We spent the whole weekend at FinnRescue dog troops training camp in Kuopio. I had both PON boys with me, but I did not get to do so much training with them. I have been assigned as the Team Leader for Finland's team in World Championships this year, and all the team members were at the training camp so we used much of the free time to train the whole team.

I was also a team leader at the camp. We started our journey towards Kuopio in fact already before noon. I wanted to visit the PON breeder Mervi at her hometown before the camp started. It was nice to see her and her dogs, and we went to a lake to let the dogs swim.

I arrived at the Kuopio Fire & rescue College training site at around 6 pm. We set up our tents, had a meeting and were divided into smaller groups. Our homework had been the NATO alphabets and now we got to use them. We had time for a quick training session in the evening as well as some more swimming.

Around 11 pm it was time to go to sleep. My dogs spent the night in the car. Or actually not... soon after midnight I got a phone call and order to get my team ready for a mission - we had to report in full costume in 15 minutes. I had had a feeling this would happen and before going to sleep I had asked everybody to pack their rugsacks ready for a mission and for a quick take-off. Indeed we were fast and effective, as we reported ready for a mission with our dogs and is full costume just 9 minutes after the phone call!
But then it appeared that we need to have ALL the dogs with us (I had only taken Miklos with me because he is "ready" and Diesel not). Many people in our group had two dogs, so in the end we re 4 people and dogs standing in the line!

We were send for a passport check and as everything was fine we were ready for a mission. The mission was to be done without dogs; we got to exercise drawing a map while moving in a house that was filled with smoke. We had to look for certain kind of objects inside the house and mark them in the map. We also had to know the quick way out when told to leave. It was a very good exercise where you had to be alert all the time, mind clear and know your position all the time. It was done in pairs of two people, and one person outside had to keep an eye on a water bottle to warn out any approaching afterquakes (this is important at an earthquake area).

So we had two people inside the house, one person staring at a water bottle, and one person keeping an eye on seven dogs - and it worked! Only Diesel was a little problematic as he has not yet learned to lie down and stay still for several minutes with me out of site. But even he did calm down.

The next mission was to travel to the next location by bus. There was and old library bus where we got in. Right away we lied down on the floor and at shelves and tried to fall asleep. Nicely, all the seven dogs got well on together and took a nap aswell. It was nice and quiet, very hot summer night, until a a helmet fell off a shelf and on Diesel! :-D Luckily he calmed down again soon enough.

After some 1.5 hours we "arrived" at the destination and got to return to our tents. We had to deliver breakfest in the morning so it was a short night but I think I did get to fall asleep before it was time to get up again.

Saturday we got to train WC stuff, mainly doing obedience all together and synchronized - not so easy task! My dogs mainly stayed in the car all day waiting. :-/
We also had one session of gps and know training. It is always good to refresh one's memory but being so tired since lack of sleep, it is not easy to learn new things.

In the evening it was our turn to go to a trainer. She had planned a nice exercise ready for us but it was for "ready" dogs so Diesel still had to wait for his turn to get to do something. Miklos worked very nicely and we got very phraising comments from the trainer. Before evening pizza we had a little time to do a quick training session also for Diesel.

We started off Sunday with the trainer again, and this time both Diesel and Miklos got to work. The theme was intruding and digging the way into the rubble to the victim. This was a very interesting lesson. Later we trained some more obedience for the WC, took the dogs to swim and had a short training session on rubble and in a burned house which was dead dark inside and full of black dust. Not so good idea to first take the dogs swimming and only then into this house! Well, it only meant more swimming afterwards. ;-)

Imagine it is complitely dark here - the photo was of course taken with a flash.

Anibody here? In the dark the dog can only go by his nose. ;-)

Some dirty boys after work!

Video coming soon.