|Posted by azsearchdogs on September 14, 2012 at 4:35 PM|
Teddy bears and dogs: good times for good cause
By Bette Sharpe, Special to The Glendale Star The Glendale Star | 0 comments
For more than 100 years, America has had a love affair with teddy bears, the enduring toy named for President Theodore Roosevelt. Whether it’s Pooh with his honey pot, or the cloud-hopping Care Bears, everyone has grown up with some type of cherished stuffed bear. Bear lovers gathered Sept. 8 to celebrate Teddy Bear Day in historic downtown Glendale in a fun-filled event for all ages.
Arizona Search Dogs search demonstrations was one of many events held Saturday. Free events included creating a chocolate bear at Cerreta’s, bear coloring at Papa Ed’s, make-and-take bear bracelets at Pink House, and decorating teddy bear cookies at Shelley’s Specialty Desserts.
Visitors were urged to first visit the Glendale Visitor Center, 5800 W. Glenn Drive, Suite 140, where they could pick up a map of participating merchants, coupons and a gift bag. The Visitor Center collected donated teddy bears and other stuffed animals for the Glendale Fire Department Trauma Teddy Program, the Glendale Crisis Response Team and United Way. The teddy bears and animals provide comfort to young children who have been affected by a traumatic event. Those who knew the value of a cuddly animal donated their bears. Some of the bears had been with their original owners for a very long time.
By 2 p.m. Saturday, the Visitor Center had filled three truck loads of stuffed toys. This year’s donation total surpassed last year’s total of 1,600; more than 2,424 teddy bears were donated. The collection of teddy bears on Teddy Bear Day is an important part of the unique Glendale event. The majority of the donated are ready for new homes. The bears and other critters will be welcomed by children across the Valley.
Search and Rescue Dog Teams
Participants at Teddy Bear Day also were treated to demonstrations from search and rescue dog teams, who practiced job skills and training exercises they must go through before joining the team.
-Each canine and handler team must be certified through FEMA in search and rescue.
-For the handler, certification includes written and verbal testing regarding search-and rescue strategies, briefing skills, and canine handling skills.
-For the search-and-rescue canine, certification includes proper command control, overcome innate fears of tunnels and wobbly surfaces under the guidance of the handler.
-Certification for each Canine Search Specialist Team (Dog and Handler) requires the canine and handler to pass a FEMA sanctioned evaluation process administered with rostered USAR evaluators.
-Currently there are less than 200 such certified teams throughout the United States.