I love learning new things. And last weekend, I learned something new about bloodhounds. They can be sneaky, they can be tempted to commit petty theft, and they apparently like peppermint. Here’s what happened.
I’m currently taking a disaster preparedness training course in my community known as CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). CERT is a free, seven-week course offered in most communities that prepares you to help yourself, your neighbors, and your community in the event of a catastrophic disaster. As a former police officer, I can tell you that the concept of the program and the training that is provided FREE to public is FANTASTIC.
One aspect of CERT is they really push you to prepare yourself by storing both food and A LOT of water. You should be able to sustain yourself for several days – a week if possible. I mean, look at what happened in Chile. Here was a nation that was supposedly highly prepared for disasters. Yet they had people rioting five days after their recent quake because the people did not have food or water. People were complaining that the government and resources should have gotten in there immediately. Guess what — like it or not, the logistics of moving rescuers and tons of food and water CAN TAKE SEVERAL DAYS in a large scale disaster. Rescuers in your local area will be overwhelmed and transportation systems may be completely destroyed. Power will likely be out, so don’t count on electricty or access to ATM machines (so store some cash while you’re at it).
Once aid is requested, resources start the process of calling out trained, professional rescuers. But these rescuers from distant locations typically can’t all immediately drop what they are doing and get to your disaster scene within hours. They need to do things like obtain permission from their boss to take time off of work (or call co-workers to ask them to cover them), arrange for babysitting and pet sitting, gather their supplies, make phone calls to cancel planned appointments, reserve an airline ticket, and make other arrangements for being away. While a few rescuers and other resources CAN get there immediately (like the news media who are paid to jump into action and be there within hours to do stories on things like how it is taking too long for rescuers to get there), it will take more time for a large number of professional rescuers to arrive.
When it comes to the logistics of moving stored supplies (tons of food and water), not only do volunteers need to be assembled to LOAD these supplies into big rigs, but the drivers of these rigs need to be lined up. That means they will need to make the same immediate life/schedule changes (cancellation of appointments, petsitter, babysitter, etc). The bottom line is that IT TAKES TIME to deploy a boat load of rescuers and supplies to meet the needs of a mass number of people in a disaster!
The concept of CERT is that you CAN NOT rely on 9-1-1 or the government to help you during the first 3 to 5 days of a major disaster. So DON’T!! If you live through a major disaster and don’t want to be hungry, thirsty, or out looting grocery stores to survive then YOU SHOULD PREPARE YOURSELF. Otherwise, you have no right to complain. It’s like flossing your teeth – if you don’t floss and you end up with a mouth full of cavities, who do you have to blame? Your dennist?
So, having that in mind, I went to Costco and purchased five, six-gallon containers so that I could store 30 gallons of water. Guess what…they sat empty in my garage for over two weeks! When I finally realized that I was being a HYPOCRITE by not practicing what I preach and that empty water containers were PLAIN DUMB, I went out and dragged my hose out of storage. But when I dragged the containers out, I discovered that the tiny plastic plug thingy was missing on two of them. Since I didn’t want to have unwanted bugs crawling into my disaster drinking water, I decided to be creative and plug the holes with chewing gum. Peppermint chewing gum.
So as I’m filling the buckets, I let the dogs out. Kody, my little unemployed (fired actually…here is her BIO) Whippet/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix and Zeke, my bloodhound (he tracks lost dogs), both ran out but stopped to sniff the unusual aqua green containers. They got bored with the containers and ended up standing around on my deck. I happened to have my camera out (to take a photo of my containers) and the dogs posed for a picture (above).
They pretty much ignored the containers as I continued to fill them. I then took my chewed up gum, stuffed it into the holes, and went to turn the hose off. I noticed that Zeke was sniffing one of the containers and I thought, “How cute” so I snapped the below photograph. Little did I realize that I had captured him in the process of stealing my gum!
Zeke must have smelled the scent of peppermint coming from the container. By the time I got back from turning off the hose, the peppermint plug was missing and Zeke was over on the deck. I went over to the deck and sure enough, he was CHEWING the gum. So I snapped a picture of him with his eyes closed, savoring the flavor.
He spit it out, picked it up, chewed it again, and spit it out again. I had such a good chuckle because WHO KNEW that dogs would realize that gum is meant to be chewed and not swallowed? So I picked up the gooey, slobber-filled-gum, kinda-sorta wiped it off, and stuck it back in the container hole. No problem. I figured I would just make that particular container the DOG WATER container.
But here’s the problem. I had TWO containers that had peppermint plugs and I didn’t mark which peppermint plug was contaminated with bloodhound slobber!
Oh well. I guess that’s why they call it a “disaster.” It’s a good thing I love my dogs!