- Tapa blanda: 283 páginas
- Editor: The Mercier Press Ltd; Edición: 1 (5 de enero de 2011)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 1856356914
- ISBN-13: 978-1856356916
- Valoración media de los clientes: Sé el primero en opinar sobre este producto
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In Search of the Missing: Life as a Search Dog Handler in Ireland (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 5 ene 2011
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This story of an unusual job for working dogs and their human trainers well may inspire a new generation of search-and-rescue dog handlers. -- Booklist "Booklist"
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Renowned as one of the most skilled search dog handlers on both land and sea, Mick McCarthy has over twenty years experience of searching for missing persons. He has experienced first-hand the dangers, thrills, tragedies and triumphs of search and rescue operations carried out on flood-swollen rivers, raging seas, through woodland, bog land and on treacherous mountains, often in the dead of night. McCarthy's captivating story provides a deeply personal account of how a boy who loved the company of dogs grew up to become a man obsessed with dogs and their training, ultimately leading to the idea of qualifying his dog for voluntary search and rescue work, regardless of the cost, even to his personal life. Based on his abiding philosophy that 'perfect practice makes perfect', he paints a vivid picture of the characters and dogs behind search and rescue operations, the painstaking demands of training and the rigorous requirements for qualification.Ver Descripción del producto
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The author had a troubled life, which he describes with perhaps too much honesty, but then not everyone would do what he does to the extent that he does it, so we perhaps need to understand what has made him devote his life to dogs and rescues. While living alone but for dogs, he got deeply into training and helping others to train. They started teaching dogs to retrieve scented items and to find objects or hidden people.
However this was a far cry from turning a dog loose to cover a mountainside so the friends then went out hiking with their dogs on day-long training with regular hikers. They learnt from scratch and soon realised just what a fantastic tool a well-trained dog could be. The dog could cover six or eight times as much area and as his nose is close to the ground he spots any disturbance and picks up any scent. Mick first worked with collies as they were fast and light and clever, but found that German Shepherds were able to cover really rough country and deep bracken more easily, being stronger.
Mick found a boy who was one of a small party of German Boy Scouts who had been dropped in Northern Ireland and told to survive for a week. The boy was injured and had been left alone for a short time, against Scout training; then the others could not find him again. But this was a long way from his base in Cork and Kerry, and he was given a lift up but having found the boy, Mick and dog were promptly abandoned by all the search team without a car, a flask or anyone checking if they had train fare. He said from then on he only ever went when he could drive himself.
The dogs needed to qualify as SAR dogs and travelled to Wales for part of the test. Seeing a GSD a judge immediately called it a sheep-chaser. Mick was angry as he carefully trained his dogs to work around sheep and never go near them. They passed the tests in wooded country with flying colours.
Mick also decided to train dogs to find dead bodies. He learnt that a dead pig was very similar in scent and he even placed one under water and the scent rose to the top and drifted with the current, so the dog could smell it downstream or from a boat.
The case of a missing schoolboy in the Cork area is covered as a new bloodhound being trained in immediately alerted to one of the searchers and was pulled away by his handler, howling, though the woman told a Garda (policeman) of the dog's reaction. This searcher was the last person to see the boy alive and turned out to have covered up his death. Mick said he would never doubt a dog's nose again.
I found this occasionally sad but a fascinating look at this difficult work and at the time and dedication involved to get to a standard where the person and dog can help the rest of us.