Hello and welcome back to our Search Dog Blog!
Things are going to be looking a bit different around here, and we would like your input on the stories and adventures you would like to learn about here. My name is Matt and my battle buddy is Zapp. Together, we make up a Wilderness Search and Rescue team as well as an Urban Search and Rescue team.
We’ve had many adventures over the years, and we would enjoy sharing some of our stories and the people we have met along the way with you. So send any questions our way.
For our first entry I would like to simply explain who we are and how Zapp and I became a team. Zapp is a four and a half year old Labrador Mix Breed that was found in a local animal shelter. At the time, he was about 9 months old (judging from his teeth) and had no known ownership history. Zapp had been in the shelter for a few months with no interest from potential families because of his high energy.
Fortunately, the employees at the shelter were familiar with the characteristics of search dogs and reached out to our wilderness search and rescue team about screening him as a potential candidate for the job. I ran Zapp, then known as “Picasso,” through the screening, and he passed with a score of 100%.
The screening is designed to test a dog’s likelihood to pass a national/international standard field trial in search and rescue. It tests hunt drive, nerve strength and general amiability. We will explore these abilities in later stories.
The ability to confidently climb a 45° is a
requirement for any
qualified urban disaster search canine.
I signed his paperwork at the animal shelter, and he became my $35 search and rescue candidate. We began our training the following day, and we were a certified and deployable wilderness search and rescue team within 9 months, and then one year later we were an urban team as well.
There are tons of stories that we have from adoption to certification, and tons more from there to deployment. And we are just one very small part of any search and rescue operation. We are hoping that you will join us on this journey, and we hope that you can learn all about the world of search and rescue alongside Zapp and I as our careers continue.
🐾 Matt & Zapp