However, it was not until after the first advanced canine USAR operational test conducted according to the new Australian National Best Practice Guidelines in Adelaide in October last year (2011) that I found myself seriously contemplating the possibility.
My wonderful canine USAR partner Jochen, had done so well, performing with mental and physical endurance, consistently finding and alerting quickly, that the possibility dawned on me. As the days went by and I reviewed our work together, I started talking to a few friends about how I would just love to take him to Switzerland. 'Why not?' asked one friend. 'You don't want to die wondering what might have been if......... ' Well, what could I say? I certainly do not want to die wondering.
So I put a proposal together, had it proof-read and submitted it to the AGM of the GSDCA in February this year. I must have put a very compelling case as the delegates voted to support this project. This means that I will have received almost half of the funding Jochen and need I to be able to fly to Switzerland and live and train there for three months. Naturally I was over the moon because without this financial support Peter and I could never go ahead with it. It would just remain a dream. I can never be sufficiently appreciative of their faith in Jochen and me.
I need to add that I have been a member of the German Shepherd Dog Club Victoria since 1977 and I have been one of the official German Interpreters for the German specialist show judges since 1982.
Since the day I was informed of the GSDCA's decision to support this project, it has been somewhat of a roller coaster ride. The dream is becoming a reality.