In a really difficult start to the year, we’ve come up with 10 Things to do in the Outdoors,...
We’re waiting for our Herdwick lamb to be herded through the doors of our Windermere office – we hope he behaves himself – although, he should do, he’s a well-trained rescue dog!
So, we thought it was about time that we revealed the little Herdwick lambkin’s name.
It’s Rangi-Tiki, after the original two Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs – what could be better than naming our lamb after two heroes from the charity we support?
It’s all part of the Calvert Trust’s Go Herdwick Public Art Trail to help the charity raise £1.3million for the wonderful work they do at their residential outdoor centre for people with disabilities.
There are lots of Lake District children’s activities and the Calvert Trust’s centre means everyone can benefit. The lamb we’ve sponsored as part of the trail is being transformed right now into a colourful German Shepherd rescue dog. Our Rangi-Tiki even has a long tail and a bright orange rescue jacket! He will be part of the flock along the trail taking in villages and towns across the Lake District from May 25. So, if you are looking for family activities in the Lake District, why not have a go at the trail. Scenic and fun!
As soon as we get our little herdy, we’ll let you know – it’ll be another one of the great kid’s activities in the Lake District.
Rangi and Tiki – the first search and rescue dogs
It’s less than 40 years since the idea of the Search and Rescue Dog Association was born. And, how fortunate it was as scores of people owe their lives to the search dogs and their handlers. They work tirelessly throughout the year searching for lost or injured people as part of Search and Rescue groups – such as the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs.
But it all started with one man – Hamish Macinnes – and his two dogs Rangi and Tiki.
After witnessing the work of the Swiss Alpine Club using dog’s natural scenting ability to locate humans buried under avalanche debris, Hamish wanted to adapt it to help search and rescues in the UK. So, he began to train his two German Shepherd dogs Rangi and Tiki with impressive results. It marked the very beginning of the Search and Rescue Dogs Association.
The artist who loves dogs
Rikako Suzuki, an ardent dog-lover, was the perfect choice for transforming our lamb into a work of art.
“I love everything about dogs; their eyes, ears and tail tell me a lot about their emotion and personality and each dog is different. I try to capture their character and expression in paint.
“I was very excited when I was asked to paint the Lakelovers’ lamb. It took me about 12 hours to paint and I loved doing it.”
Rikako’s favourite breed of dog is a Shiba, a Japanese dog, and adds:
“I would love to have a dog, but since I moved to the UK from Japan, I’ve lived in rented flats and so I’ve not been allowed to have one and that’s what started me painting portraits of dogs in my spare time.
“I’m now commissioned to paint pictures and I donate 10% of my earnings to Homeless Dog Rescue.”
The importance of Search and Rescue Dogs
“For all the new technology, there are still many occasions when a search dog is the best tool for the job, particularly in bad weather, forestry, difficult ground, and winter conditions,” says Mick Guy from LDMRSDA.
“ The sheer scale of the landscape requires the coverage of large areas if the missing person is unwell, or has no means of communicating with the outside world.
“A search dog is unaffected by darkness or bad weather, so is highly efficient in covering the ground. We are also becoming used frequently to search for dementia patients in rural areas, as coverage of the ground is swift. “
So, whether you are here for Lake District children activities, walking, cycling or anything else, it is good to know that your family is in safe hands with wonderful search and rescue volunteers.
Lakelovers has already helped LDMRSDA raise £2,000 towards their £5K target to re-equip handlers’ comprehensive medical kits and we hope we can help the Calvert Trust in their aim too.
And, to find out more about the Go Herdwick public art trail to enjoy as part of your Lake District family activities visit www.goherdwick.co.uk