Here is the latest update from Georgina Armstrong and the progress her Labrador, Dexter, is making with Berkshire Search & Rescue Dogs:
“Dexter has been spreading the word about VetSpec recently and we now have four of us on the team using supplements from the VetSpec range – two on Calm and Focused, one on Active and one on Senior, and all have commented on what a noticeable difference it has made to their dogs.
“It has been a busy month for Dexter – he has been working towards his Stage 2 evaluation, where he has to find the hidden person and come back to me immediately with a clear alert. I am so pleased to say he passed! I was so proud of him! We are now working on the re-find, so once he has alerted, he needs to take me and show me where the person is.
“The big thing we have been planning this month is a fundraising challenge we are taking on… ‘8 People,7 Dogs, 5 Days, 3 Peaks – 1 Goal!’
“In September this year, seven dogs and eight human members of the Berkshire Search and Rescue Dog Team will be taking a five-day break from their day jobs and their volunteer search work to undertake a novel version of the ‘National Three Peaks Challenge’.
“The team are a lowland rescue team and operate as part of the Association of Lowland Search and Rescue (ALSAR). Their usual territory is the rolling fields and managed forestry areas of Southern England.
“This challenge will push both dogs and handlers out of their comfort zones and on to three of the UK’s largest mountains – Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in Cumbria and Snowdon in Wales.
“While the challenge is more usually undertaken over a 24 hour period, the participants will take five days for this challenge, to allow them to rest the dogs between peaks. The team are planning to use this extra time to meet and train with their mountain rescue counterparts on each of the three peaks. They will be posting live updates and pictures via Facebook (www.facebook.com/4paws3peaks) and Twitter(@4paws3peaks) in the run up to and throughout their 5 day adventure.
“The aim of the challenge is to provide much needed funds to upgrade the team communication equipment and support the training and equipping of new recruits.
“Every year many people go missing in the UK. Some of these are regarded as ‘high risk and vulnerable’, for example, young children, dementia sufferers or those who are suicidal.
“Berkshire Search and Rescue Dogs is a fully volunteer organisation with over 10 years’ experience of supporting missing person searches.
The search dogs all belong to their individual handlers and are trained in their spare time.
“They are all trained and assessed to a national standard representing,on average, an investment of two years training for each dog and handler pair.
“The team are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, supporting Thames Valley Police to search and locate missing people and return them to their families.
They primarily respond to callouts in Berkshire, however support is also routinely provided to neighbouring teams across the Thames Valley region and can be delivered to teams further afield where and when requested.
The service is provided completely free of charge and is funded through charitable donations from the public, local and national businesses.”
If you would like to sponsor the team on their Three Peaks Challenge, please