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Old 01-10-2013, 07:09 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Here's my suggestion: read all the information they have made publicly available. Then instead of asking questions that have already been answered there, ask more in-depth questions that you may have. They will likely be accustomed to answering basic questions but you will show sincerity if you have already done some homework.

From a google search for "tucson sar dog" it appears the group's web site is:
http://www.sarci.org/SRDI.htm
There is a lot of good information there that will answer questions such as time/training commitments and when a candidate member is eligible to start a dog.

Unfortunately when the "training" link is clicked I get a 404 Not Found error. But I found that if I change the URL extension from '.htm' to '.html' then it works:
Southwest Rescue Dogs, Inc. - Meet the Team
The information on this hidden page will be helpful, but the header incorrectly says "Meet the Team" when it should be "Training". Maybe there is an opportunity for a candidate member with web skills to help out in that department.

Think of your own questions that are relevant to you. Here is an example that I would be curious about:

Why are Queensland Heelers often chosen for SAR on the team? Is it because they have proven to be very tolerant to the desert heat? Are German Shepherds in general not able to cope as well with the conditions?
Thanks. I've already checked out the website way beforehand. That's how I found them. I'm the type who always does my research before I spend the time actually trying it. I was just wondering if there was a "basic set" of questions that I should have been asking.

Anyway, the meeting was interesting. They went over their agenda and reviewed their recent call-outs, training schedules, etc. There's probably ~25 people in the team. I'm pretty sure I was the youngest person there; that was a little intimidating. But everybody was really friendly and nice; they were like a big family. They invited my friend and I to their technical training this Saturday just to see what it's like and maybe pick up a thing or two. I'll probably go to a couple more training sessions before I make a decision on joining the team.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure I was the youngest person there; that was a little intimidating. But everybody was really friendly and nice; they were like a big family.
I am the only person in their 20s on my team (I'm 28). There are 2 people in their 30s, and the rest (10+) are in their late 40s/early 50s at least.

I think a lot has to do with time and disposable income. K9 SAR is a big time commitment (far more than the ground-pounder and technical teams in my area, just because of the time the dogs require), and it is extremely expensive to purchase and maintain a working dog, on top of the standard SAR costs (equipment, time off work, etc. which is all pretty pricey overall). It's hard to do when you're establishing yourself in your career, and it's even harder to do when you're raising a family, etc.

It really doesn't matter though, they're all really cool people and we have plenty to relate with each other on.
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Yeah I'm only 23. My friend who went with me is 28. Maybe one other person looked like she was in her 20's. Handful of 30's, 40's and most everyone else looked to be 50+. I'm sure it's as you say; it's hard to commit that much time when you're young. Hopefully I can work it out.
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I know I had to wait until my 40s when my kids were older and I actually had *some* disposable income. ......... Soak up what you can. Most of the older folks like having the young ones come in. A lot of us are trying to ensure a solid foundation remains for when we can't do it. I figure I may get one more dog after Beau and then I will just be auxiliary and the "map lady/radio lady" [I am 57]. You guys are the future.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Well I'm not a typical 23 year old. I don't go to the bars/clubs or do anything really. I have a nice, quiet, boring life. Other then work and taking the dogs out I really don't go out very much. I'm slowly working on learning how to code ebooks too so I can join my friend's business and work from home. Then I'll have a pretty flexible schedule, which will be nice.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thats a good kind of job if it will pay the bills - AND - the SAR stuff. I gotta tell you for work I had to do a study where we put a bunch of temperature loggers on boxes transported from Tucson and Phoenix to LA and -wow - you guys like it HOT. "but it's a dry heat, right?!"
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I hate Tucson's heat! The summers are absolutely miserable; I thought I was going to die my first summer here, lol. And it's only dry when it's not monsoon season which starts from about the end of July and ends halfway through September! I miss my SoCal weather, that's for sure. Mmm wet and sticky and HOT. So not fun. But from October-May it's very nice here. Phoenix has worse summers then Tucson... concrete & asphalt heaven up there.

The ebook business is actually pretty good. Right now I have a roommate so monthly expenses aren't too bad so I think it will be okay, but it will be a month or two yet until I actually start. My friend who owns the business is one of those writer types... never very punctual, so training is slow going.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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We ran the study in July and August. SW Texas can be hotter but we don't do business there so Phoenix was, after much analysis of climactic data, considered to the the hottest test area in the country....actually I recall Tucson was cooler than Phoenix but Nogales was worse than either of them.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Verivus View Post
Well I'm not a typical 23 year old. I don't go to the bars/clubs or do anything really. I have a nice, quiet, boring life. Other then work and taking the dogs out I really don't go out very much. I'm slowly working on learning how to code ebooks too so I can join my friend's business and work from home. Then I'll have a pretty flexible schedule, which will be nice.
Yep, that's the key. I'm a bit more social than you maybe--my boyfriend and I usually go out Fridays and Saturdays, and occasionally during the week, but I have a really flexible job. During the winters I make most of my income as a freelance writer/editor so incredibly flexible (and also why I post online so much this time of year LOL), and during the other 9 months of the year I train horses for a small breeding farm (it's in the mountains with no indoor arena, hence my 2-3 months more-or-less off every year ) whose owners totally support my SAR involvement and are happy to give me time off whenever I need, except for horse show weekends which in our breed/region are only 4-5 weekends a year. Otherwise, I can take any time I need off for training and call outs. I also don't have kids and don't plan for them. That's really the only thing that allows me to do it at my age.

I'm a nutter, though, because I love the heat. My boyfriend's father lives in Phoenix and we've been there to visit a few times during the summer, and I think it's lovely. Hot hot summer days with nice cool mountains to retreat to is my idea of heaven, hence why I live in Albuquerque.
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Scooter-12 y/o ACD/Border Collie mix
Bandit-8 y/o ACD
Wooby-14 y/o ACD
Abutiu "Abi"-ACD puppy and hopeful future SAR dog!
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