Thursday, November 3, 2011

First Search and Rescue seminar preparation

Tomorrow, Tovah and I are leaving for our first Search and Rescue seminar. I am STOKED but also incredibly nervous. We will be meeting up with another SAR dog person (I met her a few months ago at one of our group training sessions, and we really hit it off - she owns a small daycare and boarding kennel) and following each other to the camp site.

Since she has been there before, she has given me some idea of what to expect. This is good for me, because I get really nervous at these kinds of settings, partly for dog reasons, partly for me reasons.

The dog reasons:

  • I get worried that my dog will do horribly, and that the instructor will say she is not fit to do this work. 
  • I get worried that she will not behave that well (really she is pretty good except meeting new dogs on leash - hence partly why I haven't done the CGC test with her). 

I know this really small potatoes, but there is still an element of wanting to excel there, especially as a dog trainer and being around such knowledgeable, trained people and dogs.

As for the me reasons:

  • I have no idea what food is there other than I've been told, they feed you really well. 
  • I have no idea of the conditions of the cabin. I just know I need to bring my own bedding. I think everything else is furnished, but I just worry anyway. 
  • Though I'm really excited about the mock night trial (no dogs, just handlers), I feel unprepared. I know I have some stuff for "survival" if needed but not all of it. Some of that stuff is expensive! I've been told there is a time limit of 4 hours to find the victim. Apparently, one year it took the entire 4 hours, but last year it only took like 10 minutes. 

I know some people would relate this similar to the large conference I was at in San Diego. The difference with this one is that I'm really going in blindly. At least with the conference, there was predictability. Certainly, I have gotten better with this over time, but still, it does cause some anxiety.

And then, there is my car. Yesterday, my car overheated. Luckily, I was only 0.5 mile from my house at a stoplight when all the sudden I see steam from my car. Then, I look at my thermostat on "H." I made it home, shut off the car, got stuff out of my car, called a repair shop, and then called AAA to tow my car there. (By the way, if you don't have AAA, it is worth getting. There is no cost if you have to be towed, and you can have multiple people on the policy) The strange thing is that I didn't have any indication from my car, other than a slightly unpleasant smell which I did not think anything of. I had this happen before when I was 16 and blew the transmission out I believe, so I was expecting some kind of similar sign but did not notice anything.

The car repair place called this morning and said it was a radiator problem.  The good news is that it is an easy repair and the car will be fixed today.  The bad news is that it is more costly than I'd like.  However, I know it could have been worse.  In the back of my mind, I almost though this was some sort of weird sign telling me I shouldn't go. I also learned one of the main roads to get to the camp site is closed until early December.  I'm hoping the GPS reroutes me well and doesn't take me through some small windy roads.

This is certainly an adventure.  I'm hoping to learn a lot, make some new contacts, and simply have fun.  Oh yes, and there is a helicopter landing!  I'll give an update when I get back.

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