Working Terrier Equipment
Ten Tips and Tricks  

1.  Backpack:  This was a real find.  I bought mine from "The Gap" of all places, and it's been wonderful.  This is a canvas pack (nylon rips too easily) and the main feature is that it has 2 welded D-ring loops sewn into each shoulder strap and two pockets and straps on the left and right side which work to hold the smaller tools.  I use the shoulder strap rings to hang my digging bar from when I walk -- occasionally the post hole digger too.  The yoho and machete fit in the left pocket and are held in place by straps, while the tieout stake finds a home in the right pocket.  The front of the pack has a draw-string pocket, and into this goes an eye wash bottle, a small squeeze flashlight (this battery never goes dead), a larger rotating-head flashlight with clip, and a folding plastic water dish.

2.  Bar loop:  A carry my bar attached to my pack shoulder strap.  A thong or webbing loop is hitched around the bar, and then clipped into a light aluminum carabiner.  I can carry the bar hands free this way.

3. Shovel rig:  I use a D-handle Ames Pony shovel.  I have drilled a hole through the upper shoulder of the blade, and put in a piece of parachute cord.  I then snap a ring into the loop and another around the handle, and now I can sling the entire shovel rig over my shoulder.  By keeping the bar hanging off the pack should straps, and the shovel strung across my back, I now have all my equipment loaded and I am hands-free.

4.  Slide tag on deben collar:  Nothing gives me more piece of mind that having a brass slide tag on the deben collar.  This is just a plain slide tag (the smallest they make) that I have curved a bit so that it fits flush against the dog's neck.  No problems getting it hung up, as it is smaller than the deben locator and more flush than the buckle -- plus it slides.

5.  Medical and other kit.  My kit is simply a plastic bright orange "Harry Homeowner" tool box from Home Depot.  The top tray contains eye wash, betadine, bug spray, knife, small scissors, a few basic grooming items, batteries.  Underneath is a spare pair of gloves, vet wrap and vetbond, 2 fox nets, a root saw, a space blanket, a handwarmer with fuel stick, antibiotics, a wound irrigation syringe, and eye and wound antibiotic salve.

6.  Yoho customized with Cold Steel Mini Bushman knife.  My yoho is actually not a brand-name yoho, but simply a longhandled trowel I picked up for $3.  I sharpened the blade and ground down the end so that if forms a socket that I can slip a hollow-handled Cold Steel Mini Bushman knife on to it.  Now, by simply lashing the knife on to the sock, I have a dispatch tool that can be used from a distance of three feet (i.e. for a wounded raccoon in a hole).  The Mini Bushman will also fit over the end of a bar, so it could be used to dispatch a raccoon in a brush pile or pipe.  The Mini Bushman is $11.00 from:

7.    Puppy tie out:  I carry a heavy-duty domed tied out stake, and have a 10 foot Cider Mill "puppy cable" attached to it.   The puppy cable is folded with a large third clip added in the middle, so that I can stake two dogs at once.  Cider Mill Puppy Cable available at:

8.    Eagle Claw scale and thong.  The Eagle-claw scale weighs up to 28 pounds and the thong is used to hook over the legs of quarry to they can be weighed on the scale's hook.   I got my scale at the K-Mart fishing section for less than $5.

9.      Antibiotics w/out prescription:  I use old human antibiotics as much as possible.  Clavamox, for example, is the same as Augmentin.  Fish-Mox is amoxcycillin. See for dosage.  Fish antibiotics can be ordered without prescription and they are the same thing we give our dogs.  Fish-flex, for example, is 250 mg of cephalexin - perfect for most bite injuries.

10.    Belt Bag:  I bought a black canvas bag that slip on to my belt.  The deben box fit into this, along with a phone if I want it, or a small knife.  A second bag holds my small Bushnell binoculars when I'm out birding or goofing off in the woods, and it can also hold dog food when I am training.  I actually have 3 of these bags -- one slightly larger for leashes.