A beautiful show dog, Steeler, who was returning home from a show, ran away after a car accident. Steeler could not be found by volunteers who searched throughout the night. So the volunteers called search and rescue handler Harry Oakes whose search dogs, K9 Willow and K9 Tyler, found Steeler within 30 minutes. Steeler was scared and cold, but alive and unharmed. (See news clip below).
Not only is this a feel good story, but it challenges the common myth that search dogs cannot search for humans AND animals. In fact, most K9 search and rescue groups will not search for lost dogs (even lost search dogs) because they are either afraid it will ruin their dog or their reputation. But, scent theory and K9 olfactory processes both indicate that a properly trained scent-specific search dog will track the specific scent it is asked to track. It doesn't matter if the scent comes from a human, dog or Big Foot. K9 Tyler and K9 Willow's sucessful find of K9 Steeler is a wonderful example of search dogs' ability to track both the live scent of humans and lost dogs. When used properly, search dogs can help all members of a family, human and non.