In the Christmas series we tell stories about people who are there for others.
One is Anke Boysen (50) from Kirchseeon, who tracks missing people with her dogs.
Dog Aquim is happy that he found the person missing in the forest.
He barks and gets his reward right away – he likes wieners best.
© Stefan Rossmann
Kirchseeon – The police alerted Anke Boysen a few minutes ago: A pensioner from Ebersberg with heart disease is missing.
She wanted to go for a walk in a forest in Kirchseeon.
The sun is shining but it's cold on this December day.
Now it has to be quick: rescue dog handler Boysen races to the forest in her emergency vehicle.
Rescue dog Aquim sits in his kennel in the trunk.
At a parking lot at the edge of the forest there is a brief briefing with a second team.
Search sections are divided.
Then it starts.
Aquim sticks his nose out of the trunk.
He has to search now.
After the pensioner.
He's trained to smell people.
The dog with the ice-blue eyes picks up the scent and sprints off.
After a while he found something.
He barks and scratches.
Over there, 100 meters away, the pensioner must be.
Anke Boysen, equipped with first aid equipment, runs to the spot.
A woman lies on the wet, leaf-covered ground.
Boysen slowly turns her around.
On the woman's face - a smile.
All just practice.
In the Egl-hartinger forest in Kirchseeon, Anke Boysen trains her dog for emergencies.
Day and night in use
Boysen is a dog unit leader and paramedic for the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund in Munich.
The 50-year-old and her dog are there when people go missing in the forest or are suspected to be under collapsed buildings.
In Munich and southern Bavaria.
Day and night.
“Sometimes I can only sleep for two hours after night operations.
Then I have to go to work,” says Boysen.
The Kirchseeon native works in health management at BMW in Munich.
She has two dogs.
One is Aquim, a Catahoula leopard dog originally from the United States.
There the animals are used as working dogs, for example for driving cattle.
Aquim is six years old, area and rubble search dog.
Anke Boysen started training with him when he was eight weeks young.
Training to become a rescue dog takes two years
Training to become a rescue dog takes two years.
Training is done like this: colleagues from Anke Boysen hide in the forest.
The four-legged rescue trainee is looking for her.
Like a scavenger hunt.
If the dog finds the people, he gets his favorite treat.
"At Aquim, it's sausages," says Boysen.
"Preferably Wiener." The dog is conditioned until it is wild about searching.
A trained dog can search for up to two hours.
He combs through 80,000 square meters of forest, says Boysen.
30 alarms per year
Anke Boysen and her colleagues are alerted by the police 30 times a year.
Most of them are missing person searches in the forest, many of them in the Ebersberg district.
Boysen and her dog also have to search for people in collapsed buildings.
But that doesn't happen often, explains the woman from Kirchseeon.
She was there twelve years ago to search for the rubble of the collapsed ice rink in Bad Reichenhall.
15 people died in the accident.
At 2 a.m., the rescue workers from Bad Reichenhall called Anke Boysen.
Four people are still missing in the rubble, the operations manager said.
She drove to the collapsed hall with Samy, who was her rubble search dog at the time.
Then she had to wait.
It had snowed a lot, and the search conditions were poor, says Boysen.
Then it started.
Her dog searched the pile of rubble, she stood on the safe edge.
“It was spectacular when the dogs searched the rubble.
Nobody said anything, it was totally quiet,” Boysen recalls.
Suddenly her dog scratched around wildly, behaving unusually.
Dogs normally bark when they find a human, explains Anke Boysen.
"There must be something," she said to the commander.
Employees of the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) shoveled away the snow.
Beneath it was a corrugated iron roof.
"The roof was strangely dented," says Boysen.
Her normally cheerful face now darkens.
She continues: THW carefully cut open the corrugated iron roof.
Underneath was one of the missing.
A boy (12).
High risk also for the dog
Such operations are an exceptional situation, says Boysen.
For humans and animals.
They also mean a high risk for the dog.
That is why the operations often have to be trained.
They practice twice a week, mostly at the weekend: 17 dog handlers and 25 rescue dogs.
Anke Boysen has been doing this for 19 years.
"Without the honorary posts, nothing would work in Germany," she says.
She is fascinated by the rescue dogs: With their fine noses, the four-legged friends can save people.
No machine can do that. At the same time, searching is the perfect activity for the dogs.
They love it, says the squad leader, scratching Aquim's neck.
He looks forward to every training session.
And about the Viennese.
100 percent of the money that will be donated to our Christmas campaign "Chain of Helping Hands" this year will go to organizations and clubs in the Ebersberg district, for which volunteer helpers work day and night. Donate to the Lions Relief Fund donation account at Raiffeisen-Volksbank Ebersberg (account number: 29 800 29 BLZ: 701694509), IBAN: DE46 7016 9450 0002 9800 29.
100 percent of the money that will be donated to our Christmas campaign "Chain of Helping Hands" this year will go to organizations and clubs in the Ebersberg district, for which volunteer helpers work day and night.
Donate to the Lions Relief Fund donation account at Raiffeisen-Volksbank Ebersberg (account number: 29 800 29 BLZ: 701694509), IBAN: DE46 7016 9450 0002 9800 29.