SARDA Scotland held an avalanche course last weekend at Cairngorm. Thank you to Cathy from the Scottish Avalanche Information Service (SAIS), to Jonathan and Joe from Lochaber MRT, and also to Ken from Glencoe MRT for helping out. Conditions were challenging on Saturday and the snow began to disappear on Sunday, but we still managed to get the dogs looking for people and articles buried in the snow.
The end of a busy year for S.A.R.D.A Scotland is fast approaching. Call outs and training kept handlers and dogs very busy, and we also attended the ‘Dogs Day Out’ sponsored by Burns Pet Nutrition and held at Glamis Castle during the summer. In the time honoured way of things, some handlers and dogs left us and some new ones joined us. We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us throughout 2016, and to wish you all a very happy and healthy 2017. Stay safe and enjoy the hills over the New Year period!
Many congratulations to Search and Rescue Dog Association’s founder and President, Hamish MacInnes who has been honoured with a medal from the Princess Royal. Hamish was presented with the Chancellor’s Medal from the University of the Highlands and Islands, in recognition of his services to mountain rescue over the past six decades.
We are sure that Chivas will not mind us telling everyone that he is one of our more senior search dogs at almost ten years old. He may be getting on in years now but he is still as fit a fiddle and has been a very active search dog since his first assessment, which he passed when he was nearly a year and a half. His home team is Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team and as well as attending call outs with the team in the Borders region, Chivas has been involved with searches for SARDA all over Scotland, in places as far apart as Dumfries, Glencoe, Skye, Torridon, Cairngorm, Aberdeenshire and Tayside in all kinds of conditions. Chivas has found four missing people during his search dog ‘career’ helping to bring closure to relatives and friends.
Like all the other SARDA Scotland dogs, Chivas has an active life when he is not out looking for missing people. His most recent adventure was assisting his handler in the navigation of their trusty Landrover to the most Northerly point of Europe and back, keeping his driver from having to make any U turns, which was quite an achievement as he seemed to spend most of his time asleep in the back of the vehicle.
Congratulations to Tony and his dog Laggan, and Bryan with dog Storm, who passed their novice dog assessments at the September training weekend in Lochgoilhead. Well done to them all.
As if this wasn’t enough to be excited about, we had good weather for our annual barbecue and a good time was had by all. There was no rest for anyone on Sunday though, and it was back to training again. ‘Puppy School’ was closed down for the time being, as our two youngest dogs are progressing well and beginning to cover larger areas.
A great big thank you from SARDA Scotland to 9 year old Izzy Passmore who walked 9 miles from Muker to Reeth in the Yorkshire Dales on the 3rd September to raise funds for the search and rescue dogs. Izzy planned the route herself and organised her own kit. It rained the whole way but we are pleased to see that Izzy kept on smiling! Well done to you Izzy and thank you again from the SARDA dogs and their handlers. …