No, nothing so dramatic. (I know. I was excited about the helicopter ride, too.) The truth is you don't require much to rescue a dog. In an emergency, all you'll need are your hands and a halfway working brain. (And none of the items below will be much use if you don't have those.)
Assuming you do have them, you can start thinking about getting these:
|The trusty noose leash. (Which I've been calling snare or lasso leash. The right name, Google informs me, is noose. Sorry about that.)|
- NOOSE LEASH. The sturdy, thicker weave makes it harder for a dog to chew their way loose. Plus, the snare slides smoothly, and the leather safety keeps it from sliding off (which would happen if you just use a looped regular leash).
- REGULAR LEASH. Because... back-ups, dude.
- MAKE-FRIENDS GOODIES (aka bait). Use the irresistible stuff: sausage, liverwurst, cheese, bits of beef, etc. And remember to cut it into small, small pieces.
- TOWELS. Truly the most useful of all possible aids. Towels have saved my rescuing ass so many different times, in so many different ways, that I couldn't begin to list them all. Beyond the obvious stuff (drying, protecting your car seats), they're great allies when dealing with skittish and/or biting dogs. Throw a towel over a terrified dog and s/he'll quiet down. Wrap one around the head of a fearful dog to protect you from bites (and him from hurting him/herself). Use as a stretcher to carry an injured dog into your car. Use as lining in transport kennels to provide better footing for your four-legged passenger. (Need I go on?) Old bedsheets work too, but, being thinner, offer less protection, and being larger, they're harder to handle fast and effectively.
- WATER CONTAINER. And not just a water bottle. We're talking serious size here. You'll use this not just for the dog, if s/he's thirsty or needs rinsing, but also to wash yourself off. And the water needs to be fresh: you're storing this in your car, which—at least here in Curaçao—reaches pretty high temps, and plastic will leach chemicals into the contents.
- DISINFECTANT & ALCOHOL. Stray and feral dogs carry all sorts of bacteria and microbes, and you won't know which ones, or, if they're sick, how contagious the disease might be, until a vet sees them. Better safe than sorry; you need to disinfect your clothing, your shoe soles, and your hands before touching, say, the steering wheel or the door handles of your car (as mentioned in the Health Issues post).
TO MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER
- STURDY FOOTWEAR. No sandals, no flip-flops. You’ll need to run, and not necessarily along even terrain; you’ll be stepping into all sorts of shit (literally); you might need to go into brush and dead branches and thorns and…
- DISPOSABLE GLOVES. You never know what you might need to touch.
- GARDENING GLOVES. Optional, but they've come in handy for me a couple of times. (Mostly with bloodthirsty dogs.)
- WATER & AN ENERGY BAR. You have no way of telling how long a rescue is going to take. It might be fast, or it might take hours. And, after all your efforts, the last thing you need is to lose the dog because you passed out in the heat.
|I apologize for the gratuitous brand-name plug. (The red, half-eaten loop strap on the left shoe is brought to you courtesy of Duncan.)|
MORE OPTIONAL STUFF
- FOOD BOWLS
- HAND SANITIZER
- MUZZLE (in different sizes, or an adjustable one)
- FRONTLINE SPRAY (or whatever your favorite brand of anti-tick and -flea spray is)
- BABY WIPES (for hands, face, to wipe up spills...)
- DOG FOOD (you might have a long wait at the vet, and you'll probably run out of your make-friends bait stash quickly, so a bit of kibble might come in handy)
- SCISSORS and/or KNIFE (rescue often involves dogs who broke free of a rope, or who got tangled in fencing or brush)
|My actual, real-life rescue kit.|
(Wow. It didn't look like this much stuff all packed up and in the car.)
What about you? What do you use when (if) you rescue? What would you add to (or take out of) this list?
Thanks for the visit! Tomorrow's post is back to the tear-jerker stuff: The Link Between Love & Letting Go. If I promise to keep the melodrama at the barest minimum, will you come by for a quick peek?