We started the day with simple alerts at the bark hole which went very well for everyone including the young dogs. Then a search was organised for those doing the big test and Matthias threw us off balance before we even started. He showed each dog handler the INSARAG marking system with data specific for the search. Apparently everyone goggled, me included as for a start, I did not have my reading glasses on me and had no hope of deciphering anything. This meant that Matthias had to read it out to me and I had to try and remember what he said and what it all meant. Fortunately I was not alone with this dilemma.
Jochen worked well and found the first figurant very quickly. However he had picked up that all was not quite well with me (I was also heading into a regularly occurring migraine-type headache which always leaves me a bit vague.) and so he had a tendency to look at what 'ma' was doing instead of focusing on his work. In trying to make it better by going up on the embankment so that I could see him better, I actually made it worse.
However, he made all three finds and alerted well. There was another learning curve in the advice I was given and that has been added to my notes. It was a good training day but not quite as much fun as on previous occasions. The take-home lesson is also to always remember that the closer we work with our dogs such as USAR, the more sensitive they are to our state of mind and emotions and will act/react accordingly. I saw that particular look on his face and noted his body language and immediately thought about where my head was - still fussing slightly because I thought I had forgotten his reward toy, thrown off-balance by the INSARAG question and not feeling my usual high energy self. But them's the breaks. We can't always be on top of the world and our dogs are quite capable of forgiving us.