Uffda's handler Paul asked if they had any of Addie's clothes for her to get a scent. Parker had her hat and let Uffda smell it. A Trailing Dog smells shed skin cells on clothing to learn someone's scent and then tracks that specific scent.
We wanted to find Addie quickly because it would be dark soon. Our teams split up to search more of an area. Uffda put her nose to the ground, started trailing Addie's scent and headed into the forest.
One of my rescues happened in a park. I was with Uffda - she's a Bloodhound. I'm a Bulldog and Labrador Retriever Mix. Both of us were alert and ready to do our jobs.
A four-year old girl named Addie was missing. Her parents were very worried. Addie was playing hide and seek with her older brother Parker and lost her way. When Parker couldn't find her, he ran back to their parents to get help.
Parker lets Uffda smell Addie's hat. Uffda's sharp sense of smell helps her pick up the scent right away.
My handler Bob worked me as an Air Scent Dog. I put my nose up in the air and smelled for the scent of people in the woods and hopefully one will be Addie. As we searched the woods, Bob looked at me and said, "Okay Hunter, let's go to work!" I looked at him with confidence and he scratched me behind the ears saying, "Search Hunter - find Addie." When SAR Dogs search we mostly use our noses, but we also use our ears to hear someone and our eyes to look for people. If you are lost, always call for help and remember to sit and stay where you are until help comes - don't ever just wander around.
Hunter finds Addie under a blanket by a tree. He then barks to alert his handler Bob that he found the little girl.
Suddenly, I picked up a scent. Could it be Addie? Bob saw my ears perk up and he knew I smelled someone. "Find her, Hunter. Find Addie," Bob exclaimed. I ran to where I picked up the scent. By a tree, I could see a little girl lying under a blanket. I barked to alert my handler that I found someone. When I did, the little girl turned around and saw me standing there in my orange rescue vest. She smiled - she knew I was a SAR Dog and a friend. She ran to me and hugged my neck. Bob bent down and asked the little girl, "Are you Addie?" She nodded her head and said, "Yes." Well, Addie," said Bob, "This is Hunter and I'm Bob. Your parents were worried about you and sent us to find you. Let's go home!"
It was getting dark, so Bob had me wear a bright light. He used a flashlight to show the way, too. Then he used his amateur radio handie-talkie to call Paul so he and Uffda could end their search.
On the way back, Addie told us she learned that if she ever got lost she needed to sit and stay in one place. Bob told her it was good she remembered to stay in one place - it made finding her much easier.
As Bob and I came out of the woods with Addie, her whole family ran to her. They all gave her a big hug and told her how worried they were. They also reminded her and Parker to always stay together and never go into the woods alone.
Paul and Uffda joined us and Addie's parents thanked all of us for our help and for finding their daughter. Bob looked at me and said, "Hunter, you did a good job." Then I was rewarded with my favorite toy - a green tennis ball. "Great job, Hunter! Let's go home."