A grateful Hooch relaxes in his yard after recovering from last Thursday’s rescue. (Submitted)

A grateful Hooch relaxes in his yard after recovering from last Thursday’s rescue. (Submitted)

Hooch makes quick recovery after rescue from Cowichan River

Grateful owner to make donation to Search and Rescue

After his misadventure in the Cowichan River last week, Hooch is doing just fine.

The nine-year-old Rottweiler, who was saved from the river by Cowichan Search and Rescue last Thursday, suffered from hypothermia, but was treated by a veterinarian and is none the worse for the excitement.

He’s even received the treat he seemed to have been seeking when he dove in.

“I bought him a can of salmon so he doesn’t have to chase them anymore,” Hooch’s owner, Laurie Boyles, said on Monday.

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Boyles said she was walking two other dogs on Thursday morning, with Hooch trailing behind, when all of a sudden he wasn’t there. He turned up on a sandbar downstream from the Silver Bridge, where SAR was able to retrieve him. Hooch does have hip dysplasia, which might have caused problems had he tried to swim for shore.

Hooch is well-trained, Boyles emphasized, and SAR acknowledged that his training made the rescue easier, but even the best-trained dogs can slip up in some situations.

“How do you train him not to chase a fish?” Boyles asked.

The whole experience was “very traumatic” for Boyles, who spends a lot of time around canines.

“I work at a doggie daycare, so dogs are my world,” she said.

The good-natured Hooch was a gift from the last doggie daycare she worked at.

“He’s a really good dog with other dogs, and he’s not a watchdog at all,” Boyles related. “Unless it’s a pizza delivery man at the door, he doesn’t get up at all.”

Ladies from the park where Boyles usually walks Hooch collected money to help cover the vet bill, but Boyles had already paid it, so she chipped in some cash of her own and will be donating $500 to Cowichan Search and Rescue. Prior to the rescue, she had no idea how popular Hooch was.

“He has quite a following at the river. He’s been walking there probably eight of his nine years. I didn’t know how many friends he had.”

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