Kind letter received by team from (Now retired) SARDA (Wales) Trailing Dog Handler Iain Nicholson of Bowland Pennine MRT

With the very kind permission of now retired SARDA (Wales) Trailing Dog Handler Iain Nicholson, we reproduce below a letter sent by Iain to our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE.

“Dear Garry,

As I’m sure you are now aware, Mij has now retired from operational search work as I’d planned for some time. My intention was always that we’d retire at the age of 10, and with that approaching in June, we’d set a date on last Sunday at the beginning of 2012. With Steve and Boris grading at the weekend, it’s excellent that we’ll not be without a trailing dog in the North West, and hopefully he’ll be as busy as I was.

I’m not planning to get another dog immediately, as I’ll be working with a number of other SARDA and NSARDA organisations in the UK to get a good foundation of trailing dogs in training and on the way to grading as operational dogs. Having a pup at this time would certainly be too much! I’ve also been asked to take the national lead on Trailing Dogs within the National SARDA Organisation, and to develop the discipline further from an operational and training perspective

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support from the start when the whole concept was new to MR , and also the support of the Bolton Team throughout Mij’s work. If it had not been for this level of support, Trailing Dogs would not have the interest we have today. Many of the incidents I’ve undertaken with Bolton MRT are used nationally to show what can be done with a trailing dog.

The support during Mij’s training and operational work has been greatly appreciated, and its good to know that there’s people walking around who may otherwise have died had it not been for the efforts by all involved to train the dogs we do. Looking at Mij’s log book, we’ve done in the region of 200 searches, found 14 people, and provided information that the missing person has travelled from a car park or bus stop on many occasions.”

All in Bolton Mountain Rescue Team wish Iain and Mij all best wishes on their retirement.

Please also see website ‘News’ reports dated 23rd and 25th March 2012.