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Baddeck dog inducted into Purina Animal Hall of Fame for part in rescue

Lloyd Stone, from left, Calvin Kuchta and his dog Arik pose for a photo. Kuchta and Arik, a former police dog, rescued Stone in the woods near Baddeck after the senior fell and broke his hip while cross-country skiing in March 2017. Arik was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame on Monday.
Lloyd Stone, from left, Calvin Kuchta and his dog Arik pose for a photo. Kuchta and Arik, a former police dog, rescued Stone in the woods near Baddeck after the senior fell and broke his hip while cross-country skiing in March 2017. Arik was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame on Monday. - Submitted

Who’s a good boy?

BADDECK, N.S. — Who’s a good boy? Arik is.

The eight-year-old German shepherd from Baddeck was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame on Monday for tracking down an elderly man who’d broken his hip while cross-country skiing.

Owner Calvin Kuchta, 18, said he was driving along Big Baddeck Road late in the afternoon on March, 3, 2017, when he noticed Lloyd Stone’s car parked near a popular trail. When the car was still there a couple of hours later, he became concerned and went home to get Arik, an accomplished former police dog, to help investigate.

“I got Arik and his leash was half-frozen in the ground, so I took a jumping rope and tied it around his collar, and then we headed out to the trail,” Kuchta told the Cape Breton Post on Monday from Toronto, where he, Arik and Stone, 90, attended a red-carpet ceremony in Toronto to mark the hall’s 50th anniversary.

Training kicked in

The teen said once they arrived at the trail, he pointed to Stone’s tracks and the dog’s training kicked in.

“Arik started searching, and then he picked up his pace and we started tracking. Then we heard a voice scream for help, and that’s when Arik got a bit excited and he took off and broke the jumping rope. After that, Lloyd says he came up to him and licked his face, then laid next to him.”

Kuchta soon caught up with Arik and phoned 911. He also called his father Curtis, an RCMP officer, who tended to Stone while they waited for paramedics to arrive.

The senior, who had been in the woods for approximately four hours, has since made a full recovery, said Kuchta, who took Arik to visit Stone in the hospital.

While Kuchta deflects credit to his father, EHS and his co-op instructor for teaching him first-aid, Purina said the teen’s quick thinking and Arik’s instincts could have saved Stone’s life.

“Had Arik not been there to help locate him so quickly, Lloyd would have likely suffered from severe hypothermia, and potentially frozen to death,” the company stated.

Lapping up the affection

Kuchta said Arik was lapping up the affection while in Toronto to receive his medal of honour, as well as a one-year supply of Purina dog food.

“He’s pretty excited. I think he likes all the attention.”

Arik’s training has also come in handy since he helped save Stone. A couple of months later, Kuchta said his friend lost his cellphone while they were hiking in the woods.

“We were searching for a couple of hours and couldn’t find it at all. Then I went back home, I got Arik and I had him sniff my friend, and then after that he found it in just a matter of minutes,” he said.

“I knew he was talented — his previous handler had mentioned that he was exceptionally talented at his job.”

Three other dogs joined Arik in the Purina Animal Hall of Fame, which has inducted 179 animals — 151 dogs, 27 cats and one horse — since 1968.

Ruth, 2, and Lady, 7, a pair of Labrador-border collie crosses, kept their severely injured owner Matthew Smith warm after his vehicle crashed down an embankment British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, then led a neighbour to the scene.

Sabrina, a 12-year-old whippet from Saint-Laurent, Que., is credited with saving owner Adele Schwartz by waking up her husband after she fell down the stairs in the middle of the night.

news@cbpost.com

Below is a video featuring the inductees stories:

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