Our Search and Rescue Team has boot camp twice a year, which we completed this past weekend. It's 3 days to hammer out issues that you may be having or grow in an area that you may have never tried. It's a time to get out with teams you may have never been out with or learn more about an area you aren't confident in. It's a time to grow, bond, learn, teach, and make friends. It's a lot of hard work but you gain so much from it.
I will admit what has held Peanut and I back was the fact I had issues reading her body language. I refused to go for our certification before I fully understood what she was telling me. Someone's life is at state and there was no way I would put a sub-par human in the field behind a dog. Thursday I had an epiphany before leaving for camp, and with that in mind, I went into camp with a different way of reading my dog.
Three trails that I ran blind (I had no clue where the trail was and neither did my field support) were all complete successes. Never before had I heard Peanut's voice so loud and worked so much in sync. We were unstoppable. I was so proud of us this weekend! I never felt like we really had a chance in the past, my fault not hers, and after this weekend, I'm so much more confident in our abilities. We even ran the oldest aged trail we ever have which was amazing!
What we do is a partnership and a partnership is only as strong as your weakest link. Today this partnership is that much stronger and I hope that one day, our partnership, not only with us but with everyone on my wonderful team, will bring home someone who otherwise wouldn't return.
Peanut and I heading out to our trail.