Valé Calderoni’s dog, Kaoru. Instagram.

Dog mistaken for wolf, shot near Whistler

Owner says her therapy dog was killed by a hunter who thought it was a wolf

A woman says her four-year-old therapy dog has been shot and killed by a hunter who mistook the animal for a wolf near Whistler.

Valé Calderoni says she and another handler were hiking with 10 dogs on Monday when she heard a loud bang and instinctively crouched down.

When she got back up, she saw her dog, Kaoru, had been hit by a bullet about three metres away and was bleeding profusely.

Calderoni says the dog was suffering and died shortly after.

She says a hunter shot the dog at close range, thinking it was a wolf.

Today my dog, my partner, was killed at point blank. To say that we love our dogs is an understatement. Some of us have changed our lifestyles completely to be able to enjoy the tremendous feeling of exploring the woods with a dog. My dog was amazing; she was a Tamaskan, a rare breed. Her name was Kaoru (Kah-oh-roo) she was named after a Japanese hero of mine. When she was a pup, she was mischievous always stealing socks, shoes, tapes, toothbrushes hiding them around the house or tearing them apart. I loved this dog; I laugh so much at her antics. I spent hours working with her and training her to be a service dog, and I loved that she always remind wild. Kaoru's favourite pastime was garden design, I planted a tree in one of the yards, and next thing I see is Kaoru taking it out with the roots and all, carrying it to the side and burying it, you see the tree did not match her style. Kaoru touched so many lives; she was an unexpected joy, I remember coming home to find princess Kaoru sleeping on top of the fridge, indeed the best view in the house. But the most beautiful thing I ever saw Kaoru do was when she was working with Autistic children. These beautiful kids have episodes and would sometimes be rough with her, but Kaoru was amazing and followed her training perfectly. She would squint her eyes, lay down, and let out a sigh, the kids then would slowly begin to calm down as their hands crunched tightly on Kaoru's fur. Kaoru has worked with many kids and people, from PSD to regular children, elders and adults. I loved my dog so much and watching her give herself so entirely to anyone that let her has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Continued on next post….

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Calderoni says Kaoru was a Tamaskan dog, a breed that looks similar to wolves, and was a therapy dog that provided emotional support to many people, including children with autism.

The Canadian Press