Saturday, 8 October 2011

Search Dogs and Me - Neil Powell

Charco in Tollymore Forest

Neil Powell and I share a publisher, and as he was signing copies of his new book Search Dogs and Me - One Man and his Life-saving Dogs, in the Belfast branch of Waterstones today, I popped in to introduce myself and to buy an inscribed copy for a friend's - a dog-loving friend's - birthday. What a nice chap he turned out to be, and as far as I could tell he was selling plenty of books. Charco (above) was with him and wore his celebrity status well..

I've only had time for a quick flick, but I can tell I'm going to enjoy the read. This is from Chapter 7, about a bearded collie pup Neil had just acquired, called Pepper:-

"From the beginning it was obvious that Pepper had star quality... By the time he was twelve weeks old, I had taught him to bark on command, to come when he was called and that 'find it' meant he had to go and search for a tennis ball. By six months he had learned that 'find him' meant he had to search for a person hidden upwind. Then he quickly grasped the next stage, which was that having found the person, he had to come back to me and bark to let me know that he had made the find. Later still, I taught him that having come back and barked, the new command 'show me' meant he then had to run back to wherever the person was hiding, leading me to the body. Pepper loved it..."

Had they ever met, Eddie would have been in awe of Pepper.

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