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Presents For Mana,


For anyone who takes there dog into the backcountry you know how hard it is to find good outdoor dog gear, especially in Japan as everything seems to cater only to small dogs. One maker that I have always liked is Ruffwear from the U.S. Their slogan is “For dogs on the go” and the gear they make is awesome.

I’m trying to become a dealer in Japan and have been in touch with them to help them find a distributer but in the mean time they gave me some samples to help promote their products in Japan. Take a look and then check out their home page for more!

Leads, Collars and Bowls,

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I’ve been using and older type of their Top Rope Collar for a while so I was really happy to get the new type along with their Flat Out Leash with its new “Talon Clip”. This will be our new main leash and collar for SAR work as well as our everyday wanderings. We also received a Hoopie Collar with its really cool Cascades design and the single walled ultra light Bivy Bowl.

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Vibram soled Dog boots!

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I have wanted these for a while! They are the best boots on the market today with a nice cool upper and soles that use the same Vibram rubber as all the high quality hiking boots. They even have socks to go with them! These guys think of everything!


It took a bit for Mana to get used to them but it provided a lot of entertainment watching her prance around like a horse. But you can see that she’s now relaxed with them as she’s resting on her Highlands bed also by Ruffwear.

Palasades Pack

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Definitely the “piece de la resistance”, this pack is awesome with enough room to fit all the bowls, beds, food, and what not. One af the great things about this pack is that the base of it is the Ruffwear Web master harness which is already one of the most popular harnesses on the market. For the pack they added snap clips at the front and back so all you have to do is clip the pack on to the harness and you ready to go and when you’re done just unclip it and you dog still has her harness on, nice and quick!

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Another great feature is that this pack come with two 1L water bladders on each side, so that your pup will have all the water she needs during your trip. They even have small zips on the side that you just open and pull the hose out to fill up the bowl! Too easy!!

Watch for us as we scramble into the mountains decked out in all our cool stuff and if you want to learn more check out the Ruffwear homepage to see their complete line up!



2011.05.30 | Comments(0) | Trackback(0) | ギア情報


Bosai Bonanza


Every year there are a series of Disaster “Training” events throughout Kyushu where the rescue services gather together to show the “Higher Ups” and the general public that we are ready to help in time of an emergency. In Japanese they call this Bosai Kunren (防災訓練) or Disaster “training” I put the training in quotes as it is actually a performance (to show what we can do)than actual training (to improve on our current level) but this is the ONLY organized multi service (Police, Fire, Army, Volunteer) event that happens so as a Volunteer Rescue service we have to take advantage of it the best we can.

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Last week were 2 such events, last Wednesday was the Kumamoto Bosai Kunren and yesterday the training was held in Saga. Mana and I along with other members of the Kyushu Rescue Dog Association took part in both these events.

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Although the actual training is lacking at these events it is a great chance to get the dogs accustomed to the sounds of sirens, explosions, and helicopters. You can see from the photo that Mana is more interested in playing with her toy then the percussions of the helicopter blades, That’s my girl!!

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I feel that these events are great for what they are intended to do, present our current level, but as an actual training event to increase our skill level and to develop good training bonds with the other professional rescue services it’s just not enough.

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This year one of my main projects is to do what I can to develop actual training sessions with Fire, Police, and the Military not only to show how effective the deployment of a rescue dog can be but also to learn more about how these services operate in the rescue theater. The more we now about how they work the easier, safer and faster it will be to integrate with them on scene.

Let’s all work together to develop a system that can bring more people out alive!

2011.05.23 | Comments(0) | Trackback(0) | 救助犬ログ


A day in the shop


Hey everyone the weather for Saturday isn’t looking all that good so if you don’t have any plans tomorrow why not stop by the shop for a visit. We got a new espresso machine and were still figuring out how to use it! Apparently it does espresso, cappuccino, and café late. So tomorrow we’re having a tasting party while we learn.

We’ve also opened a new corner of the shop for used outdoor goods so why not make a bit of money by cleaning out your closet and bringing down some of your old gear. People who bring gear get to drink free!

We’ll be open late as well as Matsumoto San will have the bar open too!

2011.05.20 | Comments(0) | Trackback(0) | Ramblings

The North Face Event

From Sea to Sky


Did everyone get outside to enjoy the beautiful weekend weather? We sure did, on Saturday I lead a hike produced by The North Face Store to promote their new line of Helly Hansen outdoor clothing. Because Helly Hansen has been mainly a name brand associated with water sports we decided to hike up a mountain with a beautiful ocean view to merge the two. Of Course Mana came with us to provide support!

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We hiked up Mt. Tateishi in the Keya area of Fukuoka, a great short hike climbing up to a 209m summit but with an astounding view! After stopping for a quick lunch we continued along the looping course to make it back to our cars to make a great day complete.

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I want to thank The North Face Store for once again asking me to lead another of their adventures and look forward to the next time. If you get the chance go to The North Face to check out all their cool stuff!


Happy Trails!

2011.05.17 | Comments(0) | Trackback(0) | ツアー情報


Golden Week InugatakeTour


Did everyone enjoy Golden Week? We sure did! We had a great tour deep into the forests of Fukuoka. This time we went to see the blooming Rhododendrons (シャクナゲ) on the slopes of Inugadake and Kubotesan, 2 mountains among the top 100 mountains of Kyushu.

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With the exception of the sand from China making for a hazy day the weather was quite nice. A lot of spring flowers were in bloom but unfortunately we were a little early for the Shakunage with only a few blooming and the rest trying hardest to pop out of there buds.

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After making good time to the top of Inugadake we stopped for a quick lunch and then headed along the ridge to our next destination, Mt. Kubote another mystical Fukuoka mountain with a beautiful shrine at the top making the effort definitely worthwhile.

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This is a beautiful time of year to be heading into the mountains of Kyushu, so why not join us for a hike and recharge your batteries. Take a look at the schedule and drop me an email if you see a trip that peaks your interest.

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Happy trails!

2011.05.11 | Comments(3) | Trackback(0) | ツアー情報

A trip to Otari

Another great road trip


Hey everyone! Sorry for the long break between postings but I’ve been on a bit of a road trip. This time Mana and I travelled first to Nagano and then on to Saitama and Tokyo before heading back to Fukuoka. Today I’m only going to talk about the Nagano part of the trip and I’ll save the rest for next time.

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We headed up once by car to Otari, Nagano, a small little village about a 40 minute drive from Hakuba and surrounded by the beautiful Northern Alps. Otari is home to the Nagano school of Outward Bound, an international outdoor education organization and sponsored an Advanced Wilderness First Aid course by Wilderness Medical Associates.

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Wilderness Medical Associates is an internationally recognized leader in wilderness medicine and rescue training and I was really happy to find this course as not only was it taught in English but Dave Ramsey, the instructor is an EMT and a SAR Dog handler in the states so we had lots to chat about during the breaks.

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The course was an intense 36 hours with a great bunch of about 20 participants from all around Japan. The mornings were filled with lectures and quizzes and the afternoons were full of practical scenarios out in the surrounding forests. The evenings were a combination of onsen and study, just a hint but if you have a choice study BEFORE you hit the onsen!

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A final exam marked the end of the course and there were smiles all around when we found out that everyone passed, I always find it wonderfully amazing how a group of people who you never knew before can become such good friends in such a short time when you go through something like this. Happy Birthday Isamu!

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After the course Mana and I headed out with the instructors for a nice day of hiking along the famous “Salt Road” a historical trail that brought supplies from the Japan sea inland.

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It was a really great course that I recommend to anyone. I want to thank Outward Bound for sponsoring the course and for their wonderful hospitality and delicious meals. I will definitely be going again!

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If you are interested in learning more about the course feel free to stop by the shop to chat about it. We’ll be in the shop today, and tomorrow. The 3rd we will be participating in a SAR Dog event in Aso but for those who want to go for a hike we’ll be heading to the mountains on the 4th for our first hike of May.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the road trip!

2011.05.01 | Comments(0) | Trackback(0) | スクール情報

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