This is the last week of the Summer 2013 Canine Warrior test protocol. Through 90 degree temperatures, drenching rains, monster mosquitoes, troublesome porcupines and a wild fire evacuation, our team of 16 SP canines and 4 SP humans have walked increasingly longer treks on trails near Two Rivers. This is week 7, so the test groups will complete 14 miles each day for 5 days.
During this exercise regime, groups of dogs have ingested different amounts of protein. Blood sampling at the beginning and end of this week will provide data to determine the effects of protein levels on canine hydration during exercise. Results will help to improve the stamina of military bomb sniffing dogs in the Middle East.
Dingle, Tug, Lester, Beemer and Nelson trek through Iron Creek. Note the GPS collars
Scooter, Spicy, Spoog, Jezzy and Ryne begin a trek.
Just a reminder:
Here are the 16 SP dogs who are taking part in the Canine Warrior testing this summer: Chemo, Waylon, Viper, Honda, Rambler, Nelson, Lester, Tug, Dingle, Beemer, Spicy, Spoog, Scooter, Willie, Outlaw and Boris.
Dr. Mike and Amanda transport dogs back to waiting dog trucks.
Dr. Mike Davis, from Oklahoma State University, and his support staff, Christa and Shannon arrived on Sunday to set up the blood testing lab and to help transport dogs to and from the trails. They join Ryne, Amanda, Kristina and Aliy, the dog walkers!
Despite sometimes challenging conditions, both dogs and walkers have enjoyed being free to wander in Interior Alaska hills and forests this summer. As you can see from the photos, they are all smiling, dogs and people. I think they may be sad when it's all over.
Nelson, the canine collector.
P.S. Nelson gets the prize for collecting the most "stuff" (mud flaps, old clothing, critters, bones) in the 7 week period. Boris gets the prize for having had the most porcupine encounters. A dubious achievement (with no lasting scars).