Scent Dog News • Aug 2016 The Search And Rescue Dog Association of Alberta

New Members

Philippe Chaylt and Nootka
Ron Richardson
Pete Garvey and Roo
Jenna Barron and Ivy
Pam Huestis and Biner


Apples – Yes.

Apples are an excellent source of vitamins A and C, as well as fibre for your dog. They are low in protein and fat, making them the perfect snack for senior dogs. Just be sure to remove the seeds and core first. Try them frozen for an icy warm weather snack.

Bananas – Yes.

In moderation, bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They’re high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fibre, and copper. They are low in cholesterol and sodium, but because of their high sugar content, bananas should be given as a treat, not part of your dog’s regular diet.

Watermelon – Yes.

It’s important to remove the rind and seeds first, as they can cause intestinal blockage, but watermelon is otherwise safe for dogs. It’s full of vitamin A, B-6, and C, as well as potassium. Watermelon is 92 percent water, so it’s a great way to keep your dog hydrated on hot summer days.

Grapes – No.

Grapes and raisins have proved to be very toxic for dogs no matter the dog’s breed, sex, or age. In fact, grapes are so toxic that they can lead to acute sudden kidney failure. Definitely skip this dangerous treat.

Strawberries – Yes.

Strawberries are full of fibre and vitamin C. Along with that, they also contain an enzyme that can help whiten your dog’s teeth as he or she eats them. They are high in sugar though, so be sure to give them in moderation.

Oranges – Yes.

Small dogs can have up to 1/3 of a full-size orange, while large dogs can eat the whole thing. While the peel isn’t toxic to them, vets recommend tossing the peel and just giving your dog the inside of the orange, minus the seeds, as the peel is much more rough on their digestive systems than the fleshy inside of the orange.

Blueberries – Yes.

Blueberries are a superfood rich in antioxidants, which prevent cell damage in humans and canines alike. They’re packed with fibre and phytochemicals as well. Teaching your dog to catch treats in the air? Try blueberries as an alternative to store-bought treats.

Carrots – Yes.

Carrots are an excellent low-calorie snack that is high in fiber and beta-carotene, which produces vitamin A. Plus, crunching on the orange snacks is great for your dog’s teeth.

Tomatoes – No.

While the ripened fruit of the tomato plant (the red part humans normally eat) is generally considered safe for dogs, the green parts of the plant contain a toxic substance called solanine. While a dog would need to eat a large amount for it to make him or her sick, it’s better to skip tomatoes all together just to be safe.

Pineapple – Yes.

A few chunks of pineapple is a great sweet treat for dogs as long as the prickly outside is removed first. The tropical fruit is full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre. It also contains bromelain, an enzyme that makes it easier for dogs to absorb proteins.

Avocado – No.

While avocado may be a healthy snack for dog owners, it should not be given to dogs at all. The pit, skin and leaves of avocados contain Persin, a toxin that often causes vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. The fleshy inside of the fruit doesn’t have as much Persin as the rest of the plant, but it is still too much for dogs to handle.

Broccoli – Yes, but only the stems.

The bushy head of broccoli contains the toxin Isothiocyanate, which can create gastrointestinal issues, but the stems are Isothiocyanate-free. When eaten in moderation, broccoli stems give a nice boost of vitamin C and fibre and can even help dogs clean their teeth.

Mushrooms – No.

Wild mushrooms can be toxic for dogs. While only 50 to 100 of the 50,000 mushroom species worldwide are known to be toxic, the ones that are can really hurt your dog or even lead to death. Washed mushrooms from the supermarket could be OK, but it’s better to be safe than sorry; skip out on the fungi all together.

Cucumbers – Yes.

Cucumbers are especially good for overweight dogs, as they hold little to no carbohydrates, fats, or oils and can even boost energy levels. They’re loaded with vitamins K, C, and B1, as well as potassium, copper, magnesium, and biotin.

Celery – Yes.

In addition to vitamins A, B, and C, this crunchy green snack contains the nutrients needed to promote a healthy heart and even fight cancer. As if that wasn’t enough, celery also known to freshen doggy breath.

Onions – No.

Onions, leeks, and chives are part of a family of plants called Allium that is poisonous to most pets, especially cats. Eating onions can cause your dog’s red blood cells to rupture, and can also cause vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea. Poisoning onions is more serious in Japanese breeds of dogs such as Akitas and Shiba Inus, but all dogs are very susceptible to it.

Pears – Yes.

Pears are a great snack because they’re high in copper, vitamins C and K, and fiber. It’s been suggested that eating the fruit can reduce the risk of having a stroke by 50 percent. Just be sure to cut pears into bite-size chunks and remove the pit and seeds first, as the seeds contain traces of cyanide.

Potatoes – Yes.

It’s fine to give your dog plain potatoes every once and a while, but only if they’re cooked, as raw potatoes can be rough on the stomach. A washed, peeled, plain boiled, or baked potato contains lots of iron for your pet. Avoid mashed potatoes because they often contain butter, milk, or seasonings.

Cherries – No.

With the exception of the fleshy part around the seed, cherry plants contain cyanide and are toxic to dogs. Cyanide disrupts cellular oxygen transport, which means that your dog’s blood cells can’t get enough oxygen. If your dog eats cherries, be on the lookout for dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, and red gums, as these may be signs of cyanide poisoning.

Peaches – Yes.

Small amounts of cut-up peaches are a great source of fibre and vitamin A, and can even help fight infections, but just like cherries, the pit does contain cyanide. As long as you completely cut around the pit first, fresh peaches can be a great summer treat – just not canned peaches, as they usually contain high amounts of sugary syrups.

Asparagus – No.

While asparagus isn’t necessarily unsafe for dogs, there’s really no point in giving it to them. It’s too tough to be eaten raw, and by the time you cook it down so it’s soft enough for dogs to eat, asparagus loses the nutrients it contains. If you’re determined to give your dogs vegetables, go for something that will actually benefit them.

Sweet potatoes – Yes.

Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients, including fibre, beta carotene, and vitamins B-6 and C. Just like with regular potatoes, only give your dog washed, peeled, cooked, and unseasoned sweet potatoes that have cooled down, and definitely avoid sugary sweet potato pies and casseroles.

Raspberries – Yes.

Raspberries are fine in moderation. They contain antioxidants that are great for dogs. They’re low in sugar and calories, but high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin C. Raspberries are especially good for senior dogs because they have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help take pain and pressure from joints. However, they do contain slight amounts of the toxin Xylitol, so limit your dog to less than a cup of raspberries at a time.

Mango – Yes.

This sweet summer treat is packed with four, yes four different vitamins: vitamins A, B6, C, and E. They also have potassium and both beta-carotene and alpha carotene. Just remember, as with most fruits, to remove the hard pit first, as it contains small amounts of cyanide and can become a choking hazard.

Common Water Bowls

There are actually very few communicable diseases that are spread directly by mouth

It is common these days to see bowls of water for dogs outside of shops or coffee houses. Fountains in parks are also commonly used for our dogs when they are out and about. There has been some concern lately regarding the safety of dogs drinking out of communal bowls or fountains.

However, there are actually very few communicable diseases that are spread directly by mouth.

Contagious diseases in dogs are more commonly spread in other ways. Many intestinal pathogens (such as parvovirus and roundworms) are spread through fecal-to-oral transmission. These organisms won’t spread in a communal water bowl unless there is fecal contamination in the bowl.

Many other infectious diseases are spread through the respiratory tract. For instance, the pathogens that cause kennel cough and canine influenza are passed during coughing or sneezing. But if an infected dog sneezes on or near the bowl, there is the potential for other dogs to be exposed to these respiratory pathogens. The canine papilloma virus (which causes a minor, self-limiting syndrome in dogs) can spread through saliva.

If your dog has a healthy immune system it is not likely that he will contract a serious disease from a shared water bowl.

Strathcona County Bike Rodeo

May 14, 2016

St. Albert Emergency Services Day

June 5, 2016

EPS Training Day

May 28, 2016

L-R: Cst Ronnie Chiu, Rae Gerrard, David Kauffman, Andy Gaponovitch

Free Our Finest Event at Cabela's

June 17 - 18, 2016

Mary Ann and Twang with EPS' Barney the Bear

In Other News...

Anita Schmidt ran an LPB course in the sprint and is finishing up a SAR Basics session.

Active SAR Dog, Aussie, contemplates retiring:

Oh, the fun I’ve had!

I think there is likely a point in every dog’s life, where he takes a few moments to reflect. I had that opportunity this spring, and my conclusion: Wow, that was quite a ride!

I’ve been on mountain sides; I’ve been in river valleys; I’ve been wet; I’ve been cold; and I’ve been way too hot. I’ve seen the sun rise while on a search and I’ve seen the sun set while on a search. I’ve been in trucks; I’ve been on quads; I’ve been on snowmobiles, I’ve even been in a helicopter. I’ve climbed over, under, and through piles of rubble. I’ve cross-crossed down alleys; and I’ve slogged through bush. And I have loved every minute of it!

I wouldn’t change a thing – other than the whole bath thing --- I’d try harder to avoid that. Oh, and maybe the underwear that I found under a bush that one time. I might leave that alone next time. Even for a dog, that was nasty.

I’ve made some great friends. But I often wonder about you humans who faithfully come to training. Now, don’t get me wrong, you guys are the best! But you do get lost a lot. Every Sunday, the same people wind up missing. Now, I love that, and it’s good thing I’ve been there to save you, but I wonder if that is a good example for my mom? She has managed ok when I’m with her, but keep an eye on her when I’m not there. She might wander off.

I want to thank each of you --- some present still, some long gone – everyone who has played a part in my search career. You made getting out of bed on Sunday so worthwhile! You’ve followed me down alleys, and through forests. You’ve battled mosquitoes, torrential down pours, freezing temperatures, and wet feet. And most importantly, you have thrown many a ball for me to bring back so you can do it again, and again, and again. Thank you, I really appreciate your time and efforts.

I’ll likely show up at a few practices here and there. I’ll stop by for a game of fetch and I’ll still look for you if you stray from the pack. But from here on out, I will leave the official searching to the young dogs.

My last Active Certification is valid until July of 2017. So I will plan to participate in Public Relation events and any other events that may be appropriate. If anyone would like some Field Tech practice, I’d love to join you. This way, I get my 10 years of service. Pretty sure somebody mentioned something about a gold watch --- I think I’d like to be a “watch dog”. Besides, I am still very handsome in my uniform. I’ve been told that grey hair is distinguished.

Wishing you safe searching, -Aussie

Recent Recertification of SARDAA Hander/Dog Teams:

SARDAA is pleased to have the following teams recertified.

Mike and Jaida
Carleen and Jake
Mark and Shado (First Time Certification)
Michelle and Tyndre (on the right)
Cathy and Vie

Moves to the Active Team

Congratulations to the following teams who moved to Active Status, to be followed by Active Testing.

Julia and Valla
Lisa and Zero (on the left)

Critical Incident Stress Management

What size is your cup?

Carlene B. Stabile

On behalf of SARDAA, in early June, Zara Lafleur and I had the honour of travelling down the QE2 to Blackfalds to attend a Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) course. This was our second opportunity to attend, the first was back in September, 2012.

Critical incidents are powerful, traumatic events that initiate a crisis response. As members of the SARDAA team, we need to be prepared, not just physically but also mentally. Many organizations depend on CISM, and SARDAA makes the investment in training, to ensure that our team has a first line of support. In a 2007 study by Naomi Breslau, she found that over 80% of North Americans will be exposed to a traumatic event, and in 2001, Norris’s research found that disasters may create significant impairment in 40-50% of those exposed.

The city of Saskatoon, recently embraced the benefits of CISM, and I found a quote from Sergeant Susan Deibert that was really powerful, “People have a cup and when that cup tips over you don’t know, everyone has a different sized cup and you can take so much – your body, your mind, your home life, your work life can only take so much and we want to help vent that and help you have some control back to help deal with those situations”.

CISM has been around for over 40 years, and was originally developed for use with military combat veterans and then used with first responders (including police, fire, ambulance, emergency workers and search and rescue). It is used today virtually everywhere there is a need to address traumatic impact in people’s lives.

It is a formal, highly structured and professionally recognized process for helping those involved in a critical incident to share their experiences, vent emotions, and learn about stress reactions and symptoms. It is not psychotherapy. It is a confidential, voluntary and educative process, sometimes called 'psychological first aid'.

This crisis system is based on a three phase resiliency model, which aims at building resistance before exposure to traumatic events. From there it focuses on rebounding from stress, and then promotes recovery.

Resistance is the ability of individuals, groups, organizations and entire populations to resist distress, impairment and dysfunction.

Resilience is the ability to rapidly rebound or recoil from distress and to rise about adversity. It’s the bounce back factor.

Recovery is the resolution, repair, reconstruction, restoration and rebuilding of the human spirit, mind and body after sustaining the damages incurred by prolonged, extreme or overwhelming distress. It’s when we make friends with our memories.

Research has shown that while each of us has different capacity, there are some events that are considered to be more traumatic than others. Here’s a list known as the “terrible ten”,

  1. Suicide of a colleague
  2. Line of duty death
  3. Serious line of duty injury
  4. Disaster/multiple casualty incident
  5. Police shooting/accidental killing or wounding of an innocent person
  6. Significant events involving children
  7. Prolonged incidents especially with a loss of life
  8. Personally threatening situations
  9. Events with excessive media interest
  10. Any significant event capable of causing considerable emotional distress for those who are exposed to it.

We have all heard of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and we were presented with the opportunity to learn about the causes, symptoms and treatment that is available. Did you know that 30% of Short Term Disability and 50% of Long Term Disability claims in Canada are attributed to mental health, making it the most common cause of claims?

The trip down the QE2 was enlightening, and reflecting, we feel the journey was both time well spent and a wise investment made by SARDAA. We can’t know the size of your cup, nor control the situations that our team faces, however we can work to build resistance, resilience and promote recovery. Being prepared for crisis helps eliminate miscommunication during difficult and stressful times. Effectively managing it contributes to a healthy and trusting environment.

Ticks and Lyme Disease

(Edmonton Journal, May 24, 2016)

National SARScene 2016 Conference

SARScene 2016 is being hosted in Edmonton from October 12 - 16, 2016. Register now at

The Expendables: Inside America’s Elite Search And Rescue Dog Training Center

Rejected by society, these talented misfits are carefully recruited by tactical experts and trained at the nation’s top facility to perform the most dangerous, lifesaving missions. Meet Wilma Melville, who turns rescued dogs into rescue dogs.
Scent Dog News is produced quarterly by the Search and Rescue Dog Association of Alberta. All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced for any purpose without written permission from SARDAA. All correspondence pertaining to the newsletter should be sent to - Michelle Limoges, c/o PO Box 68098, 162 Bonnie Doon Mall, Edmonton, AB T6C 4N6 • Phone: (780) 468-6245 • E-mail: Web site: Articles, news, other information will gladly be considered for publication; SARDAA reserves the right to refuse or edit any material submitted.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.