Life has its moments, but lately few of them are much fun.
However, I did escape the routine and on Sunday I was a 'victim' for the Ramapo Search and Rescue team. Basically, you meet the team, they do their obedience drills and then team leaders drive groups of victims out to the woods, part way out on the trails and then they point and ask you to go hide, 'over there somewhere'.
You are advised to bring a book, tick spray, lunch an extra sweat shirt and something to sit on. All exccellent advice that I took, plus a sheet of plastic to keep my blanket dry. I've no idea how long I was out there, but it was a while and then I heard a bell....
I realized Lucy was about to find me and put stuff away and closed my eyes. She bounded straight up into my lap and stuck her face in mine as if it say "tag!" We played tug of war for a second (as instructed, they even provide toys) and then I let her win (also per instructions) and she took off with the toy to return to her handler and bring him to me. The other dogs bark to summon their handlers, so you don't play with them until they give their alarm, but Lucy doesn't bark, instead she goes and grabs him to show him who she's found.
What I found out after, is that Tom and Lucy had three people to find, but they didn't know that. Each handler gets an area and they've no idea how many victims are planted, they just have to work the whole area. Lucy also found 11 startled hikers. :)
It was neat and they were a cool group to spend a day with. That my canon has died was very unfortunate. When you're just sitting quietly in the woods, an amazing number of birds land near you, several of which I don't normally see. Such a bummer that I didn't have a camera.
I will probably volunteer again... possibly for November, but only if I can find a sleeping bag or something to stay warm in. The colder it gets, sitting for a few hours hiding in the woods is going to get way too cold for me. I don't mind being still and quiet, it's an amazing change of pace, but I detest being cold. So, we shall see.
Dexter is coming along. He is the class clown for our therapy class and the instructor has dubbed him "Thumper" because you can hear his tail wagging the whole class, and it goes double time if anyone looks at him.
I need to dedicate a little more time to training, but some days time to focus just isn't something I have much of, and while 10 minutes here, and 10 minutes there is better than nothing, I don't find we're making much progress on important things, like walking past other people and dogs without him hanging himself in his collar trying to reach them and being oblivious to my efforts to redirect him....