TheSheWolf wrote:Good on you for good work! I used to volunteer in the field, was a very rewarding experience. And yeah, I used to train dogs in both Schutzhund and SAR, not to titles and on an ENTIRELY hobby basis, but what you say is true. A dog isn't going to just lose a trail, which is one of the things that really irritates me about the in-game one. Like, you have an animal REEKING of adrenaline and smelling of blood plowing through long grass, and you can't smell it?! Are you a dog or?! Dogs can be used to find missing pets (which likely have a somewhat stronger odor, granted, that might stand out in forests) over miles, missing people over busy city streets, dead people several meters under running water, oil leaks at a few parts per billion, and more. The game kinda undersells their abilities.
Unrelated side-note, one of the best moments of my life was as a kid, having trained a pet dog for tracking. Neighbors' kids had lost their 13-year-old cat, who ran outside in a heavy storm, and this cat (a total housecat) had no idea how to survive outdoors. Me, being just a kid, offered to try to track the cat. Given a small blanket she slept on for a source, the dog went off and led me on what I thought was a casual walk through the woods, into another part of the neighborhood, and started sort of idly sniffing about the road. I left, thinking she didn't grasp what I wanted. A few days later, the cat had been missing for 11 days now, and I offered to give it another shot. ELEVEN DAYS, an uninjured CAT. Started her on the trail and she took the exact same route. This time, the kids were walking with me. The dog stopped at the same spot on the road, sniffing about, and I still tear up today remembering the little boy's voice squealing out "THAT'S MY CAT!" Look down, there's a gutter opening there, I got down on my hands and knees and sure enough there's eye-shine down there. We got some neighbors with a crowbar to pop out the grate, and the sight of the cat's owner running down the road toward us in tears to collect her alive (if very hungry) cat after her kids went to tell her their pet was still alive was--well, very rewarding.
Dogs truly are amazing animals. This is one of many anecdotes you'll find out there that should attest to their amazing skills!
Amazing story... definitely a testament to their skills! Thank you for sharing and for helping save the boy's cat! Now to get the devs to see this.