Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Training Trip to Denver

I really lucked out.  We just got back from one of the best places ever for rubble, Denver. This is my second time on an airplane, so I was pretty cool and relaxed.  Get on the plane, curl up under Angie’s legs, and take a nap.

The only bad part is the day we fly, because I don’t get any breakfast, not even water on that morning.  Not sure why that is, but I am starving and thirsty when we get off the plane.

You know how Disaster City has rubble, trains, buildings, houses…lots of different places to search.  Well, Denver has only rubble piles, but more than I can count, at least 7, and they are all different.  Some are long and thin, and some are giant.  Some have big slabs of concrete, and some have lots of small rocks.  So for 2 days, we worked all of those piles.  I was tired at the end of the day, and ready to go to sleep.  By the end of the second day, the pads on the bottom of my feet were a little bit sore.

Guess what animal was all over the place?  Cats? No.  Snakes? No.  Armadillos? No.  Bunnies!  Small, and fast, they were in the rubble piles, on the side of the piles, and I even saw some around the hotel where we stayed.  I saw one dog who was about to search, do something else instead.  He saw this bunny, and instead of doing his job, he pulled away, dragging his leash and ran very fast after the bunny.  Of course, the bunny was much faster, and ran into the rubble pile to escape.  I would have gotten in so much trouble if I had done that.

There were lots of dogs who looked like me, and some other labs who were black, and one who was brown.  There was one dog who looked like Sprinkles, and several dogs who looked like Sasha. I did not make any new friends on this trip because we were all so busy.  I did get to play with some new people who were hiding in the rubble, and that was great fun!

I know that not every dog gets to take training trips.  I am proud to be on Texas Task Force 1.  My mom’s boss makes sure that the dogs on the Task Force get the chance to travel to different places so that they stay good at their job of searching.  Thank you!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


 T-O-Y.  That is how Angie sometimes talks when she doesn’t want me to know what she is saying, like when we are at training and she says to Sprinkles’ mom, “Do you have a T-O-Y with you?”  Does she really think that I don’t know what she means?  We all know what that means.  It means TOY!!  But we play along, Sprinkles, Sasha, and me.

There are many kinds of toys, and I have my favorites.  For retrieving, I love my red ball.  It is so old that it doesn’t squeak anymore.  It is the toy that I use when we go to the park, but not a training toy.  For training, I like any toy that I can use to play tug.  So the most important thing is that it have a handle or rope so that somebody can hold on to it while I tug like crazy.  There is one toy that has an empty water bottle inside of it, so it crackles.  I like that sound.   I have a bag full of toys that Angie takes to training.  Sometimes she will have a brand new one, which is fun, but I really like all of my old ones just fine.

Sasha is so funny.  There is only one toy she likes, and she will not even play with anything else.  One time Angie tried to play tug with her using one of my toys and she just spit it out of her mouth.  But I would play with Sasha’s toy, if she would ever let me near it.  I know better than to mess with that.

Now Sprinkles is more like me. She likes a lot of different toys. Her favorites are “babies,” which are stuffed animals.  I have seen her tug with bears, sharks, snakes, frogs, cats, and monkeys.  I also enjoy those soft, fluffy toys, but after I finish tugging, I like to rip them apart, and see all of the white stuffing come out.  So Angie doesn’t keep them around.

I just met a dog who likes a “floppie.”  That is a toy made of cloth in the shape of a circle, and it goes really far when somebody throws it.  It doesn’t make a very good tug toy because it is easy to rip apart.  But for a retrieve toy, it is fine.

The only time I get a toy is when I am training.  There are no toys at home, none.  Not even a tennis ball.  So when I do get a toy, I am very excited.  Usually, once I get it, I don’t want to let go of it, so Angie says in a loud voice, “OUT,” and I have to give it up…until the next time.