Searching by Boat

The wind in its invisible splendor
Can tear down the tall oak
And fling its leaves
Into the darkness of night

While water, almost weightless
In tiny drops, can tear down mountains
And the ocean's waves cleaving rocks
Turns them to sand  

-The Power of Water, Ronald Dondiego

When most people think of a Disaster Search & Rescue Dog, an image comes to mind of a dog searching the smoking piles of rubble and tangles of rebar that was the World Trade Center after the attacks of September 11th. What many don’t realize is that the “disaster” in disaster search dog has a far broader meaning.

These dogs answer not only in the aftermath of terror, but to the wrath of mother nature. Events like the EF5 Joplin, Missouri tornado in 2011 that left nearly a mile-wide path of destruction or Hurricane Katrina that devastated the Gulf Coast. The depth of training disaster search dogs undergo prepares them for all of these types of scenarios, many of which include a large amount of water, usually from flooding.

For this reason, Calvary Canine provided a new trolling motor and battery to support the boat training Superfit Canine conducted as part of last week’s Disaster K9 Workshop. This training was open to all K9 teams and was held at the Virginia Beach Fire Training Center. Training to search by boat is essential for both live find and human remains detection dogs.

Like we saw in Hurricane Katrina, people sheltered in their attics to escape the rising water. The ability for search dogs to locate people trapped in their attics, unable to escape, is critical to saving lives.

As for the human remains detection dogs, bringing home those who were less fortunate and did not survive the rushing water is equally as important. Communities need to bring all their loved ones home, and often the best way to do this is with search dogs working by boat.

Whether you have specific items you wish to donate or need information on the most pressing needs of K9 teams, Calvary Canine will help you make a difference.