tap on the “play arrow” (if on mobile device, click “Listen in browser) on the soundcloud pod below for this morning’s theme:
This morning: android-shot two hours ago:
(Cotton and Chess, emotional support dogs of the #UniversityofthePhilippines ,
also being trained as search-and-rescue dogs by the U.P.-MMDA-Vanguard volunteers with Prof. Khrysta Rara of FOCA on weekends, now on their second phase of the training)
Cotton and Chess have more than a dozen vaccines and antibodies in their blood renewed every six months and regular de-worming and de-flea-ing injections (thanks to the U.P. College of Veterinary Medicine and to Prof. Khrysta Rara of FOCA or Friends of Campus Animals) that they are probably healthier and “safer” than most humans in this country.
(photo from UP Vet Med FB site)
They have also been tested and certified by a professional “Canine Life Coach” who trained under world-renowned dog behavior expert Cesar Millan (of National Geographic and TV “The Dog Whisperer” fame; wow, big time)
(photo of canine life coach with Cesar Millan, from the former’s FB site)
as being safe to be around humans (many thanks to the Chancellor for the support for the trainings and tests).
They are now on their second phase of training to be search-and-rescue dogs under the able hands of volunteers of the U.P.-MMDA-Vanguard team-up: In their first phase, they are able to search and find people they know (to find a person not visible to them, then, understanding and executing the command “where -is-she, Go Search!”), i.e., in their first phase, they can search and find people they are familiar with, i.e., members of FOCA (and me, haha).
(on very hot days however when they are weakened by the infernal heat, they hibernate under cars or in cavernous holes and nooks and crannies)
The second and third phases consist of searching and finding even people they do not know, just by scent.
It is not the physical task that is tricky but Cotton and Chess being able to learn and comprehend verbal human language in a matter of days of training that is remarkable.
(with a leash, they also can now execute “sit”, “stay”, and hop and to cross a suspended plank).
Cotton is washed in the afternoons and, on a leash, renders services everyday at 5:30pm to 6:30 pm by reporting for work at the DLRC Students Study Hall (managed by the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs) where Cotton walks around, and students pet him and talk to him — he relaxes students this way, especially those cramming for an exam.
( everytime we put him on a leash, it is considered as “work” for him because he has to obey commands).
At night, from 8:00 in the evening to 5:00 in the morning, he stays beside the security guard of the building and is the first to raise an alarm (by barking loudly and aggressively) everytime a stranger enters the perimeter of about fifty meters. (you can test it yourself). Understandably, not everyone is a “dog person”, and some do not like dogs in general, and do not like him in particular. It’s fine. he doesn’t take it against the person — he will save your life by driving away a prowler when you’re working very late at night by yourself and —
with the completion of his training — he will cross fire and ruble to rescue you.