Lo­cal pet hon­oured for sav­ing life

Re­tired po­lice dog “Arik” in­ducted into Animal Hall of Fame

The Victoria Standard - - Local News - CAROLYN BAR­BER

Re­tired RCMP po­lice dog Arik of Big Bad­deck, was re­cently rec­og­nized for his part in res­cu­ing 89-year-old Lloyd Stone in March 2017. Calvin Kuchta, then 17, rec­og­nized Stone’s aban­doned car and knew some­thing was wrong. Stone had fallen in the woods while cross-coun­try ski­ing in Big Bad­deck. Thanks to Kuchta’s as­tute­ness and Arik’s keen sense of smell and hear­ing, Stone was found be­fore suc­cumb­ing to hy­pother­mia.

Arik flew to Toronto ear­lier this month with Kuchta to be in­ducted into the Pu­rina Animal Hall of Fame. He may have had to ride in cargo to the cer­e­mony, but once there, it was all red car­pets and end­less (well-de­served) treats.

“He’s been spoiled rot­ten,” said Kuchta by phone from Toronto. “It’s been a lux­u­ri­ous ex­pe­ri­ence for him. We have ac­cess to treats that he’s been go­ing pretty crazy about. He gets a lot of those. The peo­ple have been great down here, they treat him well.”

The eight and one-half year old Ger­man shep­herd be­came part of the Kuchta fam­ily two years ago when a torn ACL forced him into re­tire­ment. Kuchta says his ca­nine pal is trained to be high-in­ten­sity and ex­tremely con­fi­dent. He started re­tire­ment a lit­tle hyper, but has calmed down since then.

“For the first cou­ple of months, he didn’t re­ally un­der­stand the con­cept of not jump­ing up on the coun­ters and steal­ing food.”

Be­yond be­ing a loyal com­pan­ion, Kuchta says Arik is a laid-back fam­ily mem­ber with a sense of hu­mour.

Bad­deck res­i­dent Calvin Kuchta poses with his fam­ily dog Arik, af­ter re­ceiv­ing a medal for in­duc­tion into the Pu­rina Animal Hall of Fame. The above photo is from a video pro­file of Arik and Calvin's story and can be viewed at...

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