Chilko has aspirations of becoming an avalanche rescue dog. Keri Sculland/Star Photo

B.C. puppy has big dreams of becoming an avalanche rescue dog

Chilko comes from a breeder that has eight other dogs in the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association

Skiers might notice a young lady out with her human mom on the ski hill this winter, learning the ropes and figuring out how to ski alongside everyone else.

Her name is Chilko, and she’s a black Labrador retriever puppy. She will be out with her human mom, Lisa Roddick, on the slopes this winter, and has big dreams of becoming an avalanche rescue dog.

Over the course of the winter, Chilko will be chilling with her mom, and they will have plenty of time to get to know each other.

Chilko comes from a breeder that has eight other dogs successful in the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association (CARDA) program. The woman raises the puppies, and picks the right dog to match the new owner, Roddick explained.

“She spends every day for the first eight weeks getting to know them, so she understands what their personalities are like,” Roddick said. “I’ve only had her for two months, so we’re just getting to know each other.”

At nearly five months old, Chilko is a ball of energy, and likes to chew on everything. She really enjoys food, and will do anything for a good treat. When she’s being good, her favourite treat is duck jerky.

“She’s a little crazy. She really, really likes food. Anything that she gets to eat gets her pretty stoked,” Roddick said.

Already, Chilko is getting used to life in the snow. She doesn’t seem to mind the snow cats driving around, the snowmobiles that go by, or the skiers that zoom past her.

Off the slopes, Chilko enjoys playing hide and seek in the forest, and going up to the Bush Party trail, because there’s lots of room to run around and great stumps to hide behind when she’s playing hide and seek.

At home, her favourite toy is part of an old fleece sweater she likes to play tug with.

For now, Chilko will go to work at the ski hill with Roddick, who works as ski patrol, and learn from other avalanche dog handlers who work there. Chilko is also a member of Golden and District Search and Rescue, with her mom.

“It’s another way to grow in my job at work. I’ve taken avalanche courses and first aid courses, and now I get to learn something new,” said Roddick. “It’s going to be a learning process. She’s been up the gondola a few times already.

While Chilko aims to become an avalanche rescue dog, she has a bit of time to just be a puppy before the hard work begins.

“I think it will be super fun, and I think it will go well. For the first six months, she’s a puppy, and I get to have fun with her. We’ll build a great relationship, we will do some basic obedience, and after that we will work on the avalanche training stuff,” Roddick said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man found dead in his tent at Chemainus homeless camp

Facebook posts tell of personal struggles and attempts to stay clean and sober

Town of Ladysmith adopts 1.92 percent tax increase for 2020

Mayor Aaron Stone said the increase balances lost revenue while maintaining town services

Ladysmith principal mourns family killed during US protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Considerations made to keep Crofton drive-by birthday celebrations going

Trucks will tone it down or not use horns at all to bring some joy to kids and older folks

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Crofton

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Most Read