5 to 10 itty bitty little hairs called Cilia.  They gather the smells you come across and send a message to your brain.   

"Mmmmmmm What's That Smell I Smell" You ask..

After it goes past the filament hairs and into the bigger hairs (receptors) and in to your brain... you get....


If you read the picture above you now know that us dogs have WAY more hairs in our noses than you do.

So when you smell Chocolate Cake, you think.... "MMMMMM Chocolate Cake"

But when we smell Chocolate Cake, we think...... "MMMMM, butter, sugar, eggs, flour"  (I have to stop with the recepie now cause thats all My Vickie knows about cake cookin.)

And what is even more cool, is that because everyone in the world smells different and us dogs have such incredible noses, we can do what is called "Scent Discrimination" so if you were ever lost, we could search with hundreds of other people and dogs, but our super noses would not be confused by the other smells, cause we would be looking of your particular special smell.


"What to do before you go"

OK, Lets get started
 Because we all love our humans, we want them to be safe.  We are watching out for them all the time and they don't even know it.  Sometimes though, they take off without us and don't even realize the dangers that await them.

So lets teach them some things that will help us, should they ever get lost.

Every dog ready?

Here we go.....

 Before we ever let them leave (without us) on say a camping trip where heaven forbid, doggies can't go.  We need them to leave behind a few very important things.

A.    A Tin Foil Shoe-print.   This is very easy to do for kids and adults to.   (Did you know that the people who get lost the most are "adults")  so it is our job to teach them too.
       To make a tin foil shoeprint, place a piece of foil on the floor. (best to use carpet) 
       Then step onto the tin foil.  Lean onto your toes and then back on your heels.....then carefully step off.  Tah Dah....There you have a shoeprint.

That way if you get lost, the trackers and searchers can watch for the same pattern in the dirt that is on your foil.   Pretty Coolllllllll.....

B.  Also, especially for the youngins......a recent photo.   Since we all take so many photos this shouldn't be a problem.

You see, what happens is:  when or if you get lost and your a wee one....your family is very nervous and sometimes they have a hard time describing what you look like.   Thus...the photo.....

C.  Next we need a "Scent Article" with something that has your smell on it.  You know, like what we talked about yesterday.   Within 30 seconds of putting on a clean shirt, or socks....they become saturated with YOUR smell.....

Thus a "Dirty Sock"

D.  And Finally You need to "Leave a Note" behind.....It should tell your family:
1.   Where you are going
2.   When you will be back
3.   What you are wearing
4.   And make sure you are wearing the same shoes you used to make the shoe-print

Now take all those things, the tin foil shoe-print, the dirty sock, the photograph and the Note and put them all in a brown paper bag and give it to a family member to keep safe.
Good Job every doggie.
Lets keep those humans safe.  
                      What to Carry In Your Pack"

OK Off Again....

Now we are going to teach our humans another very important part of going hiking.  

You see, most of the small ones just let mom and dad carry the pack with the water, food and camping gear.

They don't want to weigh the kids down with heavy stuff, they just want them to stay on the trail and "Keep Up"

But lets face it........It is soooo easy to get separated from the group.  You turn your head to look at a flower, or step in the woods to go to the bathroom, or just not paying attention and WHAM!!!!

Somebody gets lost.

So this lesson is simple:   As Sugar has so wonderfully shown us in the picture above:      EVERYONE should carry a pack of some sort....even if it is only a fanny pack. 

And Here are some of the most important things to carry in your pack, no matter how small it is.......

 Of course, the all important WATER BOTTLE......Do you know how long you can stay alive WITHOUT water?  About 3 days.   We all need water.....

Also a fun but very useful and tiny thing is a LIGHTSTICK.....(Tomorrow we will tell you why you should carry these things and how to use them)
 Definatley an extra pair of socks.   "WHY?"  you ask do I need extra socks?

Because if you are a human your body heat escapes through your feet and your head.  If you were hiking all day your feet will be wet with sweat, plus there are a ton of others things that can happen during the day and a clean dry pair of socks will bring more comfort and warmth than you can imagine. 

You also want a little snack.  I like jerky but you can put in anything you want.  Probably best to NOT choose something with a lot of salt in it. 
 A VERY IMPORTANT thing is a BLUE bandana......(Haha, you have to wait to find out why the color BLUE is so important)
 And Finally and as important as all the rest is "A WHISTLE"  Yep, a good quality really loud Whistle

My Vickie wanted to put in here that her favoirte thing in her pack is Ductape.  Does anyone know all the ways you can use ductape while in the wilderness?



                                Water The Good and The Bad

So you made it thru the night safely and you have everything ready to alert searchers from the air and on the ground but now you find you have no more water in your water bottle.  And you are thirsty.....
There is a creek or lake close by and you can see it from your tree.  Oh you are thirsty and you really want some of that clear cold liquid....But is it ok to drink the water?

Well, we know you have always been taught  NOT to drink the water in the mountains and this is true.....HOWEVER.....for this time and this time only, we give you permission to drink from the creek or lake.

You see we need water, and without water humans especially, will only survive on an average of three days, So, it is time to LISTEN Very Carefully again, because water is wonderful, but also terribly dangerous, especially when you are tired and scared cause you are lost and alone.

(I need to put a little note here, thanks to Sarge and his moms comment.  Yes it is true you will get very very sick by drinking the mountain waters, even if it looks clear and clean.  But if you don't drink, you can die.  If you do drink and get the little nasty bug, it takes five to seven days to affect make you sick....and by then you will be found, home safe and sound.....and you can go to the doctor and get treated for it.)
So Are You Listening? 

You can see your water from your tree and you want to go and get a drink but how you go to the water can be the difference between just getting a drink or getting hurt......

So lets do this one step at a time.

Go to the water but be sure to STOP when you are about 10 feet from the waters edge. 

Now you need to get on your hands and knees.  Then you can crawl a few feet closer but STOP moving forward on your hands and knees when you are about five feet away.

Now you need to lay flat on your stomach and crawl the last few feet to the point that you can reach the water with your hands if you stretch.

Reach forward and scoop the water into your hands, then bring the water to your mouth and drink the wonderful fluid to your hearts delight.

Even if, like in the picture above, it is just a small creek.....PLEASE approach it the way we just taught you.  People have drowned in shallower water than what you see here.

Example:  If you went to the water just walking and slipped and fell face first into the get the idea......


Whew.....this is the scariest thing for us to teach you because it is sooooo important.  So Please remember this.

                                        "Here We Come"

Well, this has been a bunch of fun for me and My Vickie.  We thought we would finish up by letting all our two and four legged friends now that, should you get lost....remember.....

Stay Put and Wait cause very soon, other two and four legged friends will be looking for you.
It doesn't matter where you are, us fourlegged ones will use our noses to find you and bring you home.
In the forest
In strange places
In the water

Search and Rescue Dog groups are generally volunteer non-profit organizations.    I caution you to be wary if someone calls and offers their services for a price.

When your family members and loved ones are missing, you are at a very vulnerable place and can easily be led in the wrong direction.

Most qualified SAR organizations are called by the SO that is responsible for your search.  If they have not yet, called in the dogs, REQUEST them.  Also ask for air support and searchers from other departments.

Sometimes when we are so worried, we just let others handle the situation.  Be proactive.  Find your local resources and keep a list of who you want to respond if ever you, your family, us pups, or friends should ever get lost.

You are entitled to ALL the help available.  WE just don't always know what options we have.  (THESE ARE JUST THE OPINIONS OF ME AND MY VICKIE)

I know this is a very very long if you made it this far
Thank You.  And Stay Safe my friends


  1. Hey Bert, my furiend, and My Vickie!
    WOW, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR POSTING THIS FUR US! I know you are a busy guy and this was not easy for you to do. We are so grateful because your information is so important and such a big part of our Safety Week. I still remember your tip about taking the blue bandana because very little in nature is blue and you will stand out with that. Such excellent info about the kit to take with you. We are all thanking you for your years of service as a S&R hero and for posting this for us today.
    Sending tons of love to you both!
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, Police Commish

  2. Bert and Miss Vickie...first of all Miss Vickie deserves a big chocolate cake for this post and you Bert....well I think a nice juicy T-bone! Oh my word we never ever knew what is involved in search and rescue. I hope you leave this post up for a while everyone can learn a ton from it. Thank you for taking the time to re publish!!
    Hugs madi your bfff and mom

  3. These sure are some good tips plus we never knew about hairs in the nose
    Lily & Edward

  4. Wow, what very important information. I have learn a lot from your post. Thank you for all of the hard work you put into this blog.

  5. Hey There Bert! This was a great post! None of us think we'll ever get lost, but it happens. Thank you for the great tips!

  6. Great tips, Bert! And good to know that we dogs are more than capable of finding our humans when they are lost. However, did I read so fast that I missed WHY the bandana must be blue?!? Oh dear dawg...

  7. WOW, Bert, thank you SO much for all this grreat advice! I'm memorizing it all so I can tell Momma the next time she goes out hiking.

  8. Wow! that was great information, Bert! We are glad we stopped by and happy to meet you!

    Edgar and his mum

  9. So many very helpful things here Bert. And just in time cuz mom and dad are hiking Ben Lomond tomorrow. Mom said it is too far for me and Stanley though. Good to hear from you!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley
    Mayorz For All Paws

  10. Bert, that was a brilliant post! BRAVO! I specially liked the part to wait on a tree when you can't find the way back. I hope every forest has a friendly tree what will watch over the one who need help. I had no clue that humans lose so much skin cells... and they all jump around me, fortunately my nose is able to sort them :o) Many thanks for a gorgeous post, have a super friday!

  11. A long post, but a super informative that everyone should pay heed too! Thank you so very much for this post...but I'm still wondering...why the BLUE bandana?!

  12. Hey Bert!
    Wow, this post is so cool that I stopped by again to read it over! Thanks so much for hosting this and sharing your world with us. You will be entered in the Host Appreciation Drawing for a cool prize. Random drawing to be held on Monday, August 18th.
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, Police Commish

  13. We always think of you bert when our mom reads stories about rescue dogs, thank you so much for this very informative post...hugs.....
    stella rose

  14. Wowsa, that is alot of good info Bert!!! I never thought of that tin foil shoe print thingie!!! That is soooo smart! I'm gonna have to come back and read it again...I thinks I was all in awe of all the doggie beauty!! ☺
    Ruby ♥

  15. Bert you gave us very sound advice. You are a great role model for the ability dogs have to serve us humans. Blessings
    Sweet William The Scot

  16. Gosh Bert this is great advice! thank you so much. yes we think the tin foil thing is pretty cool, never would have thought of that.
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Greta

  17. Hi Bert, this is a very, very informative post. We learned so much. We really found the shoe print trick helpful, had never thought of that. If our Lady gets lost, we hope she stops and doesn't panic!

  18. Very great Safety post Bert, hop lots of furpals and peeps learn these lessons.

    Thanks Bert for being a part of Safety Week

    Top Cop Bites

  19. That's lots to remember. Thanks you did a fantastic job.

  20. Oh Bert, what a PAWSOME post! We've not had much time around here to visit all the Safety Week posts, butt knew we had to read yours. We're gonna take a shoe print right now of our Grandpa Bob's feets in his sneakers. He tends to wander off on us. So this would really, really come in handy should he get lost in our back woods.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  21. FURST and FOREMOST we are SO glad to see and hear from you buddy. You are sorely missed in Blogville. We LOVE you.
    NOW this is the most AMAZING and WONDERFUL Post... that is sooooooo much to know... WE still remember... Wear BLUE in the Woods... nothing in nature is THAT COLOR... SEE what a FABULOUS teacher you are... we STILL remember after all this time.
    OMD Bert... this is such a grand post... and we THANK you from the BOTTOM of Our ♥ ♥ Hearts. You are ONE in 87 MILLION buddy. Just sayin.

  22. This is a wonderful class! I would have wandered off, if you hadn't pointed out the logical thing is to stay put! Very noteworthy lesson ☺

  23. Oh my goodness, the OP Pack Mom here, how well I remember this post filled with so many wonderful safety items. It brought tears to my eyes to see my sweet boy Thunder again and lots of smiles with the grandkids and the other pups. Amazing how young Phantom looks.

    Great post then and now. Thanks for sharing again.

  24. Holy Dogs what a great post. There is sooo much good information. Mommy went back and read it again and all the pictures are so pawfect. Thank you so much for all of the hard work. Please stop by my pizza truck for refreshments Love Sasha

  25. What an awesome post!!!! But my nephews swear they weren't throwing that many skin rafts into the air while they posed :)

    Seriously, I can tell that you are soooo knowlegible and experienced with teaching this stuff. I remember when you did a post like this one years ago, and I had a near-deadly-hypothermia experience right after reading your post. I almost succumbed to the temptation to find a nice friendly tree and take a nap under it. It's an awesome idea if you're lost but not if you're freezing and actually know how to get home :) I think you remember that post of mine - it was one of my scariest outdoor experiences ever.

    Thanks for this post - I'm going to send it along to my nephews. They spend a lot of time in the woods.

  26. What a fabulous post! There is so much great information and it was fun to read. Thank you so much, Bert and Miss Vickie!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  27. Wonderful post, very informative at all age levels! Bravo Vickie and Bert!

  28. What a wonderful post - we learned so much and it always so good to see you Bert - well done !

  29. Great, informative post, Bert! I wish our mom had read this before her Konza Prairie adventure -- she would have taken more precautions!!!
    We loved seeing the OP Pack Sibes, especially dear Thunder!

  30. Thanks for sharing your expert advice. We hope nobody in Blogville ever need the services of you or your fellow SAR dogs.

  31. WOWZERZ Bert - when we Beaglebratz herd u wuz duin'this pawt of Safety Week presentashunz, we knew it wood b a good one. There iza lotta great info here - we will haf our mom go bak an'read this an'take notez - she'z one of thoze seniorz like we r plus she haz thatvizion problem so she NEEDZ all the help she can git.
    Shiloh-Lord of the Manor'n Diva Shasta

  32. Such good information! My boys took notes for me so that we can all be safe.

  33. Hi there Bert and Vickie! What an awesome post and a wonderful learning experience! Very good advice! SAR crews do such a great job and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you do! Jeanne, Chloe and LadyBug

  34. Hi my friends! This was an amazing and informative post. Thank you for keeping kids and everyone safe. You are amazing!
    PS. we saw baby beavers at Taku lake yesterday and it made us think of you!

  35. Hi there Bert! We are stopping in to say hello and to say Happy Seeing Beautiful!!

  36. Hi Y'all!

    What a great post!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  37. Hi Y'all!

    Looks like y'all are still havin' more than your share of Internet problems. This was a beautiful post!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  38. Excellent post. I'm adding this blog to my site. Best of luck always!

  39. I have been camping and hiking almost all my adult life and had NEVER learned some of this advice. Fantastic post!

  40. Hi Y'all!

    This is a wonderful post filled with great advise and reminders for even those who may know all of the information you included. Thanks so much.

    Stay warm y'all!

    Y'all come on by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  41. Hey Bert!
    Wow, I don't know if you'll see this comment here, but I heard you have some dogtor work being done! I'm so sorry you ate that rock and it made your tummy yucky. I'm sending you lots of my healing vibes and warm hugs to Your Vickie.
    Grr and Woof,
    Sarge, Furiend

  42. Hi Y'all!

    Hey BERT!!! How you going to rescue anyone if you keep eatin' yucky ROCKS or tennis balls or anything but your food and treats! You listen to your buddy Goose! We're sending POTP to you that you heal quickly and NEVER do anything so silly again!

    Y'all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  43. We wanted to pop over to say how very sorry we are about your best furend Goose. He was such a great furend to all and will be truly missed. I know Bert, you will do your very best to help Michelle during this difficult time. We thank you for that. Sending love to your Vickie bcuz we know her heart is hurting also.

    Hope that you are healing well.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  44. Hi Y'all!

    Bert, we love you and since your best friend Goose can no longer keep us posted, you've got to update us on how you're recuperating. Hope you're taken good care of Goose's Mom.

    Y'all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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