An Ottawa family's golden retriever mix has developed the quintessentially Canadian talent of tracking down lost hockey pucks from snow banks and has in the last five years retrieved nearly 800 pucks.
Corona first demonstrated his talent to owners Bruce Cappon and Isabelle Beaudoin five years ago while out for a walk near the arena at Combermere Park in the Ottawa neighbourhood of Rothwell Heights.
"At first we were thinking, is he going after a mouse or something? And turns out it's a puck," said Beaudoin.
As Corona developed a nose for the pucks, he also got better at it, and can now track down about a puck a minute in what Cappon calls "high season" when the rinks are full.
At first Cappon and Beaudoin threw the pucks back into the rink, but after a while they started to keep the mementos and now have nearly 800.
Cappon and Beaudoin want to donate the collection or sell the pucks individually to raise money for a number of local charities they have contacted, including:
- The Tao-Program.
- Gloucester Recreational Development Organization.
- Centre for Treatment of Sexual Abuse and Childhood trauma.
- Walk With Me Canada Victim Services.
- Navan Animal Rescue Corporation.
With rain this month expected to reduce Ottawa's snow banks to puddles, Corona is also moving to his off-season regimen, says Cappon: retrieving tennis balls.